Get ready to annihilate your to-do list.
Ever wondered, when tired, if you should opt for a really strong espresso coffee or a power nap to help you push through the day?
The science is in, lady, and you should choose a power nap every time. NASA research has shown pilots who had a 26-minute nap in the cockpit were more alert – by 54 per cent – and had improved performance by 34 per cent. Of course, if you aren’t an astronaut and work in a corporate environment, your boss may not love you napping at your desk! However, you can always try to counter this by telling your superior power naps boost productivity; ease stress; and are good for our heart, blood pressure and even weight management. Or, you could always don one of these to drown out the world – including your boss’ shouting.
I recently had the good fortune to meet a preeminent sleep specialist and he gave me some amazing tips, which I’m going to share with you here, dear reader. Sleep specialist guy says power naps of 29 minutes exactly are clinically proven to be the best for us. He says it’s just the right amount of time to refresh and revitilise ourselves, thereby boosting our alertness, learning, memory and performance.
One method he advises is grabbing a set of keys, laying down, and holding the keys in the palm of your hand over the edge of the bed. When you fall into a deep sleep and drop the set of keys, it’s time to wake up. I’m feeling sleepy just writing about all this!
Another great tip sleep specialist guy gave me was the power of sleep apps: he advises all his clients to try these two from the App Store on iTunes: 1) A free audio app called Power Nap With Andrew Johnson and 2) A free audio app (although the paid one is better and well worth the money) called Health Through Breath – Pranayama. Both these apps have greatly helped me unwind of late and get better quality sleep after my sleep patterns have been destroyed by two pesky toddlers under three, who wake often and cry out repeatedly in the night.
Andrew Johnson is a Scottish clinical hypnotherapist renowned for teaching relaxation and coping skills and even has a pleasing accent to boot. Meanwhile, Health Through Breath – Pranayama is a training tool that uses music and animated visuals to guide you to slower, deeper breathing. It’s not specifically designed for sleep, but makes me so relaxed, I usually drop off fairly quickly. It works off the concept of slow diaphragmatic breathing alleviating stress, anxiety and depression. Happy power napping, ladies!
Images via YouTube, Keep Calm-O-Matic and Hammacher
With summer here, working from home is getting harder and harder. My thoughts keep on drifting off to the beach and to all the Christmas shopping that I haven’t finished yet. But there’s still a bit of time until the holiday and work needs to get done. If you’re like me and struggling to get motivated, here are some tips to help you stay productive.
1. Get enough sleep
It’s very tempting to use the late hours of the night for work and do something more fun during the day, but by sacrificing your sleep you’re killing your productivity. Want proof? Just time how long a task takes when you’re at your best and when you’re sleep deprived. I’ve experimented with my own productivity and I’ve found that the most mundane tasks can take me up to two times longer when I’m overtired.
2. Schedule time for your work
Flexibility was probably one of the reasons why you started working from home in the first place, but have too much flexibility and it’s very easy to find yourself working in the small hours of the morning to complete a project before a deadline. It’s a much more sustainable approach to schedule time for your work and stick to it.
3. Organise your work space
Have everything you need at hand and nothing else that could distract you. Don’t keep a bunch of unrelated books, papers and your kids’ toys around you, you’ll be taking precious time to find things when you need them. A TV playing in the background doesn’t help either.
4. Focus on one task at a time
It might be counter-intuitive, but multi-tasking won’t help you get your work done faster. Turn off your email notifications, stay off social media and don’t open too many screens on your computer. Instead, schedule a little bit a play time during your day to allow yourself to get distracted and catch up on social updates.
5. Take breaks
This is another temptation to avoid – to do everything as fast as you can and without breaks, so that you can have more time for other things later. Not only as you get tired, you’ll be slower at what you’re doing, you’ll also finish your working day exhausted and you won’t enjoy you after-work time nearly as much as you were hoping to.
Bonus tip: There’s no one way of doing anything. Learn from others and try out different things, then figure out what works for you.
Image by TheAngryTeddy via pixabay.com