Being in the creative industry requires us to work longer hours some of the times and this can be unpredictable. When this happens frequently, this takes a toll on us. We get more and more tired and less and less productive over time unless of course, you are a cyborg. As freelancers, no one else who is going to tell us when to start and end work or to get more rest. I have found that it is important for me to be aware of this and to take steps to ensure that I get enough rest. This is good not just for my physical health but also for my mental well-being.
#1. Be consistent with your sleeping pattern
Our sleeping pattern is rhythmic. Disrupting this pattern may lead to sleep deprivation and along with that, a slew of side effects. Personally, I find that being consistent with the time I go to bed makes a big difference. So does getting up by a certain time. I don’t wake up when I feel like it but when I am scheduled to get up. By following this guide, I find that I am generally more energetic and alert during my waking hours.
#2. Take power naps between your work sprints
There are times when you will feel like laying your head on your table and snoozing. This is unavoidable. During these times, you may find your inner voice shouting out that you can't as the deadlines are impending. However, productivity and creativity are at its lowest when you are sleepy. Under those circumstances, you may find yourself wasting too much of time having unnecessary pauses and “thinking of nothing”.
When that happens, I take power naps of between 15 to 20 minutes. This makes me feel refreshed. I feel that I can then take on the world again - awake! In fact, research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. So don't underestimate the benefits of a power nap over coffee.
#3. Get adequate sleep
Sheep are not the only things you should count at night. You should count the number of hours you sleep too! Makes sure you get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. That should bring out the best in you throughout the day. If that is not possible because you may be on a projected high, take power naps not just coffee.
#4. Avoid looking at your gadgets late at night
Studies have shown that light given off by electronics affects our sleep health. White light signals to your brain that it is daytime and that it is okay not to sleep. Avoid using your gadgets when you are in bed. You don’t have to check your social media. It’s never ending so you’re just fooling yourself if you tell yourself that you are going to check for the last time or only for 1 minute.
#5. Relocate your workspace if it’s in a place where you should rest
The bedroom is a space you set up to sleep in. I would strongly discourage anyone from putting their workspace in the same space as their bedroom or where their sleeping space is. If that is not feasible, consider setting up your workspace in a manner so that your bed is not in your line of vision.
I hope these simple but effective tips help you as much as it has helped me to be more productive!