Working when you should be sleeping

Have you ever considered that the minute is exactly 60 seconds, there are 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 365 days a year, with a 366th every four years, and everything stays in place.  In fact the very last second on the December 31st is the end of the last minute and last hour of the year, and something so complex as time based on the rotations of the planet, the travel around the Sun and the effect of the moon are all so precise that the seasons and night and day, all stay in place.

 To match this we have a natural rhythm and interestingly it starts with thirds, in that we should sleep for eight hours, work for eight hours and have eight hours of leisure and rest time.  Sadly, we have become almost immune to the rhythm and so we often work against them.  Your body has definite peaks and troughs and we need to learn to work around them if we want to be most productive in our day.

 Most people have a peak of energy from 8.00 – 12.00, with a very definite drop, known as the post lunch dip effect, in the afternoon.  The morning is therefore crucial for doing tasks like paperwork that require the whole brains functions, and yet business people regularly plan meetings in the morning which takes far less energy and should be held in the afternoon.

 We tend to stay up way past our evening quota and as a result we either have to sleep in using up our most productive time or worse we deprive ourselves of the sleep we need, which affects memory and productivity.

Working instead of sleeping?

 It is important to look at our day and see if we are fighting our rhythms or working with them.  If when you sit in a chair for too long and start to nod off, then you know you are suffering from sleep deprivation, so you may need to look at the amount of sleep you are having.  If you lose most of your morning to simpler tasks then you need to review the layout of your day, and you need to accept that you will have reduced faculties in the afternoon when the simpler tasks could be done.

 Equally there is a purpose to leisure time and especially the end of the evening when our brain starts its shut down for a good nights sleep, yet some people try to use that as a time to catch up on work.  Doing so wakes the brain back up, but also at the end of the day it will be taking much longer to do and may be of a lesser quality due to the brains reduced function at  that time of night.

 Every person has their own peaks and troughs and it is essential that we learn to understand them and work our day around them for maximum productivity in our day and long term benefit to our body and mind.