MNC Consulting Group Newsletter
March 2012
The Efficient Organization
Sleeping at Work

Combat Counter-Productivity

 

 

There is a direct relationship between the amount of time you spend sleeping and your efficiency. It turns out that decreasing sleep by as little as 1.5 hours for just one night reduces daytime alertness by 32 percent. In addition, people who get less than six hours of sleep per night have a 70 percent higher mortality rate than those who get seven or eight hours a night. Given these statistics, it's not surprising that a study at UCLA concluded that sleep's primary function is to "increase efficiency and minimize risk by regulating the duration and timing of behavior."

 

Humans spend about one-third of their lives sleeping, but it's surprising that many executives still do not allow themselves to get enough sleep, insisting that they need to burn the proverbial midnight oil to keep up with their workload. Unfortunately, what occurs is counter-productivity - the exact opposite of the intended result.

 

It's no surprise that sleep improves memory and learning, but most individuals who do not get enough sleep are unable to recognize the effects of their lack of sleep on their mental health. And lack of sleep can be dangerous - some statistics show that almost 20 percent of US traffic accidents occur due to driver fatigue. Chronic fatigue along with a myriad of other symptoms, are caused by lack of sleep. Here are a few other areas affected by lack of sleep that ultimately contribute to poor efficiency both on the job and at home.

  

  1. Thinking. Lack of sleep leads to reduced capacity of attention and concentration. This may lead to difficulties in making decisions or making the wrong decisions.
  2. Memory. Nerve connections needed in memory are able to recover and harden during sleep. If you don't get enough sleep, you are more likely to forget things. Sleep is necessary to enable the storage of experiences and knowledge into short-term memory. If you're not sleeping enough, you're not remembering enough.
  3. Difficulty learning new things. Lack of sleep makes learning more difficult because of an inability to focus. This leads to impaired memory. Studies have also shown that lack of sleep can contribute to hyperactivity in children.
  4. Mood. If you're irritable, angry, or unable to handle normal stresses of the day, lack of sleep may be to blame.
  5. Low energy. Lack of sleep creates less energy to do more of the healthy things in life such as exercising and eating a well-balanced diet.
  6. Depression. Fatigue caused from lack of sleep increases the risk of depression. A University of North Texas study found that people with insomnia are ten percent more likely to develop depression and 17 times more likely to have anxiety.

 

So how do you know if you're getting enough sleep? The best indicator is when you awake in the morning and you don't feel sleepy. You should be energetic throughout the day and feel more tired as the day progresses. If this doesn't describe you, then you're not getting enough sleep.

Pursuit of Profit
Diary

 

Owed to Sleep

 

 

Can you make up for lost sleep? Many studies indicate that this cannot be done. Just as you would spend time proactively planning projects and strategies, being proactive about sleep is the best defense against lack of sleep. It's much easier to maintain a healthy (proactive) sleep pattern than it is to try and catch up (reactive). 

 

You owe your time to sleep to ensure that you are functioning at your best all the time. To help you achieve optimal functioning at work, here are some tips to help you get and stay asleep for maximum performance.

 

  1. Try and get at least 7.5-8.0 hours of sleep each and every night. Use time management planning and plan your bedtime. And stick to your normal bedtime routine every night. On time.
  2. If you lose sleep for a few days in a week, try and sleep an extra one or two hours each night over the next week. You won't ever catch up on your sleep, but you will feel better.
  3. A sleep diary may be helpful to keep track of how you feel each morning based on the number of hours you slept. This will help you learn about your natural sleep patterns and determine your optimal sleep time.
  4. Take a "sleep" vacation (or just take a vacation to sleep). Ever notice how much better you feel on vacation? No alarm clocks to disturb you and usually you feel great in the morning when you wake up naturally. Some experts suggest if you take a sleep vacation for two weeks (going to bed every night at the same time and allowing yourself to wake up naturally), you'll re-energize your body and be able to perform much better at work (and at home, too!).
  5. Treat sleep as a work priority and prioritize it as an urgent item. And remember that you must complete urgent items every day at the planned time. (This will also help you develop a pattern for sleeping).

 

If you're still struggling with sleep, check out Helpguide.org for sleep tips: http://helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm 

 

 

Bottom line is that you cannot afford not to sleep. Your organization's productivity depends on you being at your best. Making good sleep an urgent priority will help keep you at your best.

 

In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

There's no excuse for sloppy work. And there's no excuse for not recognizing when you've made a mistake. I know that none of us are (is?) perfect (okay maybe one or two of you might think you are), but if you can't admit to your mistakes, then that's a much bigger mistake than the sloppy work you produced in the first place. If you can't do the task, say so and give it to someone who can. You'll end up being a star in everyone's eyes. IMHO.

 

"Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value."

Albert Einstein 

About MNC Consulting Group
Our goal is to help you to dramatically increase efficiencies that immediately boost your profit margins.

 

ISSN 1925-8941   

Extreme Profits is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing how leaders can be more efficient and areas where organizations can save more money. 

 

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In This Issue
The Efficient Organization
Pursuit of Profit
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)
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