“You look tired.”
That, my friend, is a badge that leaders love to wear. Leadership is a grind that demands hustle over the long haul. Men and women who can produce with little more than a power nap each night become heroes and legends. We find subtle ways to let people know that no one will out work us.
And then someone tells us that we look tired. Bloodshot, baggy eyes. Mentally checking out of meetings. Dozing off at a red light. Somewhere deep inside of us we know that we look tired because we are tired. But life is hard, and the early bird gets the worm and if you're not working, someone else is going to take what's yours.
If you're committed to non-stop hustle and grind, then I won't be able to convince you to change. At least not today. But if you are worn out and tired of being tired, try on some of this.
Schedule Your Sleep
Go to bed the same time every night and get up the same time every morning. Use a calendar and schedule 7-9 hours of sleep. If you are married or have roommates, tell them what time you're going to bed and getting up. Make sleep a priority that you schedule and protect. If you can't fit everything into the other 15-17 hours of your day, maybe you're simply trying to do too much.
Turn Off The Screen
An hour before you go to bed, turn off the TV, shut down your laptop, get off your phone or tablet. Don't go to bed watching Netflix or reading on your Kindle. Why? Because the light from your screen mimics sunlight and tricks your body into thinking you should be awake. Don't believe me? Turn off your screens an hour before you plan to go to sleep for ten days. And then come back and leave a comment about the effect it had on the length and quality of your sleep
Don't Drink Caffeine After 5pm
Caffeine will keep you awake. And once you know that it takes 3-5 hours for caffeine to wear off, then that post-dinner cup of coffee is no longer your friend. If you are getting the proper amount of sleep, then you do not need caffeine in order to function at night. The prize simply is not worth the price.
Cut Out The Margin In Your Life
Let me simplify this for you. Work* for 16 hours a day, six days a week. You'll be good and ready to sleep well each and every night. And you'll fight hard to take a day each week to rest because you know how desperately you need it.
So let's start today. Which of these action steps are you putting into place right now? Let me know and hit me up if you have any questions in the comments section below.
*Work is not limited to your job. Work includes everything that you're responsible for, including things like family, friendships, church, community participation, etc.