Does this sound like you? After two days in an intensive client “deep dive” replete with late night and early morning sessions, you board a plane for more meetings with an out-of-town client, and on day four you return to your office to prep for a new business meeting, leaving Friday to complete your “day job” tasks. Where did sleep fit into this picture? It didn’t!
Relax! You’ll be More Productive was the title of a recent New York Times Opinion piece. The author makes a strong case that “strategic renewal” boosts productivity, job performance and of course, health. Despite its marketing-buzzword-like sound, strategic renewal simply means rest. It allows your mind and body to power down and refresh before tackling the next “to-do.”
The piece goes on to claim that working in 90-minute intervals is the formula for maximizing productivity. These 90-minute stretches should be followed by breaks. A long time ago (think Mad Men-era) people did take “coffee breaks” of fifteen minutes or so in the morning and late afternoon with actual “lunch hours” occurring in the middle of the day, and the day was more like the fabled 9-5 of which you may have heard rumors.
While the pace of today’s work world doesn’t quite align with the above, there’s no reason we can’t push ourselves to adopt some of these habits. With Daylight Saving Time around the corner, sleep is in the zeitgeist, so why not try to find some time to rest!
We may not be able to nap at work, but taking little breaks (and NOT just to check social media) is a very good way to start. Try to incorporate at least one good habit that promotes rest or sleep. This can be as simple as going to bed a half-hour earlier each night or changing your diet to make it both more sleep-friendly and better nutritionally. Don’t forget exercise; it promotes healthy sleep as well as general well-being. Start by taking the stairs!
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