Modern society is frequently told that we need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily. Since this changes for different age groups, considering it the “golden rule” might not be correct for each person. As big as our world’s population is, there has to be many exceptions to the rule. The fact remains that quality sleep is the key to functioning as best as possible. Why is it that the ambitious are more willing to sacrifice their sleep to achieve a goal?
Let’s get right down to it: you have things you hope to accomplish in life. It can be as small as getting out of the bed for school or work or as monumental as changing the environment and world for the better. This is awesome, honestly! Oh, but where does one start? That’s the part that can leave you in mental quicksand.
There’s plenty of tips and suggestions for executing your goals, so I won’t give you any of that here. I will, however, encourage you to stay motivated… to get some rest. Seriously. The grind-all-the-time mindset can be so exciting that it keeps you awake late at night. That is not the most conducive way towards your goals.
The willingness to put in long hours or burn the midnight oil has its occasional merits but should not be the norm. Particularly, when it comes to entrepreneurship and academics, there is this unwritten law that not getting enough sleep is a sign of dedication. I am guilty of this mindset at times. I’m also an insomniac with a natural inclination to be most alert during late hours. I could blame nature but I’ve nurtured this type of behavior to prove how serious I am about obtaining career goals. My serious goal now is giving myself time to rest as soon as my body demands it. Unfortunately, this wisdom followed embarrassing grumpy moments and falling asleep in awkward places.
Here is what I know:
– With enough forewarning, almost everything can be delegated to someone willing to help. If it absolutely feels like no one but yourself can tend to a task, it is time to re-evaluate how leadership is trained and supported within your company.
– A “power nap” really is no longer than an hour. If you need more than an hour, you need actual sleep. (Also, it’s envy-inducing to other adults than saying you’re about to take a nap. We’re almost all ready for one.)
– Needing to sleep or take a break from working is not a sign of laziness. It is necessary to step away from external activities for internal renewal.
– Inform others that you’re taking a rest. If you publicize your schedule with your team or correspond with leadership frequently about almost everything else, communicate the times you’re unavailable and rest, too. Do not assume that others function as you do–thinking that something like a universal bedtime is implied is not wise.
This is currently working well for me but if it no longer does, I now have control to modify things. I can be as lofty as I feel when creating goals for my business, but when I feel like it’s time for a nap or shutting things down, I listen. Become motivated to have your best sleep now and as often as possible. Sure, you can “sleep when you’re dead,” but being an exhausted zombie isn’t too far off either.
Ashley C. Griffin is Co-Founder and Creative Director of Multifacetedacg Productions, LLC (MACG Productions).