Somewhere over the years, we’ve been conditioned that the lack of sleep we get somehow directly relates to a higher level of dedication to both our careers and our families.
"I was up all night working on this"
"Oh, I'll be at the office for a while"
"I'll do it after the kids go to bed"
It's like this game that's played and whoever gets more done, wins & to get more done, we choose to cut back on the thing that doesn’t show us results we can see - sleep!
Well what’s weird about this is that we all know what we’re like when we’re sleep deprived, right?
Our judgment's off. We’re misplacing stuff, forgetting simple things. (Hello, remote in fridge!)
In fact, whenever someone says, “I stayed up all night to finish the project,” I actually hear, “I finished the project but it’s probably not great cause I was exhausted.”
This is exactly what happened to a client who came to me a few months ago to focus on her work/life balance. She’d had enough of pulling all nighters and passing out front of her computer. Her lack of sleep was starting to take a toll not only on her looks - tired eyes and dull skin - but also her credibility at work.
At first, she didn’t notice. She thought she was killin’ it.
The design firm she worked at had asked her to pitch a well known, heavy hitter in the digital space. She was stoked. When the day came to present, she was exhausted but felt like she knew her pitch inside and out. After she finished, the client expressed that he was impressed but equally appalled.
While he liked what he saw in her pitch, he picked out (4) separate times that his company’s name was misspelled in the presentation. And it’s a name we all know!
She was totally beside herself, how could she have missed something so simple?? Deep down, she knew it probably wasn’t just this pitch that was effected. She’d been operating in a sleep-famine for years.
Flash forward 3 months and she’s been getting a better response at work, feels like her peers respect her again and is much more decisive in her decision making.
The biggest change in her life has been shutting down and going to bed at a set time each day as to not burn out.
Sleep is by far one of my favorite topics. We need it, we want it, yet we often sacrifice it in favor of something else we think is more important.