The secret to being more effective at work? Sleep
It might seem obvious, but being overtired at work all day will strongly impact your productivity levels. By making sure you get enough sleep on a regular basis, you can keep on top of your responsibilities and not gain a reputation as the grouchy co-worker. Here are a few tips for getting the rest you need in order to excel during office hours.
(Photo Credit: Circa Sassy/Flickr)
Turn Off at a Set Time
If you sync your work emails to your smartphone, as many of us do these days, it can often feel like you're being more productive by answering messages from clients and colleagues whenever there's a spare minute. If you're not careful, though, being constantly available can mean you risk not getting enough rest in downtime and suffering at your desk as a result.
Give yourself a set time in the evening, after which you won't answer work emails. It's fine to make special allowances occasionally if you're on a deadline for a specific project, but get in the habit of truly unwinding in order to recharge for the next day.
Put the Phone Down
If you're staring at a laptop or phone right up until you go to bed, it might make falling asleep that much harder. The blue and white light affects your brain's release of melatonin, making it less likely that you'll fall asleep promptly and get as many hours of shuteye as you need.
Again, try to limit screen time during the evening – especially if you work on a computer during the day. Switch to reading a book in the hour or so before you plan to sleep, so that your brain can adjust and get sufficiently relaxed for proper rest.
Take Your Vacation
If you're not using your vacation days, change that quickly. It's perfectly understandable if you're saving the time for a particular trip in the future, but make sure you use all of the days available to you. It's not just about you enjoying your benefits, although of course that's important. It's also about making sure you continue to be a healthy and balanced employee and co-worker.
Forty-two of American workers didn't take their paid time off in 2014, according to a study by Google Consumer Surveys. It can be hard to think about the amount of work that might pile up while you're away from your desk, but if you're not getting enough rest and relaxation, your productivity levels will suffer regardless. Make sure to take your break.
RELATED: The best jobs if you want a healthy work-life balance
Tell Us What You Think
Are you taking steps to get enough sleep in order to stay productive at work? Do you have any helpful tips to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on Twitter.