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This 1 Unexpected Tactic Can 25X Your Productivity Under 30 Days

How long does it take you to fall asleep?


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Bhupinder Nayyar

3 years ago | 10 min read

“By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.” — Arianna Huffington

If you’re only doing the things that other people are doing, you aren’t getting ahead — you’re just keeping up. If you’re only taking actions that other people are taking, you are going to get the same results that others are getting.

Smart people and ambitious people know that the real edge is in seeking out selective knowledge that other people don’t have, that you need to know the tactic that most people aren’t lucky to know about or are too lazy to achieve.

In early 2020, the world began what is undoubtedly the largest work-from-home experiment in history.

Now, as countries reopen but Covid-19 remains a major threat, organizations are wrestling with whether and how to have workers return to their offices. Business leaders need to be able to answer several questions to make these decisions.

Primary among them is “What impact has working from home had on productivity and creativity?”

  • Workdays are 10–20% longer.
  • The best predictor of adaptation isn’t being introverted or extraverted, but being agreeable and emotionally stable.
  • Communication went up 40% with strong ties but down 10% with weak ties (which is bad news for creativity).
  • Husband, kids, and wife spend 10x as much time together. (more burnout)

You’ve heard it before: If you want to be successful — you need an amazing morning routine and evening routine.

Everybody has the same amount of hours per day.

“Talk about an ideal democracy! In the realm of time, there is no aristocracy of wealth and no aristocracy of intellect. Genius is never rewarded by even an extra hour a day. Moreover, there is no punishment.

Waste your infinitely precious commodity as much as you will, and the supply will never be withheld from you. Moreover, you cannot draw in the future. Impossible to get into debt! You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow; it is kept for you. You cannot waste the next hour; it is kept for you.” — Arnold Bennett

If you see top producers, successful people in the world, and their schedule — it is jammed packed.

A Harvard Medical School study of senior leaders found that 96 percent reported experiencing at least some degree of burnout. The experience of stress results in worse quality of sleep.

Arianna Huffington’s book, The Sleep Revolution, explains: “We sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity, but ironically, our loss of sleep, despite the extra hours we put in at work, adds up to more than eleven days of lost productivity per year per worker, or about $2,280.”

In the U.S. alone, that’s a total annual cost of $63 billion.

There is no better productivity hack than getting enough sleep for HIGH PERFORMANCE, yet the dominant part of individuals experience difficulty in sleeping.

Without enough sleep, we can’t function properly, we get snappy, and our ability to think straight goes out the window.

A key facet of long-term stress is the way that people can sustain intense levels of stress for a while, but then burn out.

Burnout is something that typically affects people who are highly committed to the work they do, probably much like you. When people are faced with a stressful situation, more-often-than-not they respond with complete commitment, by working intensely hard at resolving it.

To do this, they will work all hours, cancel vacations, and cut back on sleep, all to make more time to tackle the problem. If this is short-lived, then negative effects will be minimal and success will often be spectacular.

If this hard work is sustained for a long time without relief, these people increasingly risk burnout.

In November 2012, Dalai Lama His Holiness was in with Japanese scientists in Tokyo discussing sleep.

The second day of His Holiness’ first major, multi-day discussion on science in Japan began with Dr. Masashi Yanagisawa, of Tsukuba University, delivering a talk on “The Mystery of Sleep and Waking.”

Sleep, the professor pointed out, is only a time for the brain to rest; but the electricity in the brain is not turned off during sleep. It’s just set on “maintenance mode,” as it were.

In March 2017, His Holiness the Dalai Lama passed on some wisdom to Australia skipper Steve Smith ahead of the crucial fourth Test against India in Dharamsala, “to have more sleep.”

Sleep will get you the powerful Rest, Relaxation, and Recharge your batteries the natural way. As Dalai Lama, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, puts it, “sleep is the best meditation.”

HERE ARE THE SLEEP ROUTINE OF 10 HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX: 6 hours (1 am — 7 am)

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: 7 hours (9:30 pm — 4:30 am)

Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft: 7 hours (12 am — 7 am)

Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group: 5–6 hours (12–5/6 am)

Jack Dorsey, Co-founder of Twitter: 7 hours (10:30 pm — 5:30 am)

Tim Armstrong, Chairman, and CEO of AOL: 6 hours (11 pm — 5 am)

Barack Obama, Former President of the U.S.: 6 hours (1 am — 7 am)

Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon.com: 7 hours (10 pm — 5 am)

Ellen DeGeneres, TV Host: 8 hours (11 pm — 7 am)

Dalai Lama, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Spiritual Leader, 8 hours (7 pm — 3 am)

You might have experienced often waking up in the mornings feeling more tired than when you went to bed?

Or do you regularly wake up during the night for no apparent reason?

Or do you have trouble getting off to sleep in the first place?

Poor-quality sleep can quickly lead to reduced performance at work from reduced concentration, poor memory, and diminished motivation, impaired judgment, and irritability. Lack of sleep can also cause the body to crave high-calorie foods, potentially leading to weight gain.

All of these side-effects can increase stress which, in turn, can adversely affect your sleep and work. If you are one of the millions of people who occasionally suffer poor quality sleep, and you want to feel more rested, alert, and ready to go, then the good news is that you can improve the quality of your sleep, and so maximize your work performance.

“Sleep is the chain that ties health and our bodies together.” — Griff Niblack.

Relaxation and deep sleep enable peak performance. Producers with drained batteries are highly unproductive. Refueling and resting isn’t a waste of time. As people are working from home, the working hours have increased. Resting for them is part of winning.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates said that he used to regularly pull all-nighters at the beginning of his career at Microsoft.

