Advertising
Advertising

How To Fake It Until You Make It While Running On No Sleep

How To Fake It Until You Make It While Running On No Sleep

Sleep deprivation is all-too-common these days, whether because of a demanding job or a new member of the family who doesn’t keep the same schedule as you (or both). My daughter didn’t sleep through the night for two and a half years, so I learned a lot about how to get things done with little sleep. If you’re feeling overworked, tired and unhappy, some of these strategies should help you fake it until you make it to a place in which you’re getting more regular sleep.

Take Care Of Yourself

It can feel impossible to do the things you need to do to take care of yourself — like eating well, working out or even just getting down time — when you’re working constantly with little sleep, but it’s essential.

The more you can do to keep yourself healthy despite your crazy schedule the better off you’ll be. When you’re eating well you’re giving yourself the fuel you need to keep your brain and body functioning.

Advertising

Exercise, even if it’s just a brief walk outside or a plank or sit-up challenge, will give you a goal outside of work to reach for, not to mention the endorphin boost you get from moving your body.

Keeping up with your physical appearance is important, too. Any new mom will tell you a good hot shower can be sanity saving. It’s the same for people who are lacking sleep for other reasons.

Carve Out Time Just For You

It’s super important to have down time, no matter how small an amount. Taking a mental and a physical break from working and from the workplace is a key to happiness when you’re feeling a lot of stress from your job.

Advertising

It might not be possible to get away for a full day, but even if you could carve out half an hour or an hour when your work is done to spend time on a hobby you enjoy, read a book or just do nothing, that will give your brain time to re-energize and remind you of things that are important to you outside of work.

Get Perspective

It’s important to remember your current work situation is demanding and unpleasant but also temporary. Just like all kids eventually sleep through the night, no job can stay demanding forever.

Projects come to an end; busy season does not last all year. If you can fake it until you make it to the end of whatever is causing your overwork now, you’ll be so much more grateful for the time you have when it’s over.

Advertising

One strategy I like to use when I’m feeling overworked is to write out things I want to do when I have more time. It could be a trip with my family, a book I want to read or a project I want to finish. Thinking about those things and looking forward to the time when I’ll have time gives me an extra push of motivation when I feel like giving up.

Remember Why You’re Doing It

Finally, remember you chose to do this project or take this job for a reason. What’s the end goal? Whether it’s a raise, a promotion, the promise of more time off in the future or even the prestige that comes with having accomplished something major, remember why it is you’re making the sacrifices that you are.

Having a really demanding job, working all the time and not getting enough rest is really hard. Taking time to remember why you’re doing it and what’s in it for you is a great way to keep moving forward feeling sharp and productive even when all you want to do is take a nap.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: amirjina via photopin via flickr.com

More by this author

Sarah White

Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

Hobbies are Good for You: How to Find One That Fits Your Personality You’re Paid to Work, Not to Endure Verbal Abuse. Don’t Be Intimidated How to Make People Read Your Emails (and Letters) and Reply Every Time How To Get Rid Of Oily Skin: 10 Effective DIY Facial Mask Ideas How to Negotiate Skilfully to Get What You Want All the Time

Trending in Productivity

1 How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life 2 Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That) 3 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 4 10 Practical Ways to Improve Your Time Management Skills 5 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

Advertising

  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

Advertising

2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

Advertising

  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

Advertising

Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

More to Help You Achieve More in Less Time

Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next