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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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The Relationship Between Your Nightly Routine and Productivity at Work

 

The traditional 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday workweek has conditioned us to assume we have “work time” and “free time.” This may be true for the average worker, but when you’re a business owner, you face a much different reality.

 

The decisions you make at home -- particularly regarding your evening routine -- have a direct impact on your productivity the following day at work.

 

Improving Your Nighttime Routine

 

When you’re a parent of young children, you spend a lot of time thinking about nighttime routines. You brush their teeth, put them in pajamas, read a book, turn on the nightlight, lay them down, etc.

 

You likely believe that a consistent and appropriate bedtime routine is critical to your kids’ ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and awake refreshed. As an adult, you don’t put the same meticulous thought into your own nighttime routine – but you should!

 

According to research conducted by Amerisleep, poor rest has a significant impact on productivity and behavior at work. Those who report poor sleep quality are 4.7 times more likely to feel irritable at work, 3.1 times more likely to show up late, and nearly twice as likely to fall asleep on the job.

 

Since this is the case, you can and should improve your nighttime routine. Here are some helpful pointers:

 

  • Do something you love. The brain naturally relaxes when you so pursue an activity you enjoy. It’s also stimulated in ways that promote cognitive alertness and productivity. As productivity blogger Kassey Vilches writes, “It puts you in a safe zone where you can enjoy yourself for the time being. Doing it just before going to bed is the best time because it helps to seal the positive energy that will condition your mind the next day.”

 

  • Gradually wind down. You need to prepare for bedtime well before your head hits the pillow. For example, if you normally turn out the lights at 11 p.m., you should start prepping around 8 p.m. This means no more caffeine or heavy food. It also means shifting away from screen time and toward peaceful activities such as reading, playing games, journaling, or even meditating.

 

  • Optimize your bedroom for sleep. Over the years, the bedroom has become a place for doing things other than sleeping. From watching TV and playing video games to working and folding laundry, it’s often a place where other interests and duties take precedence. You need to change that. Your bedroom is meant for sleep, and a good sleep environment is imperative for getting the sort of rest you need. Optimize your bedroom accordingly.

 

  • Prepare for the following day. One of the worst things you can do is to wake up in the morning and wonder, “What should I do today?” If you’re asking this, you’re already at a disadvantage. The best way to avoid the scenario is by taking 10 to 15 minutes at night to prepare for the next day. Create a list of the top three to five things that need to get done so you can start tackling them as soon as you get into the office.

 

Overriding the Illusion of Work-Life Separation

 

These days, too much time is spent focusing on creating a separation between work and one’s personal life. But the truth is that this separation is an illusion – especially for business owners.

 

Given the internet, cloud, mobile devices, and remote operational capabilities, we have ubiquitous access to work. Even if we make it a point to remove ourselves from our work at home or on the go, temptations and opportunities are constant.

 

One of the benefits of recognizing this ongoing interrelationship between work and life is that you understand the importance of making smart, productive decisions regardless of whether you’re in the office, at home, or away for the weekend. And as you come to respect the cause and effect nature of your actions, you’ll discover that productivity is less elusive.

 [DT1]Can we say this yet?

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