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How To Prevent Jet Lag Easily

How To Prevent Jet Lag Easily

So, you’ve spent months planning and looking forward to a holiday, only to have some of your precious vacation days impeded by jet lag. More like, jet drag, am I right? (Sorry, I know that was terrible!)

If you want to get the most out of your overseas holiday, try some of these handy tricks to avoid feeling like a zombie when you should be having fun.

1. Prepare Thyself

This will only really work if you have the time and patience to do it. If so, read on!

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In the fortnight leading up to your flight, start moving your eating and sleeping times by an hour or so every few days. Doing this will give your body the chance to slowly adapt to its new time zone.

2. Set Your Watch

Start getting used to the time difference early by setting your watch, clocks and phones to the current time of your destination. It will make it less of a shock once you get there and will hopefully help you to start adapting your sleeping and eating habits earlier.

3. Stay Hydrated

Planes are constantly pumping dry air into their cabins, which will cause you to dehydrate. If this wasn’t already bad enough, dehydration makes jet lag worse. Make sure you drink plenty of water both on the flight and during the days leading up to it. Although you may be tempted by juice, tea and sodas, make sure that water is your primary source of fluids.

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4. Act Like You’re Already There

Regardless of what time it is on your flights, start behaving the way you would if you were at your destination. This shouldn’t be hard to calculate if you already changed your watch or phone settings. If it’s daytime there, try your best to stay awake. Coffee is your friend, so long as you don’t overindulge. If it’s night time, try to sleep, even if no one else is. Invest in some earplugs and an eye mask to aid you in your endeavor. If you have access to individual air conditioning, turn it up because the cold will help you fall asleep faster.

I would also recommend attempting to correlate your meals in the same way, although this may be difficult to match up with serving times on the plane.

5. Use Sleeping Pills…Wisely

If you really have trouble sleeping on a plane it may be worth trying sleeping pills, but do so with caution. They can cause a near-comatose state where your body will not have much, if any, natural movement. This can be dangerous because immobility can lead to fatal blood clots. Be sure to speak to a physician before buying sleeping pills. Also be extra careful to drink plenty of fluids if you do take pills because some are anti-histamine variations that can dehydrate you, thus making jet lag worse.

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6. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

I know I said to have a coffee to stay awake if needed, but you must keep it within reason. Having too much will dehydrate you further and also make your body even more confused once you land and have to adapt to the new time. Alcohol is also a bad idea, not only because it dehydrates you further, but its effects are stronger in the atmosphere of a plane. Do you really want to deal with an accidental hangover as well as jet lag? Hell, no!

7. Take a Shower

If you have a chance to take a shower during stop overs, definitely do it. We all know how magical a nice, hot shower can feel, but they’re also genuinely beneficial. It helps to get your muscles and circulation going again, which will make you feel a whole lot better on the next leg of your journey. Many long-haul pilots take showers to combat the general effects of jet lag after a long flight.

8. Get Outside

If you arrive during the day, be sure to get straight outside. Even if you’re feeling tired, getting out and about will help to energize you.

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9. Don’t Go to Bed Immediately

Unless you arrive at night time, avoid going straight to bed. I know that getting some immediate rest is tempting, but if the sun is still shining you need to try and stay awake. Letting yourself drift off will just make it all the more difficult for your body to adapt to the time difference. It will also take longer.

10. Exercise

Once your vacation has officially started, try doing some exercise in the morning and early evening. Working out before you start your day will get your blood flowing and the subsequent endorphins will help you to feel awake and energized. Exercising in the early evening (not right before bed) will also help you feel more tired once it’s time to hit the hay.

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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