We just had the dreaded “Spring Forward” time change. How was your day?
Every year I promise myself I will go to bed early. In fact, I promise I’ll get up early the entire week before. “Think of all the extra time I’ll have!!!” Every year it’s the same. Life happens. I don’t get up early. That Sunday night before the first time changed work day, I go to bed, stare at the ceiling and think “I need to sleep. I’m losing an hour. Tomorrow is going to suck.” … and it does.
- My work suffers.
- My credibility suffers.
- Everyone around me suffers.
How can I fly all day to the east coast of Mexico, lose two hours, wake up with the rising sun the next morning and go, go, go all day long? I am not tired until 11PM. I’m up again with the sun the next day ready to go, go, go! Yet lose an hour in March …
Okay, it’s Mexico, not work! But is it because I’m not at work? Or is it because I breathe deeper, get exercise and really relax so I can actually … sleep?
Here’s a reality check. My friend has stage 4 cancer. She usually eats healthy food, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t do all those behaviours that might lead someone to get cancer. We had a heart-to-heart talk about work.
For years, she worked one-and-a-half high stress jobs, raised a son on her own, nursed her dad back to health when he suffered from cancer … and she couldn’t sleep. In fact, she didn’t exercise much because there was never time. Her body was starving. She needed:
- to breathe deeply and get Oxygen into the bottom of her lungs
- to Relax
- to Sleep
Think about it. If you had no oxygen, how quickly would you die?
We starve our bodies and brains with limited oxygen levels, keep ourselves loaded up on adrenaline and cortisol by never taking the time to truly, deeply relax, making us unable to sleep, which our entire system needs to heal and defragment. That’s a recipe for a world of hurt. Before you say “It goes with the territory for my job.” ask yourself honestly if you are most productive in this state of existence?
Are you doing your best work?
For the sake of preserving your career, your reputation and through your work, the reputation of your company, you might want to change your plan.
These three necessities in life – Oxygen (fresh air and exercise), Relaxation and Sleep – will save your reputation, your career and your sanity. Without them, the best education, tools and even diet in the world cannot preserve you for long. Eventually:
- your work will suffer
- your credibility will suffer
- everyone around you will suffer
What to do RIGHT NOW if you think you are ORS deprived:
- Look at the rest of your schedule for the day. Build in any kind of exercise – walk outdoors, ride a bike, weed a patch of garden – anything that will get oxygen into the deepest parts of your lungs today.
- Schedule a time when you will shut off all electronic devices, forget about work and call it a day. This should be at least an hour before you plan (yes PLAN) to go to bed. Use that time to do something that will relax you (I’ll let you be creative with this. I don’t want to know. Truly.)
- Go to bed (don’t relax on the couch) when you planned and have a nice, non heart-thumping, book at your side. Better yet, just concentrate on your breathing until you fall asleep. Let tomorrow happen tomorrow. Give your body a chance to recover from today.
I would love to know how this works for you! Send me your feedback and how getting your ORS starts to improve your performance, your credibility and your relationships at work and at home. I will post the better ones. (Need to weed out the spam. Sorry.)