By Rachel Shapiro
So you procrastinated for too long and now you have an essay due tomorrow that you haven’t started yet. You know what that means: it’s time for an all-nighter. Here’s how to get through your all-nighter in one piece.
Pace Your Coffee Intake
The caffeine in coffee gives you a boost of energy, so you may think that you should drink as much of it as possible before you begin your all-nighter. But if you drink four cups of coffee at once, you’re going to crash hard in a few hours. Instead of gulping down a litre of coffee, have a mug right before you start your essay, then another mug a couple of hours after that, and another a few hours after that, and so on until morning. This will help you stay more alert, and it will also delay your inevitable crash until after you’ve turned your essay in.
You’re in for a long night, but you can make the night feel shorter if you set mini-goals. If you have, for example, a 2000 word essay, you can say that after every 500 words you’ll get to have a bite of chocolate or a handful of crisps. Breaking the paper into small chunks, and rewarding yourself after you finish one of those chunks, will make the night much less painful.
It’s tempting to try and write your entire essay in one go, but if you do that your paper will probably be an incoherent mess. Instead of typing furiously, take a short, five to ten minute break after you hit each one of your goals. Take a short walk around your flat, or go refill your coffee mug. This short break will help clear your head so you can have more focus for the next part of your essay.
Don’t Edit Right Away
If you have any time left after you finish your essay, walk away from it for a bit before you edit. Take a short nap or a shower, and let your head clear for a bit. If you try and edit straight after finishing your paper, you’ll be too mentally exhausted to really notice what you’re looking at. Because of that, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss obvious typos. Looking away from the computer screen for a few minutes will help you edit more efficiently.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the night and you’re not going to fail your class. Reward yourself by taking a nice, long nap. You’ve earned it.