Success – Sleep and your career

Sleep Management

In this age of technology and advancement, we belong to a hyper-connected culture but there is one thing we cannot get enough of and that is sleep. Thanks to the long working hours and the electronic devices our brain fails to power down and that disturbs our natural sleep-wake cycle.

Most of the individuals stay up all night and they cannot get the required 7 to 8 hours of sleep. 50 to 70 million people are suffering from a sleep disorder and sleep deprivation has turned into an epidemic. Lack of sleep not only affects our health and relationship but also our career.

Sleep and Ceridian rhythms

Sleep is an important part of life and it is important to keep our energy levels high and to help us feel better. Just like hunger makes us eat, tiredness makes us want to get some sleep. We can be tired due to different reasons like long working hours, exercise or a full day of driving. However, t6he real question is why our body needs sleep in order to perform properly. Here are some of the important reasons we have to consider.

1-Inactive theory

It is one of the oldest theories regarding sleep and it is known as the evolutionary or adaptive theory. It suggests that inactivity during the night helps the individuals with the management of their next day. It protects them from any potential harm.

2-Theory of energy conservation

We know that energy is very important for our body and the only way to preserve the energy and bring it back to a normal level is through food and sleep. The normal human body utilizes energy during the day and preserves it when the body is least efficient.

3-Restorative theory

The biggest benefit of sleep is that it provides the body a chance to repair itself and restore all the important function. This is the during consulting most of the specialists suggests the patients sleep for a particular amount of time.

4-Brain plasticity theory

It is a recently developed theory according to which sleep is related to the proper functioning of the brain. It is important that our circadian rhythms are properly maintained because that is the only way to manage life properly an avoid sleep deprivation.

Sleep and cognitive abilities

It has been noticed that the response time of the brain is lowered due to improper sleep. It leads to a sluggish and slow body due to which people find it hard to perform properly. If you will not have proper sleep the next day your IQ level will be lowered. Continuous sleep deprivation can have a poor effect on your leadership skills because you will remain lethargic and irritated all the time. It is important to have a proper 7 to 8 hours of sleep so that you can think straight and your problem-solving skills will improve.

Reduce stress with proper sleep

Lack of sleep leads to a stressful body. In order to deal with the stress, our body starts to produce stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. In a recent study, two different groups were compared. It was found that the group suffering from sleep deprivation had a higher level of stress as compared to those who had a proper good night’s sleep.

If we are able to manage stress we will become healthy as well as we will be able to concentrate properly on our work. Having proper sleep means that we will not have to take time off work and business management will be more efficient and products. Some common symptoms of stress due to sleep deprivation are.

  • Memory issues
  • Lack of concentration
  • Poor judgments
  • Problem-solving skills will be reduced
  • Negativity
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Constant worrying

It will lead to a short temper, frustration, and irritability that will have a negative effect on your business relationships. Communication, interaction, and collaboration are the key to a successful business and lack of sleep can seriously affect these skills.

Sleep and health

If you want to have a successful career you will have to pay attention to your health. Remember that health is not only eating proper food and having an exercise plan. If you are tired you are not healthy. Proper sleep helps our body to remain healthy. Sleep deprivation can affect the immune system of the body and so we become vulnerable to common diseases that reduce our efficiency.

Enough sleep will improve your immune system and will help you stay concentrated and active all the time. When you are aware of your surroundings it would be easier for you to concentrate on your work and provide the best solutions and consulting services.

Tips to improve your sleep

In order to have the best leadership skills and prove that you can handle the business properly, you have to pay attention to your sleep. You have to start will paying attention to your food. Do not consume food items that are high in sugar or caffeine at night because that act as stimulants and you will not be able to fall asleep. Some of the important food items that you have to avoid are.

  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy food
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Heavy meals

You should avoid consuming food right before bedtime. It is better to have a light meal like fruits at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. You can do exercise or yoga that will make your body feel tired and it will be easier for you to fall asleep.

When we use mobile or play games our brain remains active and so it is hard to fall asleep. You have to avoid using screens at night. Even do not watch TV for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. It will help the nerves to relax and the moment you are on the bed you will be into a deep sleep.

Maintain your sleeping schedule. You should go to bed early so you can wake up early in the morning. Once you maintain your sleep-wake cycle you will notice a positive improvement in your life.

Benefits of A Printed Organizer/Day-Timer

It doesn’t matter whether you are a full-time businessperson, a stay-at-home mom, a nine-to-five office worker, or a shift worker, you need a system in place to plan your day, and to organize and prioritize all your events and tasks.  No plan means things get left undone, urgent jobs get pushed back, and you forget to do things.

We used to have a notepad and pen or a pile of post-it notes, but these days, digital devices have taken over. Can you remember the last time you wrote yourself a reminder? Most of use our digital devices as a calendar and reminder system, but is it the best way to go? Has a good old pen and paper been banished?

I still use a pad of paper and a pen. I even have a whiteboard on the wall by my desk, with all my daily tasks on it, but many think that’s an odd way to do things these days. I get asked, “Why don’t you just set reminders on your phone?” Apart from the fact that I don’t like my phone pinging at me every five minutes, there are scientific benefits to using a paper planner rather than a digital one. So, if you’re a die-hard digital planner, just cast your eye over these benefits.

Fewer Distractions

Most people automatically think of reminders and notifications when they think of digital planners compared to paper planners. I mean, how convenient is it to have your phone ding at you when it’s time to go somewhere or do a recurring task? But think about this – how many notifications, on average, do you get every day? And how many of those reminders or notifications do you take notice of? Do you wipe them off your screen?  We hear so many dings and notification popups, we’ve become desensitized, to the extent that half the time, we don’t even look at the reminder – we know that those dings are annoying, and they distract us.

