Tips For Working Late at Night
In the age of the internet, business hours have changed from 9 to 5, to 24 hours a day. People can work from home and stay connected to the world around them. This means anytime can be business time - which is great! Working late at night can be a great way to get work done without the constant distractions that the day provides. People are sleeping, the sunshine isn't teasing you through the window and it's finally quiet.
While working at night isn't rocket science there's always room for improvement, so here's a few tips for the night owls working early into the morning.
Just because everybody else is in bed doesn't mean you should be. Find yourself an area where you aren't too relaxed - working in your bedroom can trick your mind into thinking it's time to sleep. Set up a work area with minimal distractions and avoid television and facebook because multi-tasking works for nobody. Set up your workspace with everything you'll need but make sure to keep it organised, it's easy to lose focus if you're surrounded by clutter. Sometimes you just get to familiar with a desk and production goes down - try working somewhere else like the dining room table or even a nearby 24 hour coffee place.
When you think working late, you think - lots of caffeine. While drinking coffee late into the night might not be for everybody, it's important to stay hydrated while working late. Drink lots of water to avoid the headaches that can come from working long hours. Plus all the bathroom breaks away from the computer screen are actually good for those headaches as well.
Can't trust yourself with the internet? Every time you open a new tab it happens to be facebook and you didn't even notice? It's hard to avoid wasting time on the internet when it's literally one click away from work and watching animal videos. Well, luckily for us they've come out with website limiters, allowing us to block our social media addictions until we can finish our work.
StayFocusd is a Google Chrome extension that lets you block websites for a certain time of day or limits viewing time to a set length. This can be super helpful when you find yourself mindlessly procrastinating on the interweb. There are plenty of other apps around for this if you're not using Google Chrome, check out FocusMe and Facebook Limiter.
Sometimes complete silence and the tapping of keys in the dark can become pretty lonely. That's why technology gave us headphones and a wifi connection. Music might seem like a great choice when working late but it can often be too distracting - depending on what you're doing. When I'm really trying to concentrate there isn't much better than just searching YouTube for "concentration music" - or even better "nature sounds". Hours and hours of videos come up with a huge variety of calming music and sounds that's perfect for zoning out and working to.
The bright backlight in your computer's screen is great during the day, providing a clear picture despite direct sunlight. However, after the sun has set it's not exactly great to be staring at something so bright.
f.lux adjusts your computer screen to the brightness of the room you're in - all the time. When the sun sets, your computer screen adapts to look like your indoor lights and in the morning it returns things back to your sunny backlight display.
The best reason to use this is for sleep. It sounds backwards but regular computer backlights stimulate us into being awake. This is great when you're working but it's terrible when you're trying to fall asleep. F.lux helps you sleep better after working late into the night. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I know the exact science behind it but it has to do with our circadian rhythm and other important things.