10 Tips to Surviving a Long Workday

With all of the end of year deadlines upon us, a lot of us are working extra hard and overtime to get things done. It is easy to forget about our own needs when our schedules are hectic and we are getting worn down. Long hours often mean neglect to other areas of our lives; relationships, housecleaning, health, etc. 

Point and case, on Thursday, when I was driving home from work I realized that I was supposed to have a post ready to go that day I floundered and had no idea what to talk about. In times like these, I tend to tell myself to write what I know. Sometimes something pops into my head instantly and other times I am left wondering what the heck do I know that I haven’t already shared? Luckily this time around I got an idea: ways to survive those long days at work. That is something that I seem to know quite well these days.

Lets cut to the chase, shall we? Here are my ten tips to surviving a long workday.

  1. Pack snacks

It is almost impossible to bring your A-Game when you are working on an empty stomach. Chocolate bars and chips may give you a small rush but they are nowhere near as helpful as some good food. Try some instant oatmeal, veggies, and hummus or a fruit salad. It’s not a bad idea to keep some crackers in your desk either in case you need some extra fuel.

2. Keep a list of what needs to get done

The last thing you need is to forget something that needs to get done or waste time trying to remember what your boss asked of you while you were getting more coffee. Writing things down not only helps you remember things but gives you a reference in case you forget something.

3. Take microbreaks

To prevent burnout, it’s important to take breaks. It is suggested to take a break every 50 minutes but that isn’t always possible when your to-do list is a mile long. Microbreaks can also be a change in thought process, as simple as getting out of your desk and walking across the office to the photocopier/scanner. It’s always a good idea to stretch out your legs, back, and wrists when sitting at your desk all day. It’s a bonus to take some deep breaths along the way, relaxing your body both physically and mentally.

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated helps to keep us healthy; tea, water, whatever floats your boat. You don’t want to get sick if you can avoid it this time of year.

5. Keep your hair out of your face

If you tend to fidget like I do, this one is really important. When my hair is down I play with it all day long. When it is pulled back out of my face I don’t even think about it and very rarely touch it.

6. Remove distractions

This could be a variety of things: cell phones, mirrors, clutter, chatty people, etc. I find it helpful to put my phone on silent and to listen to music on my old iPod, not my phone.  I only put one of my ear buds in so that if anyone does need to talk to me I can still hear them.  When working from home I always have to clean the space first so that I am not bothered by all of the junk in my peripherals.

7. Stay motivated 

Some people need extra motivation. There are so many motivation quotes out there and so many items out there that you can buy with these quotes on them. I have even bought into it with my work mug and it’s lovely calligraphy message of “You Got This”. When in doubt I take a deep breath before sipping from this magical mug and pump up my spirits.

8. Prioritize

Perhaps one of the most important things on this list, it is important to know which items on your list are more important. That way, you can put the most energy towards the most important items.

9. Knock the small stuff out of the way

Things that take less than a minute should be done without delay. That way your to-do list doesn’t get weighed down with little things. Your boss needs copies of a document for a meeting the next day? Do it now.

10. Ask for help

This is the most important of the 10 items. If you are the first one in and the last one out of the office then asking for help from your coworkers or boss should never be out of the question. I understand that our pride sometimes gets in the way because we are admitting that we aren’t able to accomplish everything in our 8 hour day but you will feel so much better the next day when you aren’t bogged down by all that weight on your shoulders.


I am sure that there are more than 10 things that we can do to help get us through those long days. let me know in the comments what tricks you use that I may have missed.

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