Sleep: The Key to Productivity
Running on minimal sleep is often seen as a badge of honor - the less you sleep, the more time you have for work, right? Well, maybe you have more hours available to work, but you aren’t likely to actually get more done than you would if you had invested your time in a full night’s sleep. Check out all the reasons why getting more Zzz’s will improve your productivity:
- Less Prone to Give Into Distractions
In order to reach peak productivity, you must be able to focus on the task at hand. Unfortunately, when you aren't fully rested, it's harder for your brain to muster up the strength needed to focus (making it even more tempting to waste time online, on social media, or chatting with other people). When you get enough sleep, you won't be as likely to give into those workplace distractions that can eat up your time
- Better Decision-Making Abilities
Making informed decisions in an efficient but thoughtful manner takes a lot of concentration, analyzing data, and logical thinking. Being drowsy can make it more challenging for your brain to juggle all of the cognitive processes required for decision-making, which is pretty mentally taxing as it is. Making it a point to get enough sleep can help you make decisions more quickly, and ensure you make judgment calls you won't regret.
- Easier to Retain Information
The yawns and need for repeated coffee refills are common occurrences on the workdays when you're running on insufficient sleep. You may also notice that information slips your mind a lot more often too. When you're operating in a mental fog due to lack of sleep, your brain has more difficulty retaining information. This is a productivity killer if you have to waste time hunting down answers or rushing to fix forgotten tasks.
- Increased Accuracy
Mistakes happen to the best of us, but when you protect yourself against ones that could be easily prevented, you save yourself a lot of wasted time that would have to be used for investigating and resolving the issue. Fueling your body with a full night's sleep puts you in a position for maximum productivity - since you're better able to pay closer attention and maintain accurate work, you're not spending time "putting out fires" and dealing with crises.
- Limited Workplace Safety Risks
Fatigue or outright falling asleep is a common cause of workplace accidents. Even if you work in a standard office environment, there are still possible circumstances where not being fully alert could put you or your colleagues at risk of injuries. From falling or running into objects because of drowsiness to parking lot vehicle accidents, workplace safety risks (and the accompanying loss in productivity) could be reduced if everyone prioritizes proper rest before coming to work.
- Decreased Chances of Health Issues
Nothing brings your productivity to a screeching halt like issues with your health. However, not getting enough sleep over an extended period of time can wreck your immune system and contribute to illnesses and chronic conditions that end up forcing you to take time away from your work. Beyond being more susceptible to catching the latest contagious colds and viruses, being sleep deprived puts you at higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart attack.
- More Positive Emotional State
Being able to keep your composure during times of stress significantly influences how productive you can be in the midst of chaos or conflict. Unfortunately, when you're running on limited sleep, it's harder to keep it together and not have inappropriate emotional responses to workplace stress. Your state of mind is crucial in your work performance, and if you're irritable or cynical because you're sleep deprived, your attitude and output will suffer.
Remember: sleep isn’t for the weak, and it certainly isn’t optional. When you’re tempted to attempt to power through and work instead of sleep, remind yourself that it will actually cost you more productivity than it will gain in the short term.