Ahhh, Thanksgiving week...sprint for three days, party for four. Then, back to work and pooped!
That's how I played the game... in my youth. But the second I started managing people, things got more serious and I pulled in the reins a bit. I started drinking a little less of the clear stuff and drank more of the green stuff. And I fell in love with sleep.
The suggestions for good diets and regular exercise are everywhere, yet the third element of the Big Three, sleep, doesn't get talked about enough, IMO. So while I constantly hear belly-aching from friends about how little or bad sleep they get, the years of study by me conclude the only thing you need to know about sleep is...
1. Figure out how much your body and brain need every night, and then get it. DO NOT let anyone ridicule you because, "...yes, in fact, I DO need 8 hours a night". (Most people do need 8, btw.)
2. Go to bed at the same time every night, get up at the same time every morning...weekends included.
3. Big dinners and alcohol are definitely going to throw you off and you will pay a price...your DNA will dictate how much of a price.
Again my opinion here, but amongst the Big Three of high performance ingredients for Top Sales Performers like you, sleep by far gets me the best results versus diet and exercise. (But again, your actual miles per galloon will vary according to driving habits.)
Just last week I finally finished the September issue of HBR and found a great article on sleeping. It's titled "Just Thinking You Slept Poorly Can Hurt Your Performance". The title alone makes you want to read it, eh? In the article, Kristi Erdal points out something very interesting: If you've had average or high-quality sleep but are led to believe it was poor, you might see the same negative effects (of having a bad night's sleep). The article covers only two short pages discussing our perceptions of having a good night's sleep compared with the actual sleep we get. Interesting stuff.
If you expect to run fast and smart in today's highly competitive world, get your sleep because you'll need every ounce in order to beat your competition!
Happy Thanksgiving, now go take a nap!
Michael Hess is the Founder/Principal of Core 6 Management Advisors. Drawing on almost 3 decades of experience in Sales and Management, Michael shares his thoughts and opinions here for you.