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20 signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep

20 signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep

Life can get busy. Sometimes we’ve got to go for that heart-affirming run, that exciting date with the new guy at the local, or do that all-important paperwork (the utility bill, the NHS forms, those pesky tax rebates). It all adds up and most of the time, it turns out that 24 hours is just not enough for one day’s work (or play…). So what do we sacrifice? The food? God no, quality time with a cheesy pasta bake is essential for sanity. Social time? Nope, because no person is an island. Sleep? Well it’s already midnight and we have to get up at 6am so yep, sleep it is. And then this happens…

1. Your texts look like pocket dials because you can’t spell anymore.

2. Jokes fall flat at your feet because you just can’t get the punch line.

3. You’re all fingers and thumbs and you drop your pen not just once, not just twice but 3 times in a row.

4. You burn your toast in the morning. Toast. You burn TOAST, for goodness sakes. This must end.

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5. You call everyone by the wrong names. Jim, I mean Sam, I mean Josh – until the ‘oi you’s come out.

6. You snap at the post man, barge past the tourists on the sidewalk, yell at the receptionist who can’t help you. At least you held back at your manager’s meeting…

7. You forget your cufflinks, your earrings, your pants. If you’re lucky, it’s dress down Friday.

8. You miss your train because you’ve forgotten how to read time, and what time your train arrives, and what time it even is.

9. You binge eat and overdose on caffeine because you think you can replace hours of sleep with sugary crap and five consecutive coffees. You are wrong.

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10. You wear odd shoes to work and sit down at your desk all day to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that you can’t dress yourself properly.

11. You yawn at your customers, at the cute guy who struck up a conversation on the bus, at your wife as she updates you on her day (which has been interesting, you massive jerk).

12. You leave your phone in toilet cubicles and on tables and spend the day on treasure hunts following the sound of your ringtone.

13. You miss out on opportunities that you just can’t be arsed to take.

14. You watch 3 seasons of a rubbish sitcom on Netflix just because it’s there, and so is the remote.

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15. You make terrible decisions, agree to dates you shouldn’t, organise two events on one Saturday and make a general mess of your week.

16. You spend money on lunches you can’t be bothered to make at home, coffees you’re too lazy to brew and taxis that are way less hassle than buses.

17. You fall asleep on trains and wake up in strange villages in Kent that you’ve never heard of.

18. You get emotional at strange moments and cry in toilets when your friend doesn’t want to share pasta bake for dinner. Who doesn’t like pasta bake any night of the week?! Oh the humanity.

19. You have to write everything down because otherwise you’ll forget. The post it notes on your desk have wiped out a whole forest.

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20. You have a constant cold which sometimes verges on a migraine because your body is making this decision for you – GO TO SLEEP OR I WILL SELF-DESTRUCT. And then you definitely won’t be able to sleep, right?

In short, you’re just not on top form and you’re not yourself when your fuel gauge is hitting empty, when your pants are on your head and your jumper’s inside out. Your nose is running and you’re throwing temper tantrums. It’s just not a good look.

Featured photo credit: normalityrelief via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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