Stop Working And Go To Sleep

Photo by  Sylvie Tittel  on  Unsplash

This a plea for everyone to cut it out and go to bed.

I hate the allegiance to ‘team no sleep’ and all its cousins (like ‘never not working’ (which doesn’t even make sense)) who praise working long hours for the sake of working long hours, like that somehow means higher productivity, more money or even more fame.

I once looked up to someone who rode this train harder than IG influencers ride Fashion Nova and their excitement briefly pulled me into the ‘never not working’ crew. It was exhausting and unproductive. Answering emails in the middle of the night did not ensure a big break or a promotion, nor was my mind clear while working on that large, important project. Truthfully, I was thinking about my bed. For some, working later in the day, in the evening, and even at night is best per their personal clock. I’m not talking about them. I'm not talking about the incessant need to, for whatever reason, ‘work’ from 9 am to dawn the next day, and then imposing that need on everyone else around you. Stop it.

Living a balanced life is ingrained in my spirit and maybe the lack thereof lead me to literally jump off the train while it was still moving. But before I jumped, I woke up. One day after wondering why I was still sitting in the office I began to reflect on the tasks of the day - the calls, the emails, the meetings - and everything could’ve been done more efficiently or not at all (like the meetings). There was so much time wasted that we literally could’ve completed most of the week’s tasks in a day or two.

Nope. I needed to go.

Ambition is not ‘never not working.’ It’s strategy, planning, and efficient action. It’s going to bed, letting your mind rest, then attacking again in the morning with a fresh head and new ideas. Rome wasn’t built in a day and Beyonce has a team to help her produce in those same 24 hours we all have. It’s just you, protect yourself. Rest. Turn off your email notifications.

I know it’s hard because even if everyone doesn’t claim the ‘team no sleep’ set, our entire society is drinking the kool-aid some way or another. But don’t worry, I got your back. Below are some of my productive tips so you can work more efficiently, not longer:

Determine your work hours and stick to them.

I work 9am-6pm and that’s it. I don’t work an extreme amount of overtime and I do not work on weekends. I understand this may not but easy for some, but try to establish a cut off time and stick to it. I know your mind still may be racing but it also needs time to rest.

Write out your goals.

Writing out your goals allows you to focus on your desired end goal and helps you from veering too far off track, or working too hard on the wrong things. Put them on sticky notes and place them in multiple places as reminders. I also like to write them on the last day off each month in my planner. When a month is coming to a close, this prompts me to reflect on the previous weeks and the items I completed towards those goals.

Make a task list.

I plan my day in the morning and, if I’m feeling overwhelmed close to quitting time, I plan the following day in the afternoon. This keeps me organized and focused. From there, I knock out all the short tasks first then work on the longer tasks. If I’m unable to finish all of my tasks in a day, the overflow tasks become priority for the next day.

Seriously, turn off your email notifications.

I don’t even have my work email on my phone but if you have to, turn off your notifications so you aren’t pulled back into work once you’ve clocked out. The email will still be in your inbox tomorrow morning.

Write out a meeting agenda before each meeting.

Then cancel the meeting and send the agenda as an update email. You’re welcome.

Schedule time to recharge every day.

It’s doesn’t have to be a full home spa session, but make sure you’re giving yourself at least an hour a day to unwind. Reading, journaling, or streaming are my go-to recharging activities but yours could be the gym or cooking. Whatever you truly enjoy, do it every day.

Take care y’all!

Until next time,