If you’re constantly falling behind on your workload at the office and always scrambling to get tasks done at the eleventh hour, know that slacking off in the productivity department may be due to your bedtime schedule. In fact, sleep deprivation costs U.S. companies more than $63 billion a year in lost productivity. And it’s not just your boss who is losing out. You are, too. While getting more sleep is certainly one way to boost how much you’re able to accomplish, what’s equally important is making sure that you’re snoozing at the right time. When it comes to getting more done during the day, morning people have the right idea. Find out why, below.
They Don’t Hit Snooze. Sleeping in comes at a cost, as it causes you miss out on time that you could have spent being productive. In addition to getting up at the first buzz, get into the habit of following a consistent routine (check email, walk the dog, prepare breakfast, hit the gym, then head to the coffee shop to work, for example). You’ll get even more done since you won’t waste time debating how to structure your morning.
They Exercise More Often. Early risers are more likely to stick to a workout routine than those who save their sweat sessions for the p.m. Plus, regular exercisers are more productive and have better time-management skills, which could be why your coworker who sneaks in a daily jog before coming into the office is up for a promotion.
They Have More Time in the Day. Sure, morning people and late-night lovers may be awake for the same mount of time in each 24-hour cycle, but the early risers have more usable hours. While you can take your laundry to the dry-cleaners at 9:00am, you’ll be met with a “Closed” sign if you try at 8:00pm. And it’s generally more acceptable to shoot off an email to a client in the morning hours than it is at midnight.
If you’re ready to shift your sleep schedule earlier so you can get more done each day, keep in mind that you shouldn’t make the transition overnight. Changing your bedtime drastically can throw off your circadian clock, making it even harder to fall and stay asleep. Instead, go to bed and wake up just 15 minutes to a half hour earlier. Continue this gradual change until you’re leaping out of bed at your preferred time—ready to tackle the day.