If you travel for work, or even if you find yourself heading straight back to the office the day after a holiday that involved a serious long-haul flight, you’ll know what an enemy jet lag is to your productivity. Particularly if you’ve traveled in an eastward direction, feelings of tiredness and irritability can be compounded by disruption to your sleep, resulting in days of staring at the computer screen getting significantly less achieved than you would when on top of your game. It’s the kind of thing that can put you off travel altogether, but the truth is, as we Productivity Ninjas know, you need to take a break from time to time – and jet lag can be managed without recourse to chemical drugs.
To negotiate jet lag, it is good to know what you’re up against. You’ve probably heard about our body’s circadian rhythm – the body clock, our daily cycle which regulates our physical and mental routines. Travelling across time zones – particularly when you start to creep past that seventh or eighth zone – confuses your system, which responds to the light around you. If you’ve ever seen how baffled birds look during a solar eclipse, you’ll get the idea. For these reasons, dealing with jet lag is not especially suited to a bombardment of drugs – rather, you need to trick your body back into a rhythm that works.
There are a number of ways to achieve this, but you can begin by forcing yourself to keep to the new time zone you’re in – go to bed at the proper time, even if it means staying up when you feel drowsy, and spend the daylight hours outside so your body’s sensors can respond to the light. After this, it is a matter of looking after your quality of sleep and the well-being of your body in such a way as to maximize your recovery.
For a precise list of tips on how to do so, check out this infographic which breaks down the best natural ways to prevent jet lag from destroying your productivity.
By Amit Raj