Let’s face it, all of us had no choice but to pull of an all-nighter at least once through our careers. And I am not talking about some all-fun night with beers and a D&D marathon. What we are going to deal with in this post are hardcore QA sessions that go on and on from dusk till dawn.
Sure these sessions are unpleasant, but they are unavoidable at points, especially if you are working as a freelancer or in a startup with a too flexible schedule. Here’s how you should really prepare to all-nighters if you wish to succeed. And remember, from now one your new motto is: sleeping’s for losers.
Start from your environment
QA is something that cannot be carried away without loads of focus and concentration. Start with making your workplace comfortable, eliminating all possible distractions like your TV and unsubscribe from Netflix. Ensure you are only surrounded with what you need and will use.
Make it cold wherever you work. Turn the AC up and your heart rate will improve providing you with a nice boost of energy. Turn the lights on. All of them. The brighter, the better. This way you will manage to trick your body it’s still day time. To some extent, at least, however researches do prove this hack works and boosts productivity at nighttime.
Best way to pull all-nighters is when the entire event is a team activity. If you have any other testers who are involved in the project or are simply available – ask for help and work together. Bouncing ideas off them will pay off tremendously. And staying awake will be a little bit more fun.
Your body needs a touch
Such events as all-night testing sessions need to be planned in advance and involve a lot of preparation, especially when your own body is considered. Here are a few tricks and life hacks that actually work:
- Have a breakfast and make it count. A big, nutritious morning meal followed by a decent lunch and dinner will keep you fueled throughout the night. Sure you can go for appetizers at midnight, but then your blood will move towards your stomach to assist digestion. As a result – less energy for brain and body activity. Who wants that when there’s still a full night ahead of you?
- Take a nap during the day before the session. 1 hour should do the trick as long as you will nap in 8 hours before your usual bed time.
- Work out in several hours before the session. Don’t do lots of weights, focus on light, simple exercise. This will give your bloodstream one more boost and you should be field enough right after you hit the showers.
- Get yourself a hell load of coffee, and fruit to snack on. BTW pepper mint does a great job at keeping people awake. Grab a few packs and chew on it. Don’t go for snacks or energy drinks. Their effect lasts too little and will give your body additional issues to worry about.
Pro tip: drink lots of cold water after your first coffee.
What were your personal all-night experiences? Please share them in the comments!