Forgoing sleep is a bad idea. Sure, you get those extra hours right now, but you pay in spades later: You destroy your creativity, morale, and attitude.
– Jason Fried. “Rework.”
Let’s talk about low-hanging fruit today because this is about as low-hanging as they come.
Have you ever felt…
Like you are in a rut lately?
Increasingly irritable and impatient?
Triggered by the slightest of annoyances during the day?
A loss of ability to focus?
A general sense of all-permeating frustration?
You start to think there must be something wrong with you…
So you try a new exercise regiment.
You analyze your caloric intake and change your macronutrient proportions.
You start reading books teaching you “how to get out of a rut.”
You start watching Tony Robbins videos on YouTube.
None of this seems to be working…so you start to doubt your abilities and lose confidence.
Have you considered the simplest of solutions?
Here’s the good news.
Everyone loves sleep so what if I told you you could perform better by simply sleeping more (i.e. just doing what everybody loves anyway)?
It really can be as simple as that.
The rut you think you are in could simply be due to burning out from a lack of sleep which effectively means you are burning the candle from both ends.
Sleep could just be the magical low-hanging fruit to increase your performance almost immediately.
The mounting costs of sleep deprivation…
These are the four costs as described by Jason Fried in his book Rework.
Stubbornness: When you’re really tired, it always seems easier to plow down whatever bad path you happen to be on instead of reconsidering the route. The finish line is a constant mirage and you wind up walking in the desert way too long.
Lack of creativity: Creativity is one of the first things to go when you lose sleep. What distinguishes people who are ten times more effective than the norm is not that they work ten times as hard; it’s that they use their creativity to come up with solutions that require one-tenth of the effort. Without sleep, you stop coming up with those one-tenth solutions.
Diminished morale: When your brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, it loves to feed on less demanding tasks. Like reading yet another article about stuff that doesn’t matter. When you’re tired, you lose motivation to attack the big problems.
Irritability: Your ability to remain patient and tolerant is severely reduced when you’re tired. If you encounter someone who’s acting like a fool, there’s a good chance that person is suffering from sleep deprivation.
These are just some of the costs you incur when not getting enough sleep. Yet some people still develop a masochistic sense of honor about sleep deprivation. They even brag about how tired they are. Don’t be impressed. It’ll come back to bite them in the ass.
Conversely, here are 7 reasons why sleep can significantly increase your effectiveness
When you get an adequate amount of sleep you automatically obtain the following benefits.
- More energy
- Less irritable
- Increased creativity
- Sharpened focus
- Improved morale
- Reduced stress
So the next time you think you are making more time tonight by carving out that extra hour or two at midnight, think again. You are actually just stealing time from tomorrow.
This is one of those seemingly counter-intuitive examples of how sometimes doing less is really doing more.
Go ahead and give this a go if you are in a rut.
I have been trying this out lately and it has really helped!
After all, what do you have to lose?
Worst case scenario you get a good night’s sleep…and who doesn’t like that! 😴
- Why We Sleep by (Amazon book)
- The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington (Amazon book)
- One more reason to get a good night’s sleep – TED talk by Jeff Iliff (see below)