Due to the high pace world we live in many of us often choose to forgo sleep in order to get more done. We do this because many of us have the misconception that the more time we spend on a task translates to more productivity. Or simply put, more time = more productivity. Yet, is this really true? Take the following question for example:
“To meet your deadlines do you find yourself running for days, weeks, or months on end jacked up on caffeine and no sleep?”
How many of you can relate to this example? This question is just one example of many that many of us do to try and squeeze more out of a day to be more productive. Although, we can do this for short periods of time, as our bodies can adjust for short periods. If we couldn’t, then new parents would lose their minds, due to the sleep denervation of raising a newborn.
However, trying to do this for the long term this is not sustainable. In other words the longer we push ourselves without adequate rest, the more harm we are doing. Not just to our bodies, but to our minds as well. Which ultimately leads to us falling behind. Missing that next deadline, or failing altogether.
What do the experts say about sleep?
Over the years there have been many studies on the significance of sleep versus a person’s well-being. So much so, that when you go in for a physical, most Doctors would recommend that you get a full night’s rest every day to improve your health. Why is that?
Besides the typical answer that it is a way for our bodies to recharge, sleep also contributes to other things like mental and psychological health. Thus, without rest, we would not only tire, feel rundown, or get sick, but we would also have problems focusing, dealing with stress, develop anxiety or any number of other issues stemming from the lack of regular sleep.
So what’s is the answer?
For starters, no perfect solution will work for everyone. That’s because not all of us function on the same level of sleep. Yet, there are some simple steps we all can take to improve our productivity without losing sleep over it.
Determine your peak productivity times
For starters, studies have shown that we each have different periods where our brains operate at their peak performance. While for some, it’s early in the morning just after they wake up. Then for others, it could be mid-day or late afternoon. So begin by taking stock of when you’re performing at your best. Then schedule your most important tasks around this time frame.
Schedule time to sleep
Next, take a look at your calendar, is too full and you can’t seem to find the time to sleep? Then why not schedule your sleep. Just adding periods of rest to your schedule can make a huge a difference. For instance, it can help you recognize when you are overloading your schedule with too much work. Therefore treating sleep like a job has the benefit that you will be less likely to overload you reschedule and forget to sleep. Thus, in turn, will help you develop some better sleeping habits. Or at least have the side benefit of reorganizing your schedule so that you can get some well-deserved rest.
There’s an App for that
Finally, if you are already at the breaking point or think you don’t have time to try what we have suggested thus far, then why not download an app to do the thinking for you? In the age of the smartphone, tablets, and smart watches there is an app for just about everything, including helping us sleep. So if you don’t mind giving yourself over to technology, then I suggest checking out what apps are available on your devices. To get you started here are a few apps I use:
In conclusion, just remember that there are the only so many hours in a day and some of those hours should be used for rest. Otherwise, you may find yourself burning the candle at both ends and eventually burning out completely. Therefore, taking a simple step like adding more sleep to your schedule could lead to more productivity, not less. So, when you next find yourself struggling to meet deadlines before you reach for that next hit of caffeine ask yourself when was the last time you had a good nights sleep? If it’s been a while, then get some rest and see how things improve from there. Also, do not forget to check out our other articles here. You never know what else you might find?