I have been some combination of mother/teacher/grad student/small business owner/designer/maker/writer/novelist for a while now and let me tell you, I'm beat.
Sometimes, I fall asleep as I'm writing and yet somehow keep typing, resulting in some interesting dream transcriptions (though it isn't so interesting if you are trying to finish a term paper or a novel).
I have found a certain system to help beat back the drooping eyelids that I thought I would share with you, especially since this is November and National Novel Writing Month is now in full swing.
1. Eat well and drink lots of water during the day. Seriously. Common sense and yet a lot of us skip meals or get dehydrated at work. Avoid this at all costs.
2. Around 5 PM, ingest something that will give you a boost. A banana, a cup of coffee, whatever works for you but do it around sunset.
3. Vary your liquid intake at night. Don't just drink coffee. Mix it up and you'll get better results.
4. Go for a walk. Not a long walk, but about a 15 minute brisk walk.
5. Take a shower and scrub your body well. Gets the blood flowing.
6. Stretch or do yoga. Try to include a little something aerobic in your routine.
7. Don't eat the same snacks every night. Chocolate will help you stay awake only if it is new to your system. So rotate your snacks, particularly those sweets you might rely on to keep you going.
8. If all else fails, go to sleep. And don't feel bad about it. Sleep is necessary for recharging your mind and body. You might get some good ideas from your dreams or be able to figure out a plot problem when you wake up with a fresh brain. Feeling guilty about your slumber will only drag you down and, guess what, make you more tired. You don't need that.
I hope this helps those of you who struggle like me to get as much done in the hours around midnight. If you have anything you would like to add to the list, please share in the comments. I am always looking for new tricks.