Do you think the only way you can finish your work is to cut back on sleep and either stay up late or wake up early?
Cutting back on your sleep hours is never a good idea, especially if you want to be well rested, refreshed and productive the next day.
Here are five ways that can help you be more productive in your daily routine–without losing sleep!
During the day…
1. Learn a new skill.
Even if you are extremely savvy at doing something (such as using that writing app you’ve had on your laptop for ages), you can always learn something new to help you increase your productivity.
Instead of staying up late trying to figure out how to reformat a document the only way you know how, why not learn how to do it properly, correctly and in less time? You’ll have to invest some time to learn your new skill or skills, but your hard work will be well worth it.
Watch a video tutorial, read a book or write a blog post on your subject to learn as much as you can and say “bye-bye” to those endless late-night hours trying to figure out how to do something.
2. Choose your method of communication wisely.
Waiting for a response to an urgent question can be draining and time-consuming. Why tack on more time to your workday than necessary?
Consider whether you are using the best possible method of communication for your needs. While emailing a colleague to ask them a question might be second nature to you, is there an easier and faster way to get a response? Could you call your coworker directly on the phone? Send a text? Walk over to their workspace?
Similarly, if you know it takes you a long time to write an email and you know you can communicate your message much more quickly over the phone, why not make the call to save yourself some late-night waiting time?
3. Conquer hidden distractions.
Minimizing distractions is always a good idea, but have you ever considered that there might be several hidden distractions in your regular work routine? Left unchecked, these distractions can multiply quickly and cost you precious time and energy.
Let’s say you’re working in your home office when your dog, Fluffy, bounces into the room with his chew toy and begs you to play with him. You happily put down your work for a moment and play a little game of catch with Fluffy, only to realize thirty minutes have passed by. Yikes!
Finding hidden distractions in your day does take a bit of detective work, but once you uncover them, you have a better shot at neutralizing them (you might want to shut your office door as you work or put Fluffy in the basement) and beefing up your ability to get things done during the day.
During the evening…
4. Set the scene for sleep.
Is your bedroom a comfortable and relaxing room? Or is it a hive of electronic activity filled with blinking, buzzing smartphones and laptops? It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when there’s a lot of temptation to do work! Be sure to clear your bedroom of any and all work-related devices and materials.
Ever have an idea pop into your head as you are nodding off? Keep a notepad and pen by your bedside for all those random ideas, thoughts and musings. You can easily jot down thoughts and get them out of your head, without having to worry whether or not you’ll remember the item in the morning.
5. Set a regular bedtime.
Finally, put a stop to working those unnecessary late night hours; set a regular bedtime and stick to it! Is it necessary to work on that non-urgent project until you finish it at 2 in the morning? Can you work on your project the following day when you are wide-awake and refreshed (and no longer tired) or later in the week when you have more time? Know how many hours you need to get a good night’s rest and strive to hit your bedtime on a regular basis for some much needed rest.