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Burning The Midnight Oil

Posted on: July 31st, 2012 by Tom McDonald

One of the many lessons I have learned in being an entrepreneur is that you work a lot.  Actually, a more accurate statement is you always work – morning, day and night.  Working in a creative field like video production, I have found that often I do my best work after the kids are asleep, the phones have stopped ringing and the majority of emails have come to a halt… except for those of you who – like me – sleep little.  Over the years with lots of experience burning the proverbial midnight oil, I have found a few dos and don’ts of making the best of it without waking up the next morning with your keyboard imprinted on your face.  Here a few tips that work for me…

Working on the night shift

First of all, I always require a really good drink.  No, I am not talking booze here.  Also, do not load up on caffeine.  Trust me, I did this for several years – downing large, caffeinated drinks into the wee hours of the night. Yes, it keeps you up but going to bed at 2:00 a.m. with your mind still working at full-speed is not setting yourself up for success the following day.  Loading up on caffeine for all of your conscious hours will also be a tough habit to break.  I like a big icy glass of lemonade or a sparkling fruit juice myself.  Something kind of sweet and refreshing, so it feels like a treat.

Next, make sure you have good lighting in your workspace.  As a video editor, often darker is better but not when you are also fighting off the sand man.  Find a happy medium of soft light – halfway between hospital room and nightclub.  I like to have the TV on sometimes in the next room.  For me, I keep the volume low and usually on a sporting event I don’t care too much about.  Just a little something to keep me company without becoming a distraction.  Also, sit up in your chair and maintain good posture.  I use a firm pillow to assist.

Another good practice is to wear comfortable clothes.  You are not dressing to impress here.  I go with my Adidas gym shorts and a t-shirt every night. Favorite hat is optional.

If you start to fade a bit but still have a ways to go, get up and stretch.  Going outside isn’t a bad thing either.  My neighborhood gets dark and quiet at night and sometimes, offers a refreshing break.

Lastly, if none of these suggestions are working, GO TO BED!  There’s always tomorrow.

by Webolutions Digital Marketing Agency