“I knew I wasn’t as sharp when I was operating mostly on caffeine and adrenaline, but I was obsessed with my work, and I felt that sleeping a lot was lazy,” he wrote on his blog.

Now, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder gets at least seven hours of shut-eye, and wrote that all people need that much, “even if you’ve convinced yourself otherwise.”

Jack Ma

Jack Ma, a billionaire entrepreneur and founder of the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba, has said that sleep is key to handling stress and problem-solving.

“If I don’t sleep well, the problem will still be there,” Ma said at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos. “If I sleep, I have a better chance to fight it.”

Research supports Ma’s habit: Studies suggest that sleep deprivation negatively impacts your cognitive functioning, which includes decision-making, creativity, and memory.

Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos have said that getting eight hours of sleep helps him make the high-level decisions that are necessary for a senior executive.

“Eight hours of sleep makes a big difference for me, and I try hard to make that a priority,” Bezos told Thrive Global in Nov. 2016. “For me, that’s the needed amount to feel energized and excited.”

LeBron James

NBA star LeBron James’ job requires him to perform at his peak both mentally and physically, which is why sleep is such a big part of his recovery routine.

James gets at least eight hours of sleep a night, and sometimes aims for nine, he said on a Nov. 2018 episode of the podcast “The Tim Ferriss Show.” While he doesn’t always “wake up and feel 100%,” making sleep a consistent habit is the best way to recover, he said.

Science also confirms that when we are tired, under stress, and depleted, we have low glucose in our systems. And low levels of glucose diminish our self-discipline. Getting enough sleep also keeps your glucose levels where they should be. Sleep-deprived people don’t do beautiful work.

Getting a decent night’s rest will revive your mind and enhance your capacity to keep you focused. You’ve likely heard some of these core benefits before, but good sleep is the proven way to clean up your brain. The better you sleep, the happier you get with the upgrade of CREATIVITY and PERFORMANCE.

You will be flooded with energy, creativity, productivity, and happiness if you start prioritizing sleep.

But where do you stand right now in the sleep journey?

Colin Espie, professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford and a cofounder of the sleep-education app Sleepio, developed — the Sleep Condition Indicator — a sleep-quality questionnaire.

Consider it a helpful, science-backed tool to start a conversation with yourself, your family, and your friends, and a useful reference as you take steps to renew or sustain your relationship with sleep. To start, circle the most accurate response for each question. In the end, add up your points to get your sleep assessment, along with tips for improvement.

Thinking about a typical night in the last month.

1. How long does it take you to fall asleep?

0–15 min. 4 points

16–30 min. 3 points

31–45 min. 2 points

46–60 min. 1 point

>60 min. 0 points

2. If you then wake up one or more times during the night, how long are you awake in total? (Add up all the time you are awake.)

0–15 min. 4 points

16–30 min. 3 points

31–45 min. 2 points

46–60 min. 1 point

>60 min. 0 points

3. If your final wake-up time occurs before you intend to wake up, how much earlier is this?

I don’t wake up too early/Up to 15 min. early 4 points

16–30 min. early 3 points

31–45 min. early 2 points

46–60 min. early 1 point

>60 min. early 0 points

4. How many nights a week do you have a problem with your sleep?

0–1 4 points

2 3 points

3 2 points

4 1 point

5–7 0 points

5. How would you rate your sleep quality?

Very good 4 points

Good 3 points

Average 2 points

Poor 1 point

Very poor 0 points

Thinking about the past month, to what extent has poor sleep . . .

6. Affected your mood, energy, or relationships?

Not at all 4 points

A little 3 points

Somewhat 2 points

Much 1 point

Very much 0 points

7. Affected your concentration, productivity, or ability to stay awake?

Not at all 4 points

A little 3 points

Somewhat 2 points

Much 1 point

Very much 0 points

8. Troubled you in general?

Not at all 4 points

A little 3 points

Somewhat 2 points

Much 1 point

Very much 0 points

Finally . . .

9. How long have you had a problem with your sleep?

I don’t have a problem/<1 month 4 points

1–2 months 3 points

3–6 months 2 points

7–12 months 1 point

>1 year 0 points

Now add up your total score and enter it here: _________

Use the following as a guide:

0–9 Your sleep problems seem to be severe. You should definitely try to get some help.

10–18 You have some sleep problems. It’s important to examine your sleep habits and see how you can make changes.

19–27 Your sleep is in good shape, but there are still many steps you can take to make it even better.

28–36 Your sleep is in great shape. Keep doing what you’re doing and spread the word!

ACTION STEPS

  1. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
  2. No electronic devices starting 60–90 minutes before bedtime.
  3. Keep the alarm clock, a book, pen + notebook to journal. Don’t keep devices in your bedroom.
  4. No caffeine after 2 p.m. (be very strict about it)
  5. Remember, your bed is for sleep and sex only — no work!
  6. Take a hot bath before bed to help calm your mind and body.
  7. Do some light stretching, deep breathing, yoga, or meditation to help your body and your mind transition to sleep.
  8. Drink a glass of hot water and add 2 tablespoons of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar for fast sleep.
  9. When reading in bed, make it a real book. (research found that reading can help relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles)
  10. Ease yourself into sleep mode by drinking some chamomile or lavender tea.
  11. Before bed, write a list of what you are grateful for or wins of the day. It’s a great way to make sure your blessings get the closing scene of the night.

Sleep is a fundamental and non-negotiable human need. A good day starts the night before.

Share your results and experience how prioritizing sleep has benefited you.

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Bhupinder Nayyar


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