Five Ways To Stay Awake At Your Desk (and act like an adult)

There are a few things that don’t change at all between college and the professional world. You still think wine is for classy bitches. You continue wonder if maybe you should go to culinary school. And you still have the hardest time ever staying awake at your desk. But let’s face it: you’re getting to old to free base a six-pack of Five Hour Energies while loudly accusing the office coffee maker of withholding your fix. Life is tiring y’all, and it’s not getting better any soon. So, what’s a twenty-something to do? Here are a few ideas to rouse you lazy ass back to life before your boss catches you snoozing.

Cool down

If you’ve already killed three keyboards this fiscal year with sleep drool, chances are you’re letting yourself get too comfortable at your desk. Make yourself uncomfortable by removing all those warm and plushy layers, turning off the under-desk space heater, and positioning yourself directly under the AC vent. You won’t want to pass out as much if you’re freezing. True story.

Drink some water

Coffee is great, but if you’re already a jittery disaster person that can barely function in the real world, you should probably just stick to ice water. This is a great idea for three reasons: first, dehydration can make you feel sleepy and unpleasant. Second, shivering keeps you awake (see above). And third, you’ll have get up more often to pee. I think about these things so you don’t have to, guys.

Pro tip: don’t drink iced vodka. 

Get away from the computer

It is a scientific fact that looking at Excel for too long will knock you out faster than a handful of Ambien and a fifth of scotch. Let your brain reset by escaping the shackles of your monitor and doing something else. Clean some drawers, listen to your voicemail, harass your coworkers for a few minutes. Mixing up your activities will keep your mind alert and prevent spreadsheet burnout (which is a disease I just made up).

Go for a walk

As young professionals trying to make a name for ourselves in the office, we don’t often take the time to get some fresh air. After all, our company owns us…right? Even if you can only escape for a few minutes, a brief walk will energize your body and clear your foggy brain. Can’t leave the office? Take the long way to the bathroom or stop by your coworkers’ cubes to say hello. They will certainly appreciate a visit from your beautiful face.

Visualize awesome things

There is nothing worst than sitting in a meeting with a bunch of colleagues, most of whom are older and better than you at everything, and finding yourself nodding off to sleep. Your head starts to do that awkward bobbing thing and your feet kick involuntarily. Your “notes” become scribbles, but you know there is no escape. If you find yourself exhausted and stuck, try to distract yourself with visualization (no, don’t picture your bed). Personally, I like to picture myself kickboxing strangers. Keeps me wide awake.

Got any other ideas for keeping it together in the office?

photo credit: Magnus. via photopin cc

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