By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
Most productivity boosting methods require at least some focus and effort on your part. But in this article am going to be sharing with you a productivity boosting tip that requires absolutely no effort at all. You literally have to do nothing. The thing about this method though is that it is so simple, it is common sense, but as we all know, common sense isn’t that common anymore.
Most people are so caught up in trying to look for complicated solutions for every little problem that they often ignore the most effective solution because it appears so simple and easy to implement. But more often than not it is the simplest solution that is the most effective. It is a solution provided to us by nature and doesn’t require some artificial stimulant. You can literally lay on the couch or on the bed and close your eyes and it’s all going to work perfectly. Yup, this method is called – SLEEP
Some of you might be disappointed with the answer but it seems so simple and may dismiss it. But if there is one productivity, focus and alertness boosting method that nature has given us, it is sleep.
Unfortunately most of us have been brought up with the idea that one who sleeps less becomes more successful. We directly correlate the amount of success one can have in life with how little sleep they need. Indeed, there are many examples of people who sleep less who are successful but there is a good percentage of people who became super successful despite sleeping really long hours as well. I’ll share with you the names of those people as well, but first, let’s break down the idea of how much sleep one really needs.
Unlike the myth that everyone should get 8 hours of sleep, the sleep you actually need to get refreshed and fully alert for the next day is by and large determined biologically and is different for different people. At one end of the spectrum are people who can sleep 3 hours a day and yet be fully refreshed. On the other end of the spectrum are people who need to sleep 12 hours to feel alert! Across the population, the average sleep requirement is about 8 hours, although it does not imply that everyone needs to stick by that schedule.
However, here is where the problem comes. While there are indeed several people who actually are sleeping 4 hours a day and are completely refreshed, by and large most of the people who are doing that are sleeping way less than their actual requirements and are horribly sleep deprived. As a result they are less alert and less productive at work even if they work long hours, because their body is there but their mind isn’t!
They ape other successful people who get by on 4 hours, not realizing that many of those people are already fulfilling their sleep quota. They on the other go through life like a zombie, are inefficient at work, are super tired and irritated, ruin their health and sometimes even get into accidents while driving, just because they have been brainwashed with the idea that less sleep equals more success.
Less sleep does not equal more success! While people who sleep less will naturally be awake for longer hours during the day, that does not necessarily always have a correlation with success. Its not about the hours you are awake in a day that leads to success but how much power you can pack in those hours!
Well let me tell you how “little sleep” some really successful people really needed
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and the world’s richest man. – 8 hours
Bill Gates, the former richest man in the world – 7 hours
Arianna Huffington, Founder of Huffington Post – 8 hours
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook – 7 and a half hours.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft – 8 hours
Eric Schmidt – Chairman of Alphabet (Google) – 8 and a half hours
Matthew McConaughey – 8 and a half hours
Jennifer Lopez – 8 hours
Ellen Degeneres. – 8 and a half hours.
Albert Einstein – 12 hours
Roger Federer – 12 hours
Lebron James – 12 hours
Clearly, just because you sleep more does not mean you cannot reach the top of your industry. Life doesn’t care about how little you sleep or rewards you for sacrifice. It only cares about this – “What quantity of value you bring to the market.” The value you bring to the market depends on what amount of PRODUCTIVE work you can accomplish, in a direction that delivers the highest Return on Investment. It’s as simple as that. Some people get more done whilst sleeping less and others need more sleep to work at their optimum capacity. It’s simply about what works best for different people.
By the way, there are also a lot of myths surrounding how little some famous people claimed to sleep. Edison for example who claimed to sleep 3 hours a day often took power naps throughout the day to recharge himself. He even put up a cot in his factory to sleep.
So my point is, if you are the kind who has naturally been blessed with needing much less sleep then others and are alert throughout the day, then good for you. Keep doing what you have been doing.
If, however you are the kind who has been forced to sacrifice on sleep because you have been brainwashed with the idea that less sleep equals more success and go through your day tired and groggy whilst far from your efficient best, then it is time to take a step back and change things, if you are serious about upping your productivity.
So the question is how can you up your productivity by getting more rest?
The simplest answer, if you don’t suffer from insomnia is to sleep more. Determine the absolute minimum hours of sleep you need to feel refreshed. It can be 6 hours or it maybe 9 hours. You know your body best.
The second thing is to create a sleep schedule and become disciplined about sticking to that as well. Make sure you don’t exceed the minimum number of hours you need to sleep to feel refreshed because if you do so, the next day it will be harder for you to feel sleepy as per your schedule. If, however, you find yourself missing the schedule one day due to some reason, then you should sleep less that day to make sure your sleep schedule is back on track the following day.
If you do suffer from insomnia of sorts and it is hard for you to get quality sleep and there are things running in your mind 24/7 there are a couple of things you can do.
First make sure the last hour of the day is spent on something soothing and relaxing that tells your mind and body that it’s time to drift off. It can be anything that works for you. It is much easier drifting off to bed when relaxed than with things running in your mind and this helps you transition from the hyper alert state to the relaxed state.
For this, obviously your stress levels need to be lower as people with a high stress level will have a hard time going to bed. Whilst there are many many external events that affect our levels of stress, there are two things you can use to counter them.
The benefits of regular exercise cannot be overstated. It keeps you in good physical and mental health. As a result you will be less irritated, more relaxed and even more sleepy if your workout was vigorous enough! Don’t compromise on your body to get the career success you wish to achieve, because your body is the engine that determines how far you go. If you neglect the engine, sooner or later things will break down.
The best thing about meditation is that it only lowers your stress levels and makes it easier to go to sleep, it also has been shown to have many of the restorative effects of sleep. Thus if you meditate, you actually end up needing less sleep to feel refreshed. There are many people who have attributed their requirement of less sleep because of the fact that they meditate.
Finally, if for whatever reason you are unable to get all the sleep your body needs at night, do what Edison did and a lot of other hyper successful people who can’t get enough sleep do – Take Power Naps. Work until you can and then take a 20 to 30 minute nap when you become extremely exhausted. Edison did it in his factory. Narendra Modi does it on his flights. If your organization is considerate enough, ask them to let you put your head down at your desk and sleep for 20 minutes. You can also do it during lunch break. That in itself will give you enough charge to put in a few more hours of work productively!
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Here is a summary
1) The simplest and most natural way to be more alert and productive during the day is to sleep more.
2) Don’t ape people who sleep very less. Everyone’s sleep requirements are different.
3)It’s not about the hours you work in a day that matter but how much you can get done in those hours. If you are sleep deprived, you just cannot be as efficient.
4) Understand that you can sleep more and achieve the success you want, as long as you are hyper focused on your goals when awake. Many famous and successful people sleep a lot to get the energy to give it their all during the day.
5) To sleep better, set up a sleep schedule. Figure out the minimum hours you need to feel fresh and stay disciplined to stick to that schedule as much as possible.
6) The last hour of the day should be devoted to relaxing activities to calm your mind down and prepare for sleep.
7) If you suffer from insomnia, workout hard and meditate to be able to sleep better.
8) Finally if you can’t get quality sleep in one go, take 30 minute power naps, they will automatically charge you up for a few hours and can be done during lunch breaks.
About the Author
The author of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by almost 1.5 Million people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
Email Anubhav Srivastava for coaching, consulting or motivational speaking queries at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook Profile: http://facebook.com/anubhav981
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