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5 Bad Habits Of Insomniacs, And How To Change Them

5 Bad Habits Of Insomniacs, And How To Change Them

When you just can’t get to sleep it can be tempting to fill your awake time with distractions- many of which are likely to keep you awake even longer. Often the most helpful things to do are not things you actually feel like doing! Your automatic habits are probably going to make you feel wired, stressed and make it even harder for you to unwind and drift off to sleep.

Here’s 5 bad habits that all insomniacs try at some point, why they’re not a good idea, and what to try instead:

1) Playing games on your phone

First, staring at a bright screen is unlikely to send anyone to sleep, but really, most games these days are designed to hook you in and get you to keep playing. It becomes harder and harder to pull yourself away, even when you do begin to actually feel tired.

If you’re a game addict and you’re thinking of playing for a bit when you’re struggling to sleep, try giving yourself a time-limit. Play until your time is up and then try to sleep again.

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2) Scrolling through newsfeeds

Scrolling through Facebook, Instragram, Twitter or Pinterest might seem like a good idea to help you get to sleep but, like with playing games, this is actually more likely to keep you awake. All it takes is for you to click on one alluring hashtag and you’ll get whisked down a rabbit-hole scrolling through endless pretty pictures and interesting stories.

We’ve all been there.

As already mentioned, bright screens are not conducive to a natural sleep state. If you’re looking for a way to get a bit of external stimulation that will help you wind down, try reading a book- preferably the paper kind.

3) Thinking about things that you can’t change

Stressing and worrying about things which have already happened or about situations or circumstances that you can’t change is a wasted use of energy. You’re just causing yourself to suffer unnecessarily.

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You’re lying in bed, waiting to sleep, and then you get sucked into the trap of thinking about things that you have no power to change. You analyse everything; you over-think all the scenarios from the week prior that you wish had gone differently, playing out your preferred storylines and thinking of witty comebacks that completely eluded you at the time.

When you have no power to change a situation, the best thing that you can do is to accept it and make peace with it so that it no longer has the ability to stress you out.

4) Contacting people

Lying awake at night might seem like the perfect time to see what your ex is up to or to tell your bestie what you really think of her new love interest. Heed my advice: If you are thinking about saying something that you’re not one hundred percent sure of, then DON’T DO IT.

If you wouldn’t say it in the morning then don’t say it in the middle of the night.

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Sometimes insomnia is like being drunk. It strips back our inhibitions, boosts our confidence, and distorts our ability to adequately assess risks. Your friends are probably asleep. Don’t hassle them.

If you really feel like reaching out to someone, try this instead: write your message into a note-taking app but vow not to send it until the morning. Re-read it in the morning and send it then, only if it feels like the right thing to do after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

5) Dreaming of the future

It can be great fun to indulge in fantasies about the future, making plans for your dream house, travel destinations and career success. It’s easy to get carried away and let your fantasizing keep you awake all night.

The best way to pull yourself out of the future, and get yourself into a restful state is to use mindfulness to bring you into the present moment. Focus on your breath and observe your thoughts rather than being absorbed into them.

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Follow these tips and you’ll be asleep in no time!

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/timothykrause/ via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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