Studies show that spending too much time looking at your phone screen harms your brain, so while it seems convenient to use your phone as a planner, all you are doing is compounding the issue. And be honest here, how many times have you started reading a reminder and got side-tracked by a Facebook notification? So much so that suddenly an hour has passed, an hour of wasted time.

When you use a pen and paper to write your daily plan, you give your eyes a rest, and you rest your brain from the seemingly endless number of emails and notifications you get. In short, your focus improves, and you give your brain a much-needed rest.

There’s more to pen and paper than you think, so read on!

Better Memory

You’ve heard this before, but probably you just brushed it aside like an old wives tale – writing things down helps you to remember them better. It is true, but there’s a bit more to it. Not only will you formulate your plans better, but handwriting also stimulates specific brain cells located at the base of your brain that help to increase your focus.

Writing is a physical activity, and that action is what triggers that part of the brain and pushes it into the high-focus mode. When you write a goal down, your brain works hard to make you remember it. A study done at the Dominican University in California found that when people wrote their goals and shared them, making themselves accountable for them, they were more than 30% more likely to stick to them than those who made mental notes about their goals.

Using a digital screen stops that brain triggering from happening; it’s like having a shield in front of you, blocking you from what you are doing. So, in simple terms, writing your planner by hand engages your brain much better than just typing them on a screen.

Better Motivation

When you write longhand, it takes a lot more effort, but it also ensures you are to the point and concise. Sure, typing is faster and easier, but it does make it hard to refine your thoughts and be selective. If you are making the switch from paper to digital, or vice versa, check out your notes – I bet the handwritten ones are more to the point and make more sense than the digital ones.

When we write, we can clarify things, and we can connect mindfully with our tasks and goals. When you draw up a written to-do list, you can abbreviate certain things, but for long-term planners and goals, it’s better to be precise – the relationship between what we think and the language we use is very strong, so when you write a goal down, it sticks in your mind. And how convenient is it to have your goals written down, staring at you in the face?

Less Stress

There are far more benefits to writing your plans than just better organization. It may surprise you, but Japan, probably the top country in the world for digital technology, thrives on using pen and paper. They refer to it, in wit, as a “techno planner culture” and virtually all Japanese people take time to use pen and paper, stickers, drawings, color coding, and so on, to organize their thoughts and their day.

Lots of studies link handwriting with mindfulness and many people who seek therapy for stress-management recommend keeping a hand-written journal, simply because of how therapeutic it is. Much like meditation, writing by hand helps you to sort your thoughts out, and because it takes so much more effort, you learn to be selective about your words. That improves how you define things, such as your goals, attitudes, and feelings. As you write them down, you learn how best to deal with them.

A Healthy Habit

In the same way as writing your plans makes you more inclined to commit to them, writing in a planner is a commitment too.  We tend to cling to the physical more than the digital, simply because it is real. With the digital, with a screen separating you, committing to notification or a planner tends to be lost among all the other notifications, apps, reminders, and other stuff on your computer or mobile device. When you have a physical planner or a notepad and pen on your desk, you’ve got a physical reminder to use it.

And if habits aren’t your thing, using a physical planner could be the first step in making a positive change. Research has shown that new habits take anywhere from 21 to 66 days to form which means, you only really have to use a paper planner for a month or so before it becomes a habit – not long at all.

Combining all these steps leads to the critical points of productivity – writing your goals and daily activities by hand will make you more motivated, more organized, and more productive.

Now, have I managed to change your mind? If you are considering taking a paper planner for a trial run, there are a few tips to bear in mind.

Evaluate What You Need

Think about a typical day in your life. Do you get so busy that you occasionally forget things? Try a basic daily planner with dates. If you prefer to draw up long, detailed to-do lists, you want a planner that has the space for that. If you prefer a planner that you can track both long and short-term plans that helps you track things and boost your productivity, look for an appropriate planner – a yearly, page-a-day diary is the most common one.

How Much Do You Want to Spend?

Set a limit. Is a $50 planner any better than a $5 planner? Or a pad of paper and a pen?  You don’t need to spend a fortune, make sure you get something that suits your needs.

Have a System

Think about what you want to write, what you want to track, and then think about how you want to do it. You could use colored stickers for indicating importance, for example. The important thing is not to make it complicated – it’s no good if you can’t read and understand your planner!

Import Your Data

If you have a digital system in place already, make sure you go through every tracking or planning app and your calendar to transfer the data over. If you have recurring goals, make sure those are added in the right places in your new paper planner, too, to make the switch as seamless as possible.

Try it For One Month

Go on, take the challenge. Try using a paper system for just one month and see how you get on with it. Set a reminder to make sure you complete your daily planner every day and try to make it into a new habit.

Productivity is directly linked to your adoption of good habits, great systems, and useful tools, as long as they work FOR you and not AGAINST you. You don’t have to go completely paper; you can have a combined system of paper and digital, again, as long as it works. And if it works, make sure you stick to it.

Some people find using manual paper planners are simply not efficient, but in an increasingly digital world, there is strong evidence in favor of using a paper planner. It could well be one of the easiest steps that you take toward being healthier and more productive.

Quote – Make good use of time

Make good use of time, if thou lovest eternity; yesterday cannot be recalled—to-morrow cannot be secured—to-day only is thine, which, if once lost, is lost forever.

— J. S. Ogilvie

Quote – Learn to say No

Learn to say No [tactfully]! and it will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin.

— Charles Spurgeon

Quote – Concentration is the secret

Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short, in all the management of human affairs.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quote – The more business a man has to do

The more business a man has to do, the more he is able to accomplish; for he learns to economize his time.

— Judge Hale

Quote – Punctuality

Punctuality is the soul of business.

— Proverb