Most of the important aspects of my work work requires focus and creativity. One thing I'm realizing, then, is just how destructive it is When focus is thrown off first thing to start the day.
Here was the plan for Day 24 --
Sleeping at 8:50AM.
Setting alarm for 2PM -- 5 hours.
Have to be at Loft at 7PM.
2 - 3: Getting ready for day.
3 - 6: Post to blog, weekly review.
7 - 8: Move person in.
8PM on: Go through top opportunities, create actions for all the monetary ones.
9PM: Triage email quickly. Cut number of messages in half.
11PM: Take rest of day off.
Here's what happened --
Awake: 4:55PM (8 hours)
6:30PM: Configuring apps, finances, budgeting, cleaned the Loft quickly in preparation. (95 productive)
8:30PM: Woman was late coming, two hours burnt. (120 distraction)
12:40PM: Quick writing, phonecalls, distraction. (40 semi-productive, 30 general-life, 180 distraction)
4:10AM: Was heading to a cafe, but it was closed. So was the second cafe I went too. Wound up walking a few miles. At the office now.
So basically, I felt like hell, so I slept longer than I intended (I was going to sleep five hours, but was wrecked at that time, so slept again). That might have been okay, but then a woman I was meeting for real estate came two hours later. The whole time I was sitting there not really doing anything important, because I thought I'd have to switch modes any minute -- instead of just spending the two hours well.
This carried on at the next place I went to, so I went to change locations -- but then the two cafes I was going were closed. At this point, I said screwed it and walked maybe a dozen miles, just thinking, mostly without audio. I was spending the time thinking of how to get things running correctly.
First off, the sleep schedule was hosed. I decided to stay up all that night and not sleep, and sleep early on Sunday (Day 25), to normalize my sleep.
I didn't track Day 25, I was in semi-zombie mode from no sleep, but it was a useful enough day. I spent 4-5 hours on the phone connecting with a lot of people I meant to be talk to, and did some light work. I slept around 5PM, intending to wake with my sleep normalized the next day, and my focus ready to go without being thrown into distractions.
Well, this is embarrassing. Day Two of my "Most Productive 90 Days Ever" was off the rails. I'll share why it happened to the best of my understanding, along with some best practices on what to do during bad days (some of which I abided, some I broke).
Here was my "the night before" plan for yesterday --
Wake around noon Morning routine, modafinil, etc. Write observations from yesterday on blog
1PM: Prepare questions I'm trying to learn and things I want to understand about the nonprofit space. Go through my email, reply call or write to everyone who responded, call people who were out of Beijing when introduced. Ask questions and/or invite to lunch next week.
Along with exercise and nutrition, sleep is one of the primary determinants of your happiness and wellbeing. If you don't get good sleep, you will not only be tired, but also pessimistic, unmotivated, lazy or even depressed.
Research has shown that self control is a limited resource that is greatly diminished when you're exhausted. If you don't get good sleep, you are less likely to be productive and stick to your good habits (such as exercise). You are also more likely to do things that you know are bad for you (such as eating sweets).
Good REM sleep plays a critical role in the development of long term memories. If you're trying to learn anything at all, you better make sure you get enough high quality sleep.
Proper sleep is also essential for maintaining a robust immune system. If you want to be happy, healthy, smart and productive, you have must make sure you get good sleep.
Do you think that your physical health and emotional wellbeing can be considered in isolation? Think again. They both come from the same body, and they both require that you sleep well.