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Increase Productivity By Sleeping More

increase productivityYou have too much to do and not enough time. Something has to go. You have four choices:

  1. Get further behind at work
  2. Have less fun
  3. Spend less time with your kids, spouse and/or friends
  4. Sleep less

Most people forgo sleep in favor of work, fun, and time with family and friends. But this choice, like all choices, has consequences.

I’ll admit to being a bad sleeper. I stay up too late stalking people on Facebook who I don’t care about. Then I wake up in the middle of the night to use the facilities and have trouble falling back to sleep. Instead of quieting my mind, I make to-do lists on my phone, which, yes, I sleep with. I am quite functional with five hours of sleep for one or two days. The third day I’m a disaster – cranky and unproductive.

Most people need more sleep than they’re getting. With enough sleep everything works better. With a lack of sleep nothing seems to work. We would actually increase productivity if we slept more. Mornings would start better, days would be more efficient, and the people we work and live with would like us more.

But the problem remains, most people don’t feel they have enough time. And something has to go.

Here are a few things I’m trying to increase productivity:

  • Set realistic goals. I’m probably not going to go to be at work at 8:00 am, go to the gym, and see friends five days a week. Three days is more realistic.
  • Put the phone on the other side of the room when I go to bed, so it still serves as an alarm clock but isn’t within arm’s reach.
  • Don’t read or reply to email in the middle of the night.
  • Wind down earlier. Start getting ready for bed 30 minutes before I want to go to sleep.
  • Accept that I need more sleep and that while four or five hours worked while I was in college, I’m no longer 20.
  • Realize that when I get seven hours of sleep I’m nicer to be around. I feel better and am more productive.

When human beings sleep seven or eight hours a night we are more focused, happier and we increase productivity. Thus sleeping more actually creates more time.

Commit to feeling better and enjoying your work and personal life more by getting more sleep. But if you opt to stay tired and cranky, email me at 3:00 am and we’ll catch up.


Shari Harley is the founder and President of Candid Culture, a Denver-based training firm that is bringing candor back to the workplace, making it easier to give feedback at work. Shari is the author of the business communication book How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships that Really Work. She is a keynote speaker at conferences and does training throughout the U.S. Learn more about Shari Harley and Candid Culture’s training programs at

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One Response to “Increase Productivity By Sleeping More”

  1. Why do we fight to accept this innate truth? =) Great post.

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