Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to get everything done? Are you stretched too thin? Do you ever find it difficult to focus, or does your productivity start to drop after lunch? I get it, because I have been there. Stay with me, I’ll give away my best secrets.
Life tends to be fast-paced, and each day goes by whether we’re ready or not. Yes, I have been guilty of staying up into the wee hours to complete a project, or finish one last task, but I always end up paying the price. It does not have to be like that!!!
Are you ready for a large dose of truth?
There are few things that make me cringe more than hearing “I don’t have time to sleep” or “sleep is a luxury” because here’s the truth: SLEEP IS A NECESSITY! That’s right, we would actually die without sleep. Ever wonder why sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture? Unless you have a child that needs care throughout the night, you don’t need to torture yourself to get everything done.
The idea of sacrificing sleep as a way to come up with additional time to accomplish more tasks is a common misconception, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. We have all heard people say they can function at their full potential with minimal sleep, and that may be true if they are referring to the very short-term, like the morning after limited sleep. However, it is simply not possible to perform well at anything long-term without adequate sleep.
I try to sleep 8-9 hours every night, because that’s what works best for my mind and body. (Ideally it would be the same amount of time each night, and the same hours, but apparently my personal sleep schedule is not a priority for airlines, the bug that’s going around, and various other occasional conflicts.) No, I will never apologize or feel guilty about getting plenty of sleep, because I know I’m far more productive when fully rested. No, I don’t just have more time to spare. Everyone has responsibilities. Between work, school, parenting, and everything else, sleep is the only way I am able to keep up (most of the time).
When I’m rested and feeling well, my daily tasks are completed one after another, in a fraction of the time the same tasks would take after a night of limited sleep. What’s more, my quality of work improves substantially with quality sleep, and I don’t make nearly as many mistakes. By the way, mistakes tend to create more work and less time.
The bottom line is that if you sacrifice sleep to accomplish more, you aren’t just sacrificing comfort. In reality, you’re actually sacrificing productivity, quality, health, and happiness. This means you’re sacrificing your education, career, business, friends, and family. Wait, aren’t those the reasons you were sacrificing sleep in the first place?!
Sleep deprivation is not a way to prove that you’re tough or dedicated. Having the discipline to prioritize appropriately is tough, and it takes dedication. Take care of yourself so you are able to perform at your highest level long-term, and try not to compare yourself to others.
Of course there are situations that are unavoidable, but hopefully those situations don’t come around too often. If you are getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis, those occasions where you do have to sacrifice sleep for something else will not have as devastating of an impact.
Be tough, be dedicated, and find the discipline to take care of yourself on a regular basis. You will be amazed at how much it helps every other aspect of your life!