If you're constantly running on empty, then you'll never have time to slow down and enjoy the scenery. #QuoteADay #Day247 #edchat #ASCDL2L
Last night I had the opportunity to participate in a Twitter chat facilitated by my colleague Amy Murphy and writer Robyn Jackson. The question I came in on (I arrived quite late) was tied to preparedness and taking care of ourselves. Many of the responders mentioned the challenge of getting enough sleep. To that, I can relate.
I need about 7.5 hours of sleep to feel at my best. And yet, even knowing this, I find myself falling asleep later than I need to be. Most of this is my own fault, as I want to have some time, even if it is thirty minutes, to just relax. Life is challenging at many times, and because of that, we all need an opportunity to reflect and “veg out.” And, if we’re going to always be the best at what we do, we need to feel relaxed (and therefore less stressed), and aware (and therefore less tired).
And that’s tough, because we are so busy in our lives that we often feel like the only way we can find the time to relax is at the expense of giving up time for sleep.
When given the option, I always happen to choose relaxation time, because I know that it is something I need, and figure that seven hours of sleep will still work for me.
Often it does, but I still know I need more. So, what’s a person to do? Here are two steps I’m taking to try and balance my need for “me” time and my need for sleep.
First, I’m rolling back my sleeping time by about ten minutes each day. So, since I’ve been going to be by 10:30, and my goal is 10, last night I was in bed, with lights off and devices put away by 10:20. Tonight’s goal is 10:10. Tomorrow’s will be 10:00. Every time I find myself back at 10:30, I have to roll back a bit the next few nights. For me, it is easier to try and “save” ten minutes than it is to “save” thirty.
Second, I’m adjusting the “when” and “where” of the work I do and life I lead. Some aspects, like engaging in Twitter conversations, I’m cutting back on in the evening, and placing into other times, like lunch, at work. I’m also working to slowly put our girls to bed a bit earlier (maybe just ten or fifteen minutes) because they need more sleep as well, and because that extra ten or fifteen minutes can be used to allow me to get to bed earlier.
Time-management is never easy. There is never going to be that twenty-fifth hour. But, we can work more efficiently with the time we have. The less we feel like we’re running on empty, the better we’ll be at all that we do.