Today, it is quite easy to get lost in all your daily chores and duties, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or someone that works a couple of jobs simultaneously. After coping with a lot of procrastinating, stress, meeting deadlines and so on, a lot of people decided to seek advice in how to optimize their time and focus in order to stay productive and stop wasting their time.
Apart from regular tips such as “Don’t multitask, do one thing at a time instead” or “Avoid any distractions in your environment, including your smartphone”, there seems to be an important connection between your work performance and your sleep. When you sleep the right way, it is much easier to complete your daily tasks and stay active and energized until the late evening. Unfortunately, stats show that people are becoming more and more sleep deprived (even teenagers often show symptoms of sleep deprivation) and are often experiencing sleeping issues.
Let’s take a look to understand what are the ways sleep could be ruining your productivity and, therefore, affecting your overall work performance and time management.
1. You Are Sleeping Too Little
Sleep deprivation is the number one reason of poor productivity and decreased creativity. You probably know how everything just takes double the time when you feel exhausted.
However, this feeling doesn’t simply mean you don’t have enough energy. When our brain doesn’t go through the necessary sleep cycles at night, it can’t recover properly and perform its more complex functions accurately enough. For instance, multitasking, cognitive and problem-solving skills all decline after a night of lost sleep.
In addition, our brains need to sleep in order to memorize learned facts. So if you lack sleep, it will be much harder for you to recall information that you have previously read. Research has also shown that our decision making is also compromised by the fact that it’s harder for us to tell the difference between good and bad ideas.
Needless to say, all these things make you become less efficient which inevitably wastes your time (especially in the long run).
2. You Are Sleeping Too Much
It’s very logical that sleeping more than you should equals losing a couple of hours of wakefulness every day or, simply put, wasting your precious time. Typically, most people suffer from lack of sleep or insomnia, but some may have an ongoing issue of hypersomnia – A.K.A. sleeping too much, multiple times a day.
Although this is really rare, if you can’t stay awake during the day even though you’ve been consistent with your good sleeping habits lately, you might have to talk to a sleep specialist. This condition makes you less functional throughout the day.
However, if you’re simply oversleeping every day, without the urge to nap multiple times a day, you could still be dealing with decreased productivity levels and be feeling slowed down in all your daily activities. When you sleep too much, your body and brain aren’t synced with your normal circadian rhythm, which basically makes your sleep insufficiently effective.
Your body might not be resting and recovering properly, and your mind might be less clear and lazier than usual. Stick to the rule of sleeping from 6 to a maximum of 9 hours and you should feel the difference.
3. You Are Not Getting The Right Kind Of Sleep
Believe it or not, but some strange things that you’re not noticing about your sleep could be making you sleep deprived and lead to a poorer everyday productivity. For instance, snoring at night could make you feel tired in the morning, and lead to overall slower brain performance. The same could happen to someone who shares their bed with a snorer because the snoring noise could be making them lose sleep.
There are plenty of ways to stop snoring or at least decrease snoring at night that you should try if you’re dealing with it.
However, that’s not all. Being allergic could also lead to poorer sleep quality. If you’re struggling with maintaining your focus high and your performance at peak, check if you have any newly developed allergies that might be making you wake up tired each morning.
To sum it up, basically, all sleep issues are strongly affecting your cognitive skills, response speed as well as problem-solving abilities. So if you’ve been struggling with doing everything properly and on time, check if you’re sleeping right first.
Follow these rules in order to make sure sleep is not affecting your time management:
- Go to bed at the same time every night (ideally before midnight)
- Get exercise
- Remove all potential distractions from your bedroom
- Avoid looking at screens (smartphones, computers, TV) before going to bed
- Don’t eat too late or too heavy for dinner
For more info or tips on how to sleep better and boost your performance (and, therefore, optimize your daily organization) check out this useful infographic by Colossal sleep!
Infographic: Colossal Sleep
About the Author:
Kristina Lalovic is the editor at Colossal Sleep, a website about healthy sleep, sleeping disorders and sleep-related problems people commonly face in their lifetimes. She used to be the alarm-snoozer for a long time, until she started paying more attention to her sleep and sleeping patterns. Sleeping well changed the way she feels each day, which is why she developed a passion for writing about sleep and understanding how our sleep really works.