A popular misconception about productivity is that productive people get more done because they work 20 hours a day. I don’t know about you but I don’t know anybody that can function on that little sleep everyday. Richard Branson, the Founder of Virgin airways is famous for being up with the sun. He likes to get an early start. At first glance, this looks like he only gets a few hours of sleep each day. However, he is also consistent about going to bed every night at 11pm. He leaves the curtains open so he can feel the rays of the sun striking his face. That’s when he knows it’s time to wake up. This means on average, Richard Branson gets six to seven hours of sleep per day. No one can call him unproductive.
The average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep every day to function effectively. You might get away with having a little less every day for a few days but eventually, lack of sleep catches up with you. Those who work regular hours (9 to 5) on week days only tend to sleep longer on weekends because they don’t always get the required 8 hours per day. Lack of sleep is cumulative. If you sleep less and less each day, eventually you will have to pay it back.
Staying up longer to get work done won’t improve your productivity. We have already established you will have to pay back the lost sleep. Anytime, you keep yourself working into the early morning hours, you deny your body and mind the chance to rest. Look at it this way, if you planned your working hours well, you should be able to get enough hours of sleep at night. Having to work late every day might be a sign that you are not planning your days properly.
As a productivity enthusiast, I can tell you this: The less sleep you have, the more tired you will feel. The more tired you feel, the more likely you are to make mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the more time you will have to spend doing rework. The more reworks you have to make, the more time you have to spend working. The more time you have to spend working…………………….. I’m sure you can see where this is going. So save yourself the stress, plan your day in advance and get enough rest. Your productivity will thank you for it.