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The Secret to Beating Jet Lag

The Secret to Beating Jet Lag

Jet lag: the bane of any traveller’s life. If you’re a frequent traveller or dealing with jet lag at the moment then do we have a secret for you! Ben Apple, creator of 30 Day Life Upgrade, shares the ultimate secret to beating jet lag:

This past week I flew from Shanghai to Nashville, a trip that I make about once a year that leaves me in half-sleep zombie mode for the first couple days after arrival. This time I decided to figure out how I could defeat the evils of jet lag and arrive in the States feeling fresh and ready to go take on the days ahead of me.  I’ve read all of the classic advice (no help at all…) like “sleep on the plane”, “drink water” and “don’t drink caffeine”.  These are clearly not really useful tips, so I did a little digging and found a genuinely useful trick, backed with an actual scientific study. With a little bit of research I learned the tricks to get your body quickly aligned with its new time zone.

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Why do we experience jet lag?

Our bodies run on circadian rhythms that are roughly 24-hour cycles and typically aligned with our environment and whether it is light or dark outside.  These cycles affect how awake we are at certain periods during the day, so when we cross time zones due to travel, the shift throws our bodies out of whack.

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What’s the secret to beating jet lag?

Since light plays such an important role in our circadian rhythms, we can use light to cause phase shifts in these rhythms that will reduce or eliminate jet lag.  The trick lies in knowing whether to seek light or avoid light and knowing when to do this.  To seek light means that you can either go outside into the sunlight or use a light box, and to avoid light means staying inside or wearing light blocking glasses.  Knowing when to seek or avoid light comes from a number of factors, such as the number of time zones crossed and the direction of travel.  To make things simple, check out Jet Lag Rooster, a site that makes all the calculations for you, and lets you know when to seek and avoid light to minimize jet lag.  Unfortunately, due to the timing on this particular trip, I had problems using the schedule provided.  Although I wasn’t able to follow the schedule perfectly, I was able to make things a bit easier by making some small changes to avoid light by using that time for quick naps.  Just taking the opportunity to get in a short power nap during this time was really refreshing and helped put me back on track.

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Try it out and let me know how it works for you on your next trip!

Ben Apple
Hi!  My name is Ben, and I’m exploring ways to upgrade my life in 30 day chunks.  The plan is simple: I will choose something to do or learn for a 30 day time period, study the topic and dissect it, then share my findings and results.  These 30 day explorations will allow me to venture into new territory in my own life and connect me with others that are doing the same.  If you’re interested in suggesting new topics and areas to explore or simply interested in upgrading your own life, get in touch and let me know!

Better Sleep – Day 15 – The Ultimate Secret To Beating Jet Lag | 30 Day Life Upgrade

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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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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