Working Late? Here’s How to Make the Best of the Situation

Depending on what type of work you do – and maybe what type of boss you have – there are certain times when you have to stay late at the office and forego any plans you had for the evening.

While it’s probably not what you’d choose to be doing, you know that the only option is to get what you need to get done completed. Don’t see it as a chore, though. Instead, think positively about the task that you have ahead of you and make your working environment as pleasant as possible.  

Source: Pixabay

Ambience is everything

Yes, you’re at work, but it’s different when you’re alone in the office at night. Make it feel more homely – put on a desk lamp instead of the main overhead lights, and find a bit of music to play in the background. Creating the right working ambience will increase your productivity.

Refuel to stay focused

Don’t put off dinner until the work is done. Your energy levels are already going to be lower than they would first thing in the morning; it’s no use trying to function well on an empty stomach.

These days, eating dinner at your desk doesn’t mean you have to just make do with a sad sandwich or a Pot Noodle. There are so many restaurants that will deliver to your desk these days that you can order practically any type of cuisine you can think of. When you’re ordering food, think about what you need to give your brain a boost so that you can concentrate on your work.

Up your protein intake

Proteins will help keep you wide awake, thanks to the presence of amino acids. However, though a big steak dinner might taste great, it may actually send you into a woozy state as your body works to digest it. Save the steak for a night when you can linger over it and enjoy it, then relax with a glass of wine.

Tom Yum Goong at Mango Tree – Bangkok” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by [email protected]

For a desk-based protein boost, why not choose a soup? There are plenty of different soups out there that can be as filling as a three-course meal with just the right combination of meat or fish proteins and fresh veggies. The broth, meanwhile, acts as a kind of comfort food, and will cheer you up even though you’re having to work late. The Tokyo Chicken Stew from the Soup Spoon Union has a wholesome feel to it. But if you prefer some spice in your soup, order something like a tom yum or a Laksa.

A natural sugar lift

Foods that are high in natural sugars are good for giving you an energy boost, which can help you push through on a couple of extra hours’ work.

Acai bowls are a little bit like a spoonable smoothie. They’re packed with an acai puree at the base, then dressed with any number of  toppings; usually fresh fruit like bananas and blueberries, as well as yoghurt, nuts and seeds. Many of Singapore’s acai bowl specialists now deliver.

A guilty treat

Oreo Freakshake! #milkshake #oreo #byron” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Phil Guest

While the soup or the acai bowl are both pretty healthy options; there is another school of thought on what to eat when you’re working late. You could just pick something you fancy, and that you might not usually allow yourself to eat. Why not have a burger and fries just this once, or the decadence of a freakshake delivered. These are no ordinary milkshakes; they’re ultra-thick ice-cream shakes topped with anything from cake and honeycomb through to nutella, candyfloss and pretzels. Yes, they’re naughty and they certainly don’t count as dinner, but they’ll give you a lift to get your assignment completed!

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Samantha Wong

I'm a hobby writer!

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