We all do it sometimes. . . We want a day to consist out of more than 24 hours and that’s why we think we can solve this particular problem by working a bit longer. Maybe even until late at night. That deadline is not going to wait around for me, I am too busy and there are other things that I have to do.
Can I ask you something? How do you feel the next day? Are you feeling energetic, are you ready to be productive? In most cases (unless you drank a whole pot of coffee) the answer will be no. Based on my own experience I can tell you that you probably had to drag yourself out of bed and that you were literally living for every possible break or you ended up creating your own breaks. I started to think less seriously about the tasks ahead of me and at the end of the day I hadn’t achieved anything… except maybe that I was proud that I survived that particular day. If we want to be productive and achieve our goals without stress we need to avoid this way of life as much as possible.
The answer for a productive and successful life is simple! Go to bed on time and sleep. Get those suggested 8 hours in, get up early and start while you are fresh. We get similar advice when we learn how to drive a car. What is one of the things they teach us? Don’t get behind the wheel when you are tired. Why not? Because your response time is affected and therefore you don’t have the time to react, within traffic, on changing circumstances. Your chances of being involved in an accident increase. Use the same example for the rest of your life, goals, dreams… everything… Are you sleeping through your life or are you the one that takes advantage of all the possibilities that are coming your way because you are well rested? Do you anticipate change and do you have enough time to respond to it so that the changes can work in your advantage?
I know that we are all different and that we live/work in different ways. I didn’t say this was going to be easy. It’s something that we have to work on (if it isn’t already a habit). Work hard because your future is on the line.
What can you do?
- Make a schedule and determine at what time you have to go to bed to get around 7/8 hours of sleep. Talk about it with your partner so that you can work on it together or agree with a group of friends that this is your new resolution and go for it. Keep each other informed and support one another. You know that something becomes a habit when you do it 30 times.
- Know which activities make you tired before going to bed and which activities stimulate your brain. You want to fall asleep relaxed.
- It can happen that like me, you think too much and because of that you can’t fall asleep. Make the agreement with yourself that after a certain time you won’t think about those things anymore. You can’t do anything about it now anyway and tomorrow you will be refreshed and you will probably have new insights.
- Put all the electronic devices like mobile phones and iPads out of your reach. It’s too tempting to use when you think that you can’t sleep anyway and hours later you would have missed your opportunity again to get a good night sleep.
- Don’t eat anything before going to sleep. Your body will be more occupied with digesting the food you ate than with sleeping. As most of you know, sleeping also means recovering, so to a certain degree we are literally new people after sleeping. So put away those late night snacks.
- The general advice is that you keep up with your routine every day of the week. This way your body is prepared for what’s coming and there will be less of a danger that you will leave your routine. There are of course exceptions like parties etc. Make sure that after that one exception you immediately get back to your routine.
What if initially your routine seems to be a success but later on, due to circumstances, you fall of the wagon? Are you going to quit whilst thinking that this is just not for you? Of course not!
Like Graham Allcott has taught us before, we are ninjas not superheroes. It can go wrong from time to time. We learn by falling down and getting back up again. If it doesn’t go according to plan, then it doesn’t go according to plan. It can happen. Make sure though that you learn something from those mistakes. Where did it go wrong, what do I find difficult, how can I adjust my routine so that it works better in the future? Those are the questions that we need to ask ourselves. It’s also important to keep focusing on your goals. What you want to achieve is your real stimulant. You have to remember that it’s not only about beautiful dreams, it’s also about your health and your productive life.
Therefore make your dreams come true!
By Callista Vink