Improve Your Performance with Sleep

Energy management is at the core of the Jump philosophy because doing something better than you are doing it now will take energy. You can’t jump higher without it.

I ask new clients to tell me precisely what they do from the minute their feet hit the floor in the morning until they go to bed at night as part of their energy audit. I’m looking for what they are doing or not doing to manage their physical, mental and emotional energy day to day.

Typically, busy professionals take the most shortcuts around managing their physical energy: nutrition, exercise, daytime rest and renewal and sleep. I work with clients to make a plan that address all the areas that need attention but I always say, “If you can only address one thing…. make sure you are getting enough sleep!”

Here’s why. Sleep is foundational. If you start the day tired, you are starting behind the eight ball. That’s when people start to rely on caffeine to get through the morning and adrenaline to fuel the rest of the day. (I’m not hating on coffee, I just prefer people treat it like a beverage they enjoy, as opposed to a drug they depend on.)

How much sleep do adults really need? All the most recent and relevant research points to 7.5 to 8 hours per night. Less than 5% percent of the population can function optimally on less than that.

I often meet executives who have convinced themselves (and try to convince me) that they feel fine after only 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

I’m not disputing that they have convinced themselves of that, but in reality it’s been so long since they’ve been truly rested that they’ve forgotten how it feels. They are operating in a constant state of sleep deprivation, so that feels normal to them now.

Are you a lack-of-sleep-oholic? I’m going to tell this to you straight – it’s what I do – brain research suggests that if you are going to work on less than 5 hours of sleep for more than 3 days in a row, it’s the equivalent of showing up to work drunk.

(Are you encouraging lack-of-sleep-oholics? You wouldn’t praise your team for showing up drunk, but have you ever handed out strokes for burning the midnight oil night after night? Think about it.)

The fact is, people working on less than 7.5 hrs of sleep are only operating at a fraction of their human potential and putting themselves at risk for further problems (depression, obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes to name a few, not to mention impaired judgment and problem solving, and greatly lengthened reaction times.)

Do you intentionally sacrifice sleep in an effort to get caught up on projects, email or other work? Some people think they are squeezing in a few more productive hours. The cruel irony is that depriving yourself of sleep greatly reduces your productivity the next day, so before long you find yourself in a cycle where you slow your productivity to the point that you always need to catch up.

Some people can’t sleep because they can’t shut their brain off. People have a lot on their minds, but come 10:00 PM, there’s no good reason for cycling through work worries. You need the energy and the tools to deal with work at work. Your sleepless nights aren’t helping anyone.

If stuff at work is regularly keeping you up at night, you need to talk it through with your manager, your mentor or your coach. Odds are, you are more likely to find the answers you are looking for by talking to someone, than by tossing and turning in bed. You may also want to share this article with your team – you need them at their best and if they need help with an issue that’s keeping them up, you need to know.

What’s Keeping You Up At Night? Book a Call with Chris Obst

Find out the top two REAL reasons people lay in bed worrying about work. And set up a 20 minute call with Chris to see if he can help you better manage your energy and your people. Book Now!

Category: All, Energy at work, Fatigue and Rest, Homepage, Manage your Energy

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