Following on from my previous article around focus and productivity, this one sprang to mind as I was thinking about to what write about next.
One of the biggest factors when it comes to productivity, energy, and focus is the rest periods in between. I don’t buy (I used to, but I now know it’s not sustainable) into you can “sleep when you’re dead” or get away with just a few hours of sleep a night. You simply can’t do that. In the short term, you can get away with it, and I have, probably for longer periods than I should. But you can’t keep at it. You wouldn’t run a marathon every day, would you?
I’ve been through the “few hours sleep” a night phase when I was a younger man I may add, but even then, it’s just not healthy. I’ve also been through the go to bed late and rise late phase as well. That’s ok if you’re a night owl and you have no early morning commitments, but again, not really for me.
Having “hacked” my sleep and played around with it, the simple conclusion for me, is that you’re best off sleeping like a toddler (without the naps, but that isn’t such a bad thing). Go to bed early, get in your seven/eight solid hours and rise early. You simply get more shit done first thing in the morning when you’re supercharged from the night before. In an ideal world, I’m in bed for 2130, asleep by 2200 and up between 0530 and 0600. On a workday it means I can crack on and get to the office nice early to work on my plans for the day and have the couple of hours of calm before the storm arrives and the phones start ringing.
It isn’t just workdays though. I do the same when I’m not working. I like to be up and about before anyone else (which is hard with a two-year-old) to have that quiet time, enjoy a coffee and make the plans for the day. Likewise, my crazy party days are slowly coming to an end, and the thought of an early night and a book actually floats my boat these days. Age for you. But also, so much more energy and focus.
Now I know that won’t work for everyone. As I’ve already mentioned, I know people differ and there are “night owls” out there. I’m just letting you know what works for me, having tried quite a few different things around sleep over the years. I’m sure toddlers have it right though – go crazy all day, hit the hay early, get some quality sleep and then up back at it again nice and early.
I must wrap this one up now, as my bedtime is fast approaching.
Gavin Moorhouse is the owner of Lucid Computer Solutions, a Cloud Services and IT Solutions company in Worcestershire. He also has lucid dreams.