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The Science Of Sleep: 8 Secrets About Sleep And Productivity I Wish I Knew Earlier

The Science Of Sleep: 8 Secrets About Sleep And Productivity I Wish I Knew Earlier

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that sleep is important. It rejuvenates the body, refreshes the mind, and if you go too long without it, it can literally kill you.

1. You approach the end of the work day with more energy

According to studies, if you don’t get enough sleep, you reach exhaustion around 11% faster than people who get enough sleep. That may not sound like a lot but in an 8 hour work day, that’s the difference between getting tired at 4:15 P.M. and getting tired at 5 P.M. That last 45 minutes can be some of the most productive of the day if you’re awake enough to experience it.

2. You react to things better and more quickly

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    After just two days of not getting enough sleep, your reaction speed and attention span are absolutely shot. Not paying attention to something or not reacting to it in a timely manner can happen three times more often after just a couple of days of not sleeping well. When you’re not paying attention or reacting to events in the workplace, you may struggle more with assignments and work in general. It’s not worth staying up late to watch Netflix. Get some sleep.

    3. You won’t put it off til the last minute so often

    Lack of sleep has been linked to procrastination. When you don’t sleep well, your energy levels are low and that means you simply don’t feel like doing the work you normally do. This can tank your productivity and actually make you procrastinate.

    4. You’ll be in a better mood to do work

    There is a mental feeling of well-being when you get enough sleep and it shows when you show up for work. You’re happier, more energetic, and when you sit down at your desk you’re more prepared to tackle the day. It’s psychological but it’s still tangible because there is no doubt that you get more work done when you’re rested and prepared for the day as opposed to getting terrible sleep.

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    5. You will approach jobs like you’re not drunk

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      According to a British medical journal, going 17-19 hours without sleep makes your brain act the same way it would if you had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05 (the same you’d get if a 140-pound woman drank two glasses of wine an hour). If you reach the 24 hour mark, that goes up to 0.10. In some states, that’s not even sober enough to drive. With better sleep comes better clarity and with better clarity comes more productivity.

      6. You will solve problems better

      Famous minds like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison loved their nap times. That’s because they always had a problem to solve and sleeping can help you with that. When you sleep, your brain is still pretty active sorting out things and solving problems. When you wake up, your brain is fresh to tackle new problems and continue to solve old ones.

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      7. You approach work more creatively

      Sometimes it’s how hard you work, it’s how you work. When you’re tired, you may be too zombified to find more productive ways of doing things. After a good night’s rest, you may not just be ready for a hard day’s work but you may approach your problems more creatively which can help you work smarter not harder. Who knew that having more energy could actually save you more energy? Aside from every scientist ever and now you, of course!

      8. You will have a better memory

      Have you ever left your job and halfway home remembered that you forgot to do something? Or been on your way to work and realize your forgot something important at home. When you get good sleep, you’ll likely start remembering those things before you’re in the car on your way to your next destination. Like we discussed, sleeping kind of helps the brain clean its own slate and that means you have less on your mind to push the stuff you need to remember out of the way.

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      productivity

        Sleeping is important. It doesn’t take science to tell you that. Aside from the dozens of health benefits, sleep can also help make you more productive and help you enjoy your job more. The bottom line advise here is the same as it always is. Get more sleep!

        Featured photo credit: Incredible Things via incrediblethings.com

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        Joseph Hindy

        A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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        1 The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness 2 How to Stop Being Passive and Start Getting What You Want 3 How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement 4 5 Less-Known Reasons Why Less is More 5 10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

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        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

        The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

        The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

        Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

        Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

        The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

        Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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        Program Your Own Algorithms

        Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

        Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

        By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

        How to Form a Ritual

        I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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        Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

        1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
        2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
        3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
        4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

        Ways to Use a Ritual

        Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

        1. Waking Up

        Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

        2. Web Usage

        How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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        3. Reading

        How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

        4. Friendliness

        Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

        5. Working

        One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

        6. Going to the gym

        If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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        7. Exercise

        Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

        8. Sleeping

        Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

        8. Weekly Reviews

        The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

        Final Thoughts

        We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

        More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

         

        Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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