Many of the clients I work with struggle with sleep deprivation. A lot of them are living with depression or anxiety, battling chronic pain, juggling a job and family or some just have gotten into the habit of poor sleep hygiene due to unorganized schedules.
Whatever the reason for the lack of sleep, it doesn't seem to affect the fact that there's always work to be done, deadlines to meet, a child who needs you or a house that needs tidying. Let's face it, the vast majority of us could use more sleep, but we still need to get stuff done regardless. Here's where a few proven tips and tricks are helpful.
1. Write down tasks & rank them.
I know this may sound cliche, but let's be honest, writing it all out is the perfect place to begin. If you don't know what needs to be done, how do you know where to start? I suggest writing no more than 3-5 tasks on your daily to-do list and putting them in order of importance so you know what to prioritize first.
2. Take 5 every 45-minutes.
Breaks actually help you be more productive as they give your brain a rest and help you recharge. When you go, go, go you tend to push yourself too hard and can make key mistakes or overwork yourself so much that you're spent before the day is done.
3. Stretch it out.
Many of us work in sedentary environments, coupled with the fact that we tend to tighten up our muscles when we feel stress or anxiety. It's important to do some body checks throughout the day to see where you're feeling stiff. Even a few neck and shoulder rolls can help ease tension. Stretching allows more oxygen to flow to your brain giving you a little energy jolt.
4. Work in a new environment.
When we're surrounded by the same scenery day in and day out we tend to become complacent and lose our creativity. Instead of working at your desk, steal away to a conference room for an hour to check email. If you're at home, skip the home office one day and work at the dining room table or head to the local coffee shop. A new environment can help you generate new ideas.
5. Stay hydrated.
I know I'm guilty of not drinking enough water during the day, but it's so important. When you're dehydrated you tend to fall victim to hunger pangs and fatigue, so keep reaching for that water bottle.
6. Take a green break.
Sitting near a window or better yet, stealing away for 10-minutes outside can work wonders. Studies have shown that natural light is associated with increased job performance.
7. Get a little minty.
Those essential oil diffusers have become quite popular and the aroma of peppermint is said to boost alertness. I think even just popping an Altoid or snapping some Doublemint would work in a pinch too.
I hope employing some of these tips can help you take control of your situation and power you through to "Git 'Er Done!"
What works for you when you're tired but need to carry on?