How to kill your productivity completely

For a while I have been wondering why my energy has been lacking.

I wondered if it was diet, stress, workload, exercise. Of course all of those things are factors, but I couldn’t put my finger on why it was so unusually bad right now.

With the help of my iPhone I think I have found the culprit, or the largest.

My sleep is atrocious.

While I always knew my sleep paterns could be, well, less than optimal, I never expected to see a chart like this one. According to this, once I got to bed I had around 1 hour of actual deep sleep. We all know it is not so much how much time you spend in bed that counts but the quality of sleep you get while in there, and this shows mine isn’t so great.

Sleep Monitoring Gadget

The application is called “Sleep Cycle” (find it in your app store) and uses the sensitive accelerometer in the iPhone to detect your movements and therefore sleep pattern. I don’t know how to read these charts but even I can tell this does not look as it should be.

With lack of sleep we get lack of energy, stamina suffers and so does concentration. Peak productivity can’t be maintained while your body and mind are crying out for sleep.

Of course I have a lot on my mind, what with projects and an immigration to worry about on top of the usual family/business/life stuff, but I am pretty sure my productivity will take a leap once I can fix or mitigate this sleep problem.

Sleep Fix Project

Here are the things I am going to try:

  1. Temperature – Too hot or too cold and I will never get decent sleep. No point in getting proper air conditioning only to leave it in the UK but I can bring up my portable office unit to see if that helps.
  2. Pillow – I have one of those curved, firm pillows that are supposed to offer more spine support. This needs to be examined to see if it is right for me.
  3. Timing – Sleep routine rather than random “keep working until I start nodding off at my desk” would probably help I am guessing!
  4. Brain – Turn off the brain well before attempting to go to sleep to stop the mind continuiing to work long after it should be dozing.
  5. Diet – Eating late or eating certain foods impacts sleep, as does excess or late caffiene/sugar intake. I practically live on coffee, and that needs to stop.
  6. Exercise – IE. get some. I started before our recent trip to Australia and quit while we were away. Use up that adrenalin for something positive.
  7. Daylight – IE. get some. Artificial glow from a computer screen is not a natural light substitute I am told. Strange that. We need sunlight to regulate our body clocks.

What else can I try to improve my sleep? What has hurt or helped yours? Do you get enough sleep? Please share any thoughts you have in the comments ….

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These days, with double-digit megapixel digital cameras on the market, video cameras being attached to nearly every phone, and documents and PDF’s everywhere, backing up your important data might seem more complicated than ever, but thankfully, there are a number of tips, tricks, and tutorials that will make saving the digital bits of information that are most precious to you both fast and easy. [Read more...]

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Photo by pugetsoundphotowalks Flickr

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I am an excited proponent of social media and I have only scratched the surface of what is possible at the moment.

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As a disclaimer, these may or may not be considered Life Hacks by you, but a case is made that they fall under the general definition of Life Hacks. (Not to be confused with the General Lao Lao Smith definition of Life Hacks, which is another article entirely.) With that in mind, sit back and prepare to be astounded by some of the biggest Life Hacks throughout history. [Read more...]