We’ve all been there. Maybe it was unintended, but the evening turned into a long night of partying Now the alarm is screaming at you, and you need to drag your unwilling body out of bed and into the office.
There’s no way around it, this is not going to be fun – but there are some things you can do to ensure your day is not a complete write-off. Here are 15 ways to stay productive after a night of partying.
There are a couple of things you can do to limit the damage even before the night ends:
1. Don’t drink too much
This is obvious, but if you can restrict the amount you drink the night before, the next day at work is going to be a whole lot easier. We don’t always have to drink until we can’t stand up, right?
2. Drink smart
Ok, so the first one is not always practical – sometimes, despite all our good intentions, we end up drinking too much. But if you know you have to be up early for work, at least try to drink smart.
Avoid drinks you know are going to make you feel terrible the next day. Everybody’s different, but sticking to beer or red wine might be more sensible than going for the tequila slammers. And for most people, the last thing you want to do is mix your drinks.
3. Drink water
However much you drink and whatever you drink, pre-empt the hangover and start hydrating before you go to bed. If you can drink water during the evening, so much the better; if not, at least make sure you drink some before you sleep. One glass for each alcoholic drink you had is best.
Wake up, refresh and treat the hangover
The priority when you wake up is feeling normal as quickly as possible so you’re ready to perform when you arrive at your desk. Here are a few suggestions:
4. Cold shower
This might seem like a drastic solution – and not everybody will be able to face it – but if you’re in a bad way and you need to snap out of it quickly, a cold shower works wonders. Sure, you’ll swear and curse – but when it’s over, you’ll feel much more alive.
5. Eat breakfast
Don’t skip breakfast, however nauseous the thought of food makes you feel. Most people find that something greasy hits the spot, but if you can manage, try to eat something healthy. Your body is in need of nutrients to repair all the damage you did the night before so give it what it wants.
6. Drink coffee
Take some caffeine on board to fire up the system. A strong cup of coffee is like an elixir, and even the aroma has almost magical restorative properties. Some people might prefer highly caffeinated energy drinks – although anything with too much sugar will dehydrate you.
7. Continue to rehydrate
Even if you had the foresight to take on enough water the night before, you still need to keep hydrating. Drink water as soon as you wake up and continue to do so throughout the day.
This might sound like the last thing you want to do, but if you have enough time before you need to be at the office, try to do some exercise.
You don’t need to overdo it, but if you can head out for a 20-minute run or hit the gym for a quick workout, you will sweat out some of that alcohol, burn off the hangover and start the blood pumping. When you reach your desk, you will feel much more energized and ready to work.
9. Take painkillers
If you have a killer headache, you need it to stop. You won’t be able to concentrate if your head is pounding so take some painkillers. Something strong like ibuprofen is good – but however bad you feel, don’t exceed the dose.
Stamina to last the day
After you make it to your desk, you still need to get some work done. Here are some tips to make sure you can:
10. Keep busy
You’ve made it to the office and now you have to survive the day. If you sit moping around, the hours will drag – so keep as busy as you can, and the time will pass faster. Keeping occupied will also take your mind off how bad you’re feeling.
11. Set up a reward system
If you can’t motivate yourself to keep busy, think up rewards for yourself like “if I answer all my emails, then I can have a cigarette/another coffee” etc. Set up a series of achievable goals and spend the day working through them.
12. Do important tasks first
If you really went crazy the night before, the fact is, you’re not going to be on top of your game – and it’s only going to become worse as your energy levels drop. This means you should try to do important things early on – unless you’re still too drunk to function properly, of course.
13. Stick to simple tasks
This one is going to depend on the kind of job you have, but if you can choose which tasks to do, stick to the simple ones that don’t require too much thought. If you can leave the more cerebral jobs for tomorrow, that might not be such a bad idea.
14. Don’t have a big lunch
You need to keep the energy levels up and your body needs fuel to do it. However, when lunchtime arrives, don’t eat too much. If you do, you will end up feeling lethargic and sleepy. Having a light lunch and snacking throughout the day will be more beneficial.
If possible, take a power nap. Set your alarm for 20 minutes and close your eyes. 20 minutes is the ideal amount of time and you will feel noticeably more refreshed; any longer and you will fall into a deeper sleep and when you wake up, you will feel even more tired.
Making the best of an inevitable situation
If we’re honest, we’re never going to perform at our best after a big night out, and partying hard on a work night is probably best avoided. However, when the inevitable happens and you find yourself facing a day in the office on a hideous hangover, at least now you know how to stay productive.