These days it seems impossible to get everything done. It seems that there’s more things to do in a day than is humanly possible. Meanwhile, you’re guzzling coffee and doing sloppy work because you’re stressed, tired, and overwhelmed. The rise of work from home positions has in fact led to working longer days and taking on even more responsibilities, as explained in this article from Harvard Business School.
So, how do we fix this? The short answer: get those 7-9 hours of sleep. No surprise there! The long answer, however, is that while you do need to make sleep a priority, establishing a good sleep routine is something that takes time and effort. It might even take some lifestyle changes. There are some quick fixes that you can utilize starting today to carry you through those days where enough sleep just wasn’t an option, or simply didn’t happen.
We found this article on bbc.com with two awesome and very simple tips. At first glance, they may seem obvious, but there are some important things to note for each one to truly maximize their effect on your day. Here they are:
- Take a nap: Yes, duh. However, the key to this is getting the timing right, both in duration and in the time of day. There is a natural dip in energy that occurs for most people during early to mid-afternoon. At this time of the day it may be easier to fall asleep quickly, and the timing has the added benefit of taking place around your lunch break….which means the opportunity to nap during lunch instead of ticking off your boss by sleeping through a meeting. But we don’t recommend sleeping through your ENTIRE lunch break. Your best bet is to keep the nap to 20 minutes or less, so that you don’t enter deeper stages of sleep and wake up feeling groggy instead of refreshed. PRO TIP: have a cup of coffee right before laying down for a cat nap. Caffeine takes around 20 minutes to enter the bloodstream so it will make it easier for you to wake up.
- Take a break: You probably already know that you should be taking breaks throughout the workday. However, are you taking the RIGHT kind of break? The key is to make it a responsibility-free break. In essence, you want to not think about work, or any other responsibilities. Watch TV, meditate, spend time with a pet, go for a walk, call a friend, whatever makes you feel recharged! This way you’re recharging your mental energy as well as your physical energy.
Try to apply either or both of those tips the next time you feel that your shut-eye didn’t do the trick, or any time you start to feel like you are either getting sleepy or losing focus. It will help you get back on track!