Deadlines are looming. The launch is next week. A client is always on your back. A crisis must be tackled - sharpish. There are all sorts of reasons we may find ourselves clocking in extra hours at work. Yet unlike computers, we cannot be productive indefinitely.
If we ignore the signals our body sends us (tiredness, a sore back, twitching eyes), the result is inevitable: burn-out. We will hit a wall and be simply unable, mentally and physically, to give any more. It is totally unnecessary to push your body this far - even for the sake of your own personal passion project.
To mitigate the effects of long hours, you have two important weapons in your arsenal: rest and nutrition.
Here are four tasty tips to help you with the latter:
1. Get organised
You may be under pressure, but it is crucial to use a few hours to do a solid shop and food prep. It will save you time in the long run.
2. Mix and match
Be smart about what you prepare. Make components that you can use across multiple meals. For example, cook five chicken breasts in one go. Use one straight away, save two for salads or sandwiches at lunch, and use the remainders in stew or to make a soup more substantial. Another good tip is to make a large batch of a basic tomato sauce that you can use for a variety of meals.
3. Think fresh.
As well as relying on pre-cooked components, make sure you consume plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. As snacks, you might not feel like they fill you up or satisfy your cravings, but they nourish your brain and body and keep you going longer. You are what you eat.
4. Order sensibly
If you do need to order into the office or grab something on the go, try to make a choice that will leave you feeling satisfied but not overstuffed. Restaurant food is typically indulgent and can leave you feeling sluggish. How often do you feel dynamic after a trip to the curry house? Try sushi for an energising but satisfying option.