Understanding your sleep pattern and productivity

Is your sleep pattern affecting your motivation and your productivity. This is a question that I asked myself about a year ago. I noticed things has started changing in my productivity levels. I noticed that my workload has started to decrease. Today I want to talk about understanding your sleep pattern and productivity and how they play hand in hand.

When I first started my agency. I always thought on the back of my mind that having five or six hours of sleep, was quite normal and that you needed less sleep. So you could work harder. Now, there is an element of that sleeping 14 hours a day isn’t exactly practical to get a lot done. However, as the years went on building my company. I noticed that my sleep had changed.

I noticed that I wasn’t getting regular sleep, my sleep pattern was shifted, I never felt like I’d gone into a deep state. I always felt like I had two or three thoughts on my mind that never seemed to go away. This naturally affected the way I slept. So, about a year ago. I wanted to do something about this. I wanted to understand how sleep affected my productivity. After analysing it, and understanding it. I realised it played a much bigger part than I thought.

Now, like anybody in a high stress situation or the stresses of the day, sleep, can be minimal and can be slowed down. The problem is, like most big entrepreneurs around the world. They will say that you still need sleep for productivity. I remember getting the question about six months ago by somebody who just started out their business. They said to me, “James. I’m really struggling only sleeping six hours a day and I don’t really know what to do. I look at all the other big entrepreneurs and business owners and so forth. They only sleep asleep this amount of time. Why can’t I”.

This wasn’t the first time I’d had this question. I always seem to answer with the same statement, which is the you have to work out what your body clock needs and you also need to work out what works best for you. Only over the last two to three years have I have worked out. The best routine for my day and how my body reacts. The time it needs, and where I’m most motivated on where I will lose motivation, and sometimes where I’ll get a second wave of energy. It’s taken me quite a while, but I know my routine and you need to understand yours.

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How to sleep hack, the tips you need to understand it

To some people getting up earlier at 6am and starting work at 7am isn’t practical. I know some people who have got incredibly successful companies who only start work at 10am. But they only finish work at 7pm or 8pm. This is the difference. You have to work out what works for you. We’re not all the same. While we may be human, our emotions are very different. So, what happens when we do get lack of sleep well with lack of sleep, there are a range of issues that arise, lack of motivation, anxiety, stress increase. We start to make quick rash decisions that actually may not be beneficial. We can snap. We don’t think methodically, we think, erratically.

All of these together can change you. Not for the better, but for the worse. So the real question you’re probably asking is, how do you manage sleep better and how do you improve your sleep pattern. How do you make sure that you get the right sleep for you. Well, there are a range of things that I started doing that helped me understand how to sleep better, and also how to work better.

Environment you’re in

As simple as it sounds. One of the big things to benefit from sleep hacking is breaking up your schedule, and making sure that the environment that you’re sleeping in is the best environment you can. One of the worst things I used to do, and I still do it to some days, and I know that I’m not going to sleep well if I do, is get into bed with the TV on with my phone in my hand with my work phone and the other with work in bed, and then try and sleep.

It’s just not practical. This naturally forces my brain back into work mode. So one of the big key things I like to do is set the environment around me that I know I’m going to sleep, no TV. The work phone has now been turned on silent and even with a Do Not Disturb.

I try stay off social media as much as I can and I read. Now sometimes. If I can’t read. I try to do nothing and by nothing I don’t mean just sitting in the dark, thinking about the day. But I’m meaning. Just relaxing, taking the deep heavy breath to really reset my rhythm.

sleep and productivity

Anxiety at night at how to manage it

Before starting the day again. The next thing I do, to understand what works for me and what doesn’t, is I try and actually work in what works best for me, for my productivity. So, for example, I know that usually I wake up every day at around 630 to 730. I don’t set myself an alarm clock. And I do this because I don’t like having the idea of an alarm clock waking me up, because it will force my body into a state of stress. So what I like to do is leave it over the last five years I’ve very much trained my body to try and wake up between 6.30 and 7.30, and usually does unless I’m very ill. Then I know that that’s a big issue. I also know that by about 7.30, to 8.00. I’m actually usually up. Coffee breakfast, and I’m ready to start. I usually know that in the morning. I’m a lot more productive. I get a lot done before 12 o’clock.

Be productive when you know you can

This is usually the time where I try and have the big key tasks of the day. This is usually the time that I try and set goals. Big meetings that needs my effort and energy. Then what I do is I set those mundane tasks, the tasks that don’t require a huge amount of energy, or thinking for the afternoon. This allows me to always stay productive. But I’ve used the energy that I have on the things that matter the most.

Now, usually what happens to me is I stopped working at around six o’clock. This allows me then to have dinner and start to wind down. Now, I got into a bad habit, a number of times over the years, where after dinner. I would have a sense of false energy. And this was because I just eaten and then what I used to do is work.

Exercise and burn excess energy

This was a big issue, because that forced me to never stop. Now what I do is after dinner. I have that second wave of energy. But this is when I work out. It allows me to burn any excess energy that I had for the day on exercise, which again is so important for sleep. After that’s done. I then know that the time has started for me to get ready to bed. I’m usually in bed and relaxing by 10pm.

Know your body

Now, naturally, As we are human. There are days where we get into bed a little bit later, a little bit earlier. But I try and always stick to a routine, because it tells my body, that it’s time to relax. If you can start understanding and what affects your sleep and understanding your body of how it works the motivation, it needs when it works hardest. When you need sleep the most what affects you. You’ll start to understand how your productivity is affected. And what you need to really push yourself. Further, but push yourself further. The right way, without pushing your body to its absolute limits.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this and you understood that actually like me. There are a lot of people that can suffer from insomnia. And the you’re not the only person out there who’s having this thought. But there are good ways to start to manage your sleep and productivity together. So, that you work better. And you get the most out of your day.

Reach out to me on social media directly and let’s have a chat about your sleep pattern and productivity.