Be more productive, get up an hour earlier – noooo!

The extra  hour

A while ago, I was at a networking meeting and we were talking about time management, productivity etc. One person said they were writing a book and had got it finished by getting up an hour earlier to write. Everyone nodded in agreement and applauded. Except me.  All I could think was ‘Are you going to bed an hour earlier or have you been sleeping an hour too long then?’  I’m not a morning person – I’m writing this at 8.30pm – but this isn’t about when you are most productive, it’s about one of the most important things we do – sleep, and the impact of missing sleep.

Are you getting enough?

‘Seven for a man, eight for a woman, nine for a fool’

Most adults need 7-8 hours sleep every night (there are a few souls who can get by on 5 hours, very few) . It may vary over a lifetime, but that’s a pretty good rule of thumb.

But we seem to have a really macho attitude to sleep, and this isn’t helped by our ‘get more done’ mindset. Lack of sleep is a trigger for lots of health problems. And not just missing whole nights – I think we all know how we feel when we do that! Shift work, anti-social hours and simply missing an hour or more every night, all take their toll on our physical and mental health.  There is a growing tendency to manage on 6-7 hours instead of 7-8 hours, as if this were something to be proud of. Want to know more about the power of sleep?  Check this out:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/24/why-lack-of-sleep-health-worst-enemy-matthew-walker-why-we-sleep

So, rather than simply getting up an hour earlier to ‘get more done’, maybe we could get more done if we got enough sleep and had a good morning routine, as many successful people seem to.  Start the day with meditation/mindfulness/gratitude and some form of exercise followed by a good breakfast, before checking any form of electronic media, seems to be the message from most high achievers.  This sets you up for a productive day, and if it works for them ……

So what do you think?  Should my networking colleague get up 2, or even 3 hours earlier and get even more done?  Or just hit the snooze button?

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