A Productivity Ninja constantly in the heat of the battle will get killed in the end, so one of the ‘ways of the ninja’ is Preparedness. This month, we draw attention to the things that we do outside of doing our work that help our productivity.
We spend a third of our lives sleeping, and we know how important getting enough sleep is, but did you know there is such a thing as ‘sleep hygiene’? There are a variety of simple things you can do to improve your sleep habits and give your body (and mind) the best chance of getting rest.
1. Have a fixed bedtime and wake up time. This is an essential component of good sleep habits. Varying bedtime or wake up times can give you miniature, unnecessary bouts of jet lag. The body gets used to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed.
2. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Strenuous exercise within the 2 hours before bedtime, however, can decrease your ability to fall asleep.
3. Leave your worries outside the bedroom. Some people like to mull things over in the evenings. This can generate a “repetitive loop” that blocks sleep. Avoiding this allows your head to hit the pillow empty, rather than full of fret.
4. Reserve your bed for sleep. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room. Let your body “know” that the bed is associated with sleeping.
5. Establish a pre-sleep ritual. A little bit of reading, a warm bath, a hot drink… a bed time routine can work wonders in helping signal the body that sleep is imminent.
BREAKING OUT OF CONNECTIVITY
Connectivity addiction is a common issue we discover when we’re running workshops. Many people find it hard to switch off. But don’t be tempted to stay connected while you’re away. Below are a few helpful tips on how to truly and quickly disconnect while you’re away-
1. Clarify before you go! Leave 2 days free in your calendar immediately before you go away. Get your email inbox down to zero, delegate what you can, and leave what can be left for a couple of weeks. This wrap up time will allow you to make a great list of priorities for when you return, giving you peace of mind that the world won’t end just because you didn’t turn up at the office for a couple of weeks.
2. Checklist it! Make notes of what needs doing before you go away. With a lot of these things, it’s all the thinking and remembering that takes mental energy and causes stress. So keeping this as a checklist means it’ll be so much easier next time you go away.
3. Capture and Collect while you’re away. If you’re one of those people who spends half the time on holiday still with their mind racing at 100 miles per hour, don’t just let it happen. Take a small pad and pen, and capture all those great ideas. Once you get them out of our brain and onto paper, you will find it much easier to relax.
4. The only mentions of ‘check in’ or ‘desks’ should be at the airport. Don’t try to check in on progress with colleagues. If you’ve truly allowed yourself 2 days of good, uninterrupted thinking time before you leave, you should have everything delegated.
Remember, productivity and connectivity are not the same thing. Resist your addiction to being connected. And in the same vein, turn off email and internet on your phone – it will help you enjoy the view, and you’ll be better rested on your return.
Worrying about the email backlog in our absence can stop us from truly relaxing. However, help is at hand. Bring us in to run a workshop or buy the ‘How to be a Productivity Ninja‘ book! Also, check out this guest blog post by Matthew Brown sharing some interesting discoveries he made after a completely email-free holiday. Some of the stats might really surprise you.