Don’t sacrifice sleep for your to-do list

Work out how to manage your time so that you get a better night’s sleep.

When a project deadline is looming, or you just need to finish your to-do list, it is easy to fall into the trap of sacrificing sleep in order to just get everything done.

And yes, things do get done – but at what cost to your own health and well-being? Cutting back on sleep can mean that you lack focus in the day, making it harder to do those tasks that take up your time and then you repeat the sleep sacrifice to get things done.

The more this pattern happens, the more likely it is to have a negative effect on your sleep overall as your body struggles to learn when it can switch off and relax, so always operates in a ‘ready to go’ mode. This leads to broken sleep, less sleep time and poorer quality sleep when you do actually shut your eyes.

So, what can you do about it?

Start by working out how much sleep you actually need, as everyone is different, and some people need less sleep than others. There are various apps and trackers you can use to help work out what you need, and they can help set reminders for wind-down time and prepare you for sleep.

Secondly, make sure that you eat well, and avoid certain foods near bedtime. Also allow yourself to do exercise or mediate to allow your body and mind to rest and recuperate from the day. And try to avoid your phone, laptop or TV for an hour before bed to rest your eyes and allow your brain to relax.

Then, time management of your working day is effective in making sure that you achieve the important things on your to-do list, delegate or outsource those things that you can to others and learning to switch off when the day is done. During your working day plan a list of things that need to be done, by what time and for whom. Note if there are any flexible deadline or things that depend on other people giving you materials or information as well.

Finally, try not to sacrifice your sleep when you feel the pressure of a deadline or project – instead take time for yourself so that you can reset your brain and body, ready to tackle a challenge from a new angle or with a fresh pair of eyes.

By trying these things and managing your time in the day you will hopefully minimise your stress and maximise the quality of your sleep.

LHT Associates is available for a free 30-minute discovery call to see how we can help you manage your time and to-do list better, removing some of the pressure in your day-to-day planner and get that to-do list done.


Free 30-minute discovery call