Stop working nights and weekends.
It’s easy to forgo sleep when you’re running a business because you’re doing everything. Balancing the ledger. Creating advertisements. Making sales pitches. Talking to customers. And in the meantime, you’re producing your product or providing your service.
With so much to do, you fall into bed around midnight and roll out at 6 a.m. You start each day the way you ended the previous one: tired and stressed. You get your morning coffee, and after a cup — or several — you’re ready for work. Or rather, you think you are.
Caffeine makes you alert, for a short time, by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in your brain and releasing more adrenaline into your blood. According to researchers, if you drink no more than three 8-ounce cups of coffee each day, there are no health risks. But understand this: Caffeine is a poor substitute for sleep.
Caffeine tricks your brain into thinking you don’t need sleep when you actually do, and while it makes you more alert than you’d be without it, you’re not nearly as alert as you’d be if you’d gotten a good night’s sleep.
Whether you drink a few cups of coffee or twice that many, you’re still tired, though you may not know it. A study of college students concluded that students who got six hours of sleep or less each night performed as poorly as the group of students who had not slept for 48 hours! A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience last year found that staying awake too long kills brain cells in animals, and sleep researchers fear it has the same effect in humans.
No matter how good you are at what you do, without adequate sleep, you will not perform at your best. These are some symptoms you may exhibit when you’ve not had a good night’s sleep.
Inability to concentrate
Inability to focus
Inability to make good decisions
Inability to solve problems
Lack of creativity
Lack of energy
Do you get enough sleep?
According to a Centers for Disease Control study, 35% of adults said they get less than seven hours of sleep each night. Sleep experts recommend adults get seven to nine hours. Some adults need more. You need to know how much sleep you need, and you need to get it. If not, you’re hurting yourself and you’re hurting your business.
A lack of sleep not only keeps you from performing at your best, it causes health problems:
High blood pressure
Stop telling yourself you can’t afford to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. You can’t afford not to! Whether your business is worth a few thousand dollars or a few million, its most-valuable asset is you. So take care of yourself. Stop working nights and weekends.