Self-care, rest, and sleep are the unsung heroes of productivity. Often these three basic human needs are brushed aside in our fast paced world because they don’t correlate directly to output.
And because their connection to our productivity is not very obvious, they are the first things to go when someone finds that they have more tasks than time on their hands. And this often happens in two ways – one, we cut back on sleep by staying up later, and getting up earlier, so we can get things done. And two, stress creeps in after hours and makes it tricky for some people to actually fall asleep.
I often think, after a night of terrible sleep, that there’s definitely a reason why sleep deprevation is a used as a form of torture. And research shows that for every hour of sleep that you miss out on, you lose at least two hours of productivity. That’s huge! Not getting enough good quality sleep leads you to make more mistakes, affects your mood, focusing ability, memory and how you tackle problems. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this but it’s worth pointing out that when you miss out on sleep, you work less efficiently and with less energy – so ta da! Tasks take longer!
Several of my clients have needed to evaluate their relationship with sleep. In these discussions we’ve covered:
- Creating a nighttime ritual that’s relaxing and tailored to their unique situation;
- Cutting back on screen time and exposing themselves to less blue light before bed;
- Stopping drinking caffeine eight to fourteen hours before sleeping; and
- Thinking of their bedroom as a cave.
Productivity is not found at the bottom of a coffee cup. And nor is sleeping something to do when you are dead. Sleep is one of the best and simplest ways of exchanging your time for energy.
Reflect this week on your own sleep needs. Are you getting enough each night? A question you can ask yourself is ‘do I feel I need to catch up on sleep on the weekend?’ If the answer is yes, you need to take a look at the above points ASAP and rejig your relationship with sleep.
PS: I’ve found that having magnesium powder 45 minutes before going to sleep helps me relax and get a better night’s sleep. Try it and see if it works for you.