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A productivity-boosting idea to sleep on

September 26th, 2017 by Bob Bly

In my last essay, I gave you my #1 personal productivity tip:
making to-do lists.

(This article, in case you missed it, is in my new book
“Confessions of a Direct Response Copywriter” —

My #2 personal productivity tip is also deceptively simple: get
enough sleep.

Forget the average; you know how much sleep you need to get
enough rest for peak performance the next day.

For me, it is about 8 hours, give or take a half hour. Nine is
too much, seven is adequate in a pinch, and with six or fewer I’m
dragging the next day.

Now here’s the secret of this tip: always get the hours of sleep
you need on every night when the next day is a full work day.

Sounds easy, but most people don’t do it.

Here’s how I ensure adequate sleep for maximum productivity, and
some of these ideas may work for you too:

1–I believe in early to bed, early to rise.


When you get up early, by the time 9am rolls around, you’ve
already done a pile of work. So the pressure is off.

On the other hand, if you delay doing the work until night, you
may get distracted and never get to it at all.

Because I need about 8 hours, I go to bed around 10pm, and rise
and start working at 6am.

2–Don’t go out weeknights.

With rare exception, I do not go out weeknights — no meetings, no
bowling, no poker game, no activities outside the home of any

When you go out, it is likely you will not go to bed until late,
which will adversely affect energy and productivity for the next

3–Don’t eat too late.

A big meal too close to bedtime can cause you to sleep poorly and
not feel well.

(Overeating in general makes you lethargic.)

4–Always make sure you get your full sleep.

On the rare occasion when circumstance forces me to go to bed
later than my normal time, I also — unless my schedule absolutely
makes it impossible — get up later.

I hate starting late. But working without enough sleep would cut
into my productivity by reducing my energy and efficiency, so the
net output would be even worse.

5–Don’t forget to prepare tomorrow’s list of things to do

At the end of the day, I prepare the to-do lists I wrote about in
my last essay for the next day — and post them on my bulletin
board before shutting down for the night.

If you don’t, you risk thinking, worrying, and ruminating about
work and all you have to do.

I also place the file for the first task I will do tomorrow on a
stand next to my desk.

This way, I can start working the instant I step into the office
the next morning — and I like a quick start.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 at 10:41 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 responses about “A productivity-boosting idea to sleep on”

  1. FlashEssay said:

    Nice tips to be productive. I think to-do list is the perfect decision. It’s convenient because you see the bullets with tasks and you can cross off tasks you completed.

  2. Rollins Jack said:

    The perfect sleep environment includes some normally cool air coming in through a room window marginally slightly open. When you have the space to Do my Assignment toasty warm you’re not profiting from the natural sleep-inducing effect of lower temperatures.

  3. Jhonatan said:

    I sleep on average 6 hours a day and feel sleepy during the day, maybe I need to sleep more?

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  5. Tim said:

    I sleep on average 6 hours a day and feel sleepy during the day, maybe I need to sleep more?

    Yeap try to sleep a little bit more, 7/8 hours. Or maybe your sleep isnt good enough? Try eat more vegetables, less meals with fat before sleep. You can but pillow for stomach sleeper or side sleeper If you need.

    My #2 personal productivity tip is also deceptively simple: get
    enough sleep.

    I am more productive, when I sleep well and wake up with clear goals to achieve!

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