7 Tips on Surviving At Work When You're Tired

Have you ever continually checked the time almost every 5 minutes while you are at work? You are just too tired to cope with the day’s work and you can’t compile the work to wait till the next day. You’re now wondering how to pull through this situation. Here is how to surviving a tough day at work.

At this point, you start blaming yourself for staying awake all night or you feel so unlucky to have an energy-draining long week and you just feel so tired and bone-weary. Well, you don’t have to keep on bugging your mind because some tips are here to help you pull through. Being tired shouldn’t be an excuse for you to be unproductive, in fact, it’s normal to be tired sometimes but you have to work hard irrespective of how you feel. The following tips will help you survive the workday when you’re tired.

1. Eat if you’re hungry, if you’re not, don’t.

Different people have different reactions to fatigue, some want to eat more and some don’t want to eat at all. If you don’t feel hungry then take a cup of water or more. If you feel hungry, limit yourself to a healthy snack. You can also take energy-boosting vitamins to help you fight the sluggishness that comes with little sleep and fatigue on a workday.

Although caffeine might be the drug of choice of most office workers, taking it carelessly might end up having the opposite effect on you instead. You may be trying to stay awake but too much coffee when you’re tired or fatigued might start giving you headaches. If you keep dozing off during the workday, you can try chewing on something. If you’re watching your weight, choose a healthy snack like baked chips or fruits and chew on them. If you’re not, hit the vending machine and pick some snacks to chew on. (Don’t overdo it though). You can also choose to chew some ice. It’s a trick I discovered on one of my bad workdays too, the cold makes you more alert.

2. Prioritise

Create a today’s to-do list (eg. in your Nozbe Priority list) and arrange them from the most important to the least important things. Remember to set small goals and pursue them.

Make the to-do list specific, realistic and simple. Don’t put tasks together in one task like, “Submit document to Accounting department”. Make sure your tasks are in small components each. Focus on doing the most important things early-on especially if you feel energetic and put the tasks that require less mental energy on the backburner.

3. Go outside

Take a stroll or walk and take a little time to absorb a little vitamin D from the sun. If you have a rooftop at work, go up there and take in fresh air and just allow the sun to touch your skin for about 5-10 minutes.

You can also take a five-minute break and walk to a park close to your office. Being around nature has been known to decrease neural activity in the active part of the brain doing rumination.

4. Conserve your mental energy

Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by other tasks around you, focus on one thing at a time. Pick a specific task on your to-do list, work on it till the end, don’t get distracted by emails or the internet. Remove temptations that can distract you. Don’t leave your phone sound on so the pings of social media won’t distract you, focus on the task at hand. You might want to install anti-distraction programs like SelfControl and Stay on his phone just to block access to social media and other addictive parts of the internet.

Multi-tasking might seem very productive but it can be mentally draining so focus on a taking every moment as it comes. Neuroscience professor, Earl K. Miller even implied that “Multi-tasking is not humanly possible.” So, take one thing at a time. You can also take a power nap of twenty minutes. Ask a coworker to wake you up or use the alarm clock on your phone to shake yourself awake. At the end of the power nap, you should feel refreshed.

5. Exercise

Do some physical exercise especially if your job is one where you have to expend a lot of mental energy. Just walk around the office or take the stairs instead of the elevator and stand a little instead of sitting all day long to stay awake mentally and physically.

You can also do some small amounts of specific exercises such as push-up to stay alert when you’re getting sleepy. Don’t do more than 3-5 sets of push-sup or sit-up at a time to avoid sweating. You can also take the staircase, take a walk on your lunch break to the local park.

6. Don’t be cranky

Yes, sleepless fatigue can make you irritated or frustrated but overcome this feeling. There’s no need to make other people around you feel unhappy just because you feel terrible. Take your crankiness and channel it into something productive that doesn’t require mental energy.

You can also use a deep breathing relaxation technique when someone does something that irritates you, doing this is a lot better than flaring up for something insignificant and feeling embarrassed when you calm down. You can also avoid people or situations that can or will upset you. I discovered that on a bad workday, listening to upbeat music or my favorite music wakes me up and makes me feel alive. It also drives away all other potential distractions as I can listen to music and focus more on the task at hand.

7. Make small-talk with a coworker

Take a 5-10 minutes break from your work and catch up with one of your coworkers. Just a short discussion about something that happened during the week and you’ll feel so much better and more energetic when you get back to your work. Want Nozbe to prove it to you?

Tom Rath and Jim Harter co-authored a book based on a study on the science of human wellbeing in which they shared their discovery about how people need six hours of daily social interaction to have a high sense of well-being.

Some researchers also tested the efficacy of small talk and revealed that the area of the brain that controls focus, planning, prioritization, and even organization (which are vital skills for workplace productivity), improved significantly after a little small talk. So take a few minutes, walk up to a friendly co-worker and talk about something that interests both of you, your families, a tv show you’re both hooked unto and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to work again.


Although the best advice would be for you to sleep well and have a good rest every day to survive and thrive on every workday, since we all have other activities to take care of, having a complete sleep may be difficult to achieve. But any time you find yourself struggling with fatigue on a workday, the 7 tips discussed here will always be at your finger tips to help you overcome and stay in a good mood.


We hope that this short entry exhausts the topic. If you have doubts or additional questions, write them in the comment below or in a message to the customer service team: support@nozbe.com.

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Serena Dorf
Serena Dorf is a content writer and a blogger at EssayOnTime.com. She eagerly shares her writing expertise and productivity tips. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature and learning Swedish. Feel free to connect with her on Google+ and Twitter.