“Sleep? Pfft who needs it?”

If I were a cartoon character, the above would be my catchphrase. That and “I’ll buy and extra soft coffin for when I die.”

Sleep has always been a constant no matter what happens it will always be there and is usually quite patient. For a former (or so I to think) master procrastinators, like myself, an extra 5 minutes could have just as easily become 5 hours. But inevitably once the Sandman finally reaches up an claims me as its victim it usually is quite reluctant to let me escape the next morning.

It’s so easy to steal slumber time and it actually feels like we are gaining more time when in actual fact it is quite the opposite. Any theft of sleep will need to be paid at some point in some way: whether you are working at half speed or totally loose few days to weeks to recover. Are the few extra hours a day really worth the war zone that also entrenches within?

I have completely burnt myself out at times and sunk into a depressive funk which seems to linger forever and seems impossible to get rid of. This is certainly not conducive to creativity or productivity and is a leach to any motivation. Quite horrible!

The solution? I am finding that ensuring a good 7-8 hours of sleep coupled with an understanding of how I would rather use my time has certainly proven to be quite effective. The feeling of empowerment is great and I am accomplishing way more than ever, all without the struggle against myself. I would now much rather spend time reaching one of my goals than feeding Facebook or reshaping my eyes in front of the TV.

It takes a bit of a change and won’t come overnight but the benefits don’t take long to show themselves.

I have had to:

Be time conscious and selfish: I was wasting around 6 or more hours a day and wouldn’t even be able to tell you where the time had gone. After realising how much time was being whittled away all it took was a bit of repetition to remind myself of how valuable my waking hours are and how I would rather spend it.

Know myself: The fight to get up in the morning is really just a result of not getting enough sleep so for me this is where I focused my energy. So, I made sleep my main goal, I decided that with adequate sleep I would be at my best to model the rest of myself. After a few weeks of getting over 8 hours sleep and repaying my sleep debt I now wake up without an alarm 7-8 hours after getting to sleep, feel better than ever each day and have more energy.

Schedule:  I spend my life on computers, so naturally I have schedules on my phone or computer, but they are so easy to ignore 🙂 I have become so much more organised since carrying a diary around and using it to plan each day.

Gradual changes: Constantly reminding myself about the interesting yet purely anecdotal metaphor story of the boiling frog?. Making sudden and drastic changes for me never works and for every habit I break or make I will generally need to start small and work myself up to my goal.

It has always been counter initiative for me that going to bed early will actually lead to a more productive and time rich me… Never happier after changing this mentality.