Things to Give You Comfort
Being comfortable will mean you're more productive. Don't believe us? Try writing a year-end report while sitting in your shorts on a glacier in Norway. We're betting you won't really be able to focus before you contract hypothermia and lose the use of your typing fingers. So, keep an eye on your own personal comfort as the hours grind along. First order of business, the original Snuggie ($7 with free shipping via Prime, a low by $9).
David Wimberly suggests that you also get yourself a comfortable chair. If you're going to be sitting on it for hours on end, why torture yourself with something less-than butt-caressingly comfy? (You do not have to use the expression "butt caressingly soft" when you talk to the chair salesman. It may mean different things to different people.)
Staying hydrated is important for prolonged comfort. Lack of water can lead to all kinds of symptoms like thirst, headaches, dry intestines, and more. Kris Hains chooses SmartWater. It's like water (in that it's mostly water) but has some other stuff added — purportedly to boost your health and what-not.
Both Kris and David note a necessity to set an alarm as a reminder to get up from time to time to avoid cramping and / or something worse (like deep-vein thrombosis). Any alarm clock will do — most phones and computers even have them built in. So just set it for every one to two hours and remember to stand up, do some stretches, walk around, and drink a SmartWater. After a 12-hour shift, your non-cramped legs and back will thank you. Of note: If you are easily freaked out by medical problems, don't Google "deep-vein thrombosis," just know that it's bad. Very bad. And that it's totally worth getting up every hour to avoid.
All of us can get behind the suggestion of a dual-monitor set-up. Twice as much "desktop" space means less clutter, which also means you can easily keep track of the disparate parts of your project. Two giant screens allow us to run several browsers (each with hundreds of tabs), a chat client, calculator, the music player of our choice, and a twitter client, all open at once without any of them getting in the way of the game of solitaire we're playing.
Finally, and most essentially, is the necessary cache of empty calories we know as "snack foods." Nothing gets you through a long patch of slog-work like mindlessly chomping or slurping on something sugary with no nutritional value. And it's the perfect time to indulge yourself, too. See, you can rationalize that you're working extra hard so you deserve a "reward."
Kris Hains has slowly been converting other staff members to YummyEarth Organic Lollipops ($13.73 with free shipping via Subscribe & Save, a low by $7) for years, and rightly so; they're a great way to get a small sugary burst of flavor into your work schedule. (They're also all organic and lots-of-stuff-free, so you don't even have to feel so bad about eating 13 of them in one sitting.)
Lindsay Sakraida opts for the salty over the sweet and champions Goldfish Crackers (12-pack for $13.80 with free shipping prime, a low by $1) as her go-to snack. You can opt to get them in those prepackaged, 100-calorie bags, too, if you're worried about that sort of thing. And they're small and easy to tip right from the bag into your mouth, avoiding finger-crumbs (which can get annoying if your late-night work requires a lot of keyboarding, like ours does).
No matter what you choose, just be sure you have a healthy supply socked away before you start working on your big project. Nothing's worse than taking a break to raid the cupboard only to realized all you have to snack on are croutons and ketchup. (Though we won't say who it happened to, this is a real-life trauma.)
So that's how we keep ourselves going through the Black Friday season! The next time you have an over-nighter that needs pulling, remember our handy tips and you'll get on just fine. Or, you'll have a psychotic break from sleep deprivation. But, most likely, you'll be fine. Yes.