Yeh, yeh, I know you know that getting enough exercise and enough sleep are good for you. Why on earth do I need to bring it up again? Well, what if you’ve been struggling with getting things done, checking things off your list, moving projects forward at home and at work, and generally being productive? What if the latest app, newest smartphone or fastest piece of technology are not the answer? What if I were to suggest that exercise and sleep are the answer to all your problems?
Like anything you want to start and maintain, organizing included, you have to find the right motivation. Maybe instead of telling yourself you need to exercise so you can lose a few pounds, or so that you can improve your overall health, getting more done could be the motivation you need.
Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, plays a role in our ability to think and focus and to be creative. If you get a moderate amount of exercise you can increase the dopamine in your brain. Moving your body can actually change the way you think. If you include motion while you are learning, it even makes memory and recall easier.
So get up from your desk regularly (at least every 60 to 90 minutes) and take a good brisk walk around your office building, your house or outside. Run up and down a flight of stairs a couple of times. You don’t have to make this complicated. Don’t worry about starting a strict exercise program or buying a gym membership, just MOVE!
Working longer hours and sacrificing sleep does not help you get more done. I know it feels like it does. But the longer you work and the more sleep deprived you are, the longer it takes you to complete a task because you work much more s…l…o…w….l….y…
Getting the required 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night takes work. You will need to keep track of what you have to get done in a good organizing system so you can come back to it later. You will also need to plan your schedule so you have time for sleep. If you get the right amount of sleep, you will have more energy right to the end of your workday. You will also react more quickly and be more able to focus your attention on the task at hand.
And, there is nothing like a good night’s sleep to help you solve problems. If you think about an issue you are having at work or with a family member or friend, put that front and centre right before you go to sleep, chances are you will wake up with the answer in the morning.
If you are struggling to write a report, or a blog post, or a piece for your next newsletter, look at a few ideas the night before and I guarantee you will be able to get up and write that piece the next morning. This technique works for me every, single time.
Take care of your brain by getting some exercise and the right amount of sleep. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Have you had an experience where this has worked for you?