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With this economy and the demands of our lifestyle, we may find ourselves working long hours so as to earn a living or stay ahead on our career path. In theory, working long hours should be the “easiest” route to achieving this. However, the practicality of it all is very tricky and demanding. Working long hours is not a joke! In fact, it is both a science and art that has been developed over the years by nocturnal workers.

Working long hours productively can be a tricky affair. The best way to achieve this delicate balance is by trial and error and finding what’s best for your body’s rhythm without jeopardising subsequent day’s work. The following are tried and tested tips that can effectively keep you alert throughout the long hours without compromising on the quality of your work.

How To Work Long Hours Productively


A well lit room encourages productivity even at night. Ensure you are working in a well lit room that is not too bright. This helps your mind stay alert. Lighting can be through natural light, which is the ideal, or through florescent or any other artificial lighting. However, when it comes to computers, ensure the brightness setting is put to the minimum so as to prevent straining your eyes which may cause fatigue. If you cannot achieve constant light exposure, exposing yourself once in a while throughout your working day will work wonders for your alertness level.


Whereas one might be of the opinion that sugars and starch will help keep up your energy levels, this is not the case in the long haul. Refined sugars and starches might give you that sudden burst of energy, however, this will be quickly followed by a sugar crush that may lower your alertness level and cause you to lag behind in your work. Instead, strive to eat and drink healthy. This can be achieved by eating a meal that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. This type of meal is ideal for maintaining mental alertness for longer periods of time. Ensure that you stick to a regular eating pattern that includes occasional snacking that involves foods that are high in fibre and low in fat such as vegetables, Greek yoghurt and fruits.

Good Old Coffee

Caffeine has been used as stimulant by many late night workers or early riser. This is because of its ability to keep the brain alert. It is best to use good coffee machines that harness the goodness of quality roasted coffee beans so as to give you a good strong cup of coffee that will give you that immediate push to enable you go on with your work, bearing in mind that the effects of coffee can be felt as soon as 20 minutes after downing a cup. Investing in good coffee machines is therefore important for anyone who wants to survive working long hours.

How To Work Long Hours Productively

Water, water and more water!!

There is so much one can do with water to improve alertness. Keeping hydrated is one the ways of staying alert and keeping that feeling of lethargy at bay. Drinking cold water can banish the afternoon or late night fatigue and also encourages one to go to the washroom which is also good break from the monotony of the office.

So that will be killing two birds with one stone! Taking breaks from your work is also a good idea and you could incorporate exercises such as jumping jacks or chair dips which will give you an energy surge and help keep your mind alert. In the end it all boils down to your determination and commitment to working long hours productively. Apply the tips that work well with your body and be consistent, after a while, working long hours will be enjoyable.