If you’ve been a reader of I’m Busy Being Awesome for a while now, you know that this blog is all about productivity. I love sharing strategies to make the most out of your time and plow through your to-do list each day.
So keeping that in mind, upon reading a post titled, “3 Reasons why you should take the night off,” you may have thought it sounded a bit contradictory.
But don’t worry; I haven’t suddenly changed my tune.
Rather, taking the night off is one of the best strategies out there to increase your productivity.
In fact, spending time relaxing and focusing on self-care, is an essential – and often overlooked secret – to discover your best, most productive self.
Let me explain.
3 Reasons Why You Should Take the Night Off
#1 – You Need Something To Look Forward To
If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly pushing yourself to tackle that lengthy to-do list. On top of that, you’re probably juggling a thousand different tasks at the same time (even when you know that multitasking is actually less efficient).
Well, it’s no secret that when you’re going non-stop at 100 miles an hour, you’re taxing yourself both physically and mentally. You’re quickly burning through your efficiency fuel, and sooner or later, you find yourself running on fumes.
We’ve all had those moments where we just feel low. We are tired, slow to respond, and completely sapped of energy.
It’s at these moments when our productivity tanks. We’re most likely to get sucked into time-wasting, unproductive activities, and procrastination takes over. (Facebook anyone?)
For a long time, I assumed this physical and mental wall of exhaustion was simply a part of life. And I would try to push through – with less than stellar results – in order to keep “working.”
But you know what? When you’re running on empty, it’s difficult to even call it working. Because this is when you’re prone to make mistakes. What’s more, your pace slows considerably, and (at least for me) it feels like I’m working backwards.
This only leads to unhealthy frustration.
If you regularly schedule a night off, however, you give yourself time to recharge.
Think of it like recharging your phone battery. When your phone has reached its limit, you plug it in, leave it alone, and let it recharge. Guess what, you should do the same for yourself.
Take a break from your balancing act. Set aside specific times throughout the week, and tell yourself it’s time for you.
This way, when you hit a moment of low energy, you can remind yourself of that upcoming break. You know that in X amount of hours, you have an evening of relaxation awaiting you. In fact, this thought alone might provide the extra burst of energy you need to get you through your afternoon slump.
#2 – Tired=Unproductive
I’ve talked about the importance of getting a good night sleep in earlier posts, and I want to elaborate on it here. Because a key component of having a relaxing night off is turning in early.
While you might feel inclined to stay up late by either going out with friends or binging your favorite series on Netflix, I encourage you to think twice. Why? Because one of the healthiest things a night off provides is the chance to catch up on sleep.
Make sure you’re in bed and ready for sleep at least 7-8 hours before you need to wake up.
What’s more, you should make your sleep experience is as comfortable as possible. Close the blinds and eliminate any excess light. Use a fan or a white noise machine if sounds keep you awake. And turn down the heat so your bedroom is at a cool 60-67 degrees.
I promise you, an early night in a cool, comfortable, darkened room, is a surefire way to give yourself a productivity boost.
#3 – No One Can Give 100% All The Time
This last reason is simple fact. No one can go at 100% all the time.
This is a lesson with which I still battle today; I’m constantly reminding myself that everyone needs a break.
So I hear you. Really, I do.
You might think you can thrive on 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Perhaps you believe that you’re maximizing productivity by using every ounce of your energy day in and day out. But here’s the hard truth. You can’t, and you’re not.
Sure, this fast-paced lifestyle might be fine every once in a while. But a consistent schedule of “go-go-go” is simply unsustainable; what’s more – and I speak from experience – you might burn yourself out.
So long story short, please take a break. Give yourself a night when the only thing that matters is YOU. Dedicate time to your comfort, your relaxation, and your happiness.
You’re worth it.
And your productivity levels will thank you.
Do you struggle with taking a night off? How do you practice self-care? How do you ensure getting enough sleep each night? I’d love to know – let me know below!