When you look good, you feel good. The same rings true for your performance at work. Studies show that a healthy worker is a productive worker. A study from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), the Center for Health Research at Healthways, and Brigham Young University (BYU) reflect that employees who maintained healthy diets throughout their day were 25% more productive than their peers that didn’t. The same is true for those that maintained 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. The participants that maintained an exercise regimen were shown to be 15% more productive. I try to exercise at a nearby gym at least three times a week at lunch time. If you can’t be guaranteed a lunch time to work out, mornings are a great time to get it done. That is usually the only time I can guarantee without interruptions. While this is not a blog on health and nutrition, there are many other great resources to be found on the subject. A few of my favorite nutrition and exercise books include; Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Strength Training Anatomy, and Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, sleep is paramount.
According to a 2008 National Sleep Foundation poll, one-third of all Americans say that daytime drowsiness affects their daily work activities at least a few days of each week.
I can admit to the fact that I probably don’t get the recommended amount of sleep (7-9 hours for adults). It’s hard to find time in the day to reach all your goals and sleep for nine hours. There are ways to get more sleep. I’ve listed a couple habits below that can help regain time for sleep and make you more productive and alert. These habits below require discipline like every other habit listed previously, but like the rest, they can be very rewarding when followed.
- Manage your time well
- This goes without saying but the reason you might not be getting enough sleep is that you aren’t managing your tasks efficiently throughout the day.
- Set hours that you will not work
- This habit goes along with the aforementioned item. Set hours from 7-9 PM for example that you will not work.
- Reduce your stress
- Oftentimes, stress at work causes you to stay awake late. Try adding some stress busting techniques like meditation or yoga to your schedule. I’ve supplemented yoga into my schedule on occasion. It does wonders for my sleeping hours.
- Establish a bed time
- I know you’re not 10 years old anymore, but setting a bet time (and sticking with it) can be liberating. Having a schedule for your bedtime allows you to schedule your evenings for maximum production so that you hit this time.
These habits are just examples of ways that you can regain your precious sleep time. I challenge you to come up with some more ways to get your 7-9 hours of recommended sleep. I can guarantee that you will notice the benefits of this habit soon after you begin.