My Blog

What Constitutes Working Like a Dog?

The baby boomers in the audience would recognise the lyrics “I should be sleeping like a log!” and will be associating it with the Beatles iconic song, ‘A hard day’s night.’

That’s an unusual title for a song, I think you’ll agree.

We all know that feeling of working through an all-nighter, gaining the sense of achievement when we finally down tools and grab some shut-eye.

In 2008 I was famously quoted as saying, “Sleep is overrated,” as I contested the General Election here in New Zealand. I was working a 9 to 5 role as Party President — that’s 9am to 5am in case you were wondering!

Yet I seemed to survive that season only only 4 hours sleep per night.

A recent article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) indicated that Doctors should be paying more attention to the effects of nutrition on the well-being of their patients. The article advocated regular breaks and naps to help recharge the body.

Whilst I concur with their recommendations, I would advocate additional ‘mental health’ breaks as well.

Here are 5 suggestions for you to ponder on as you burn the midnight oil.

  1. Walk away from your computer (or whatever you were working on) and switch the TV on for a short while. Watch 15 minutes of programming that will distract you from your mentally draining task. (And if TV isn’t appropriate, jump on to YouTube instead! )
  2. Take a short walk outside. The sharp change in temperature could be the tonic that your brain needed to recharge itself.
  3. Try power napping. Set your smartphone to sound an alarm and lie down and close your eyes as the 15 or 20 minute countdown begins.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration accounts for a large loss of concentration. Counter that issue by taking matters into your own hands.
  5. Work in 15 minute segments. Like an athlete doing circuit training, introduce ‘working cycles’ that allow you a brief recovery period during the night. This might just be the what your body needs to allow you to gain your second wind.

Try some of these suggestions and see whether you will find that working like a dog will make you feel all right!

Nsanz GSF