If your New Year’s resolution was to go to sleep earlier, you’ve come to the right place.
Over the last few months, psychologist Ron Friedman, founder of Ignite80 and author of “The Best Place to Work,” has been organising an online summit on peak work performance, featuring his discussions with 26 of the world’s top productivity experts, including Gretchen Rubin, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Dan Pink.
In his talk with Rubin, the author of “The Happiness Project” and “Better Than Before,” she explained that recalibrating our habits might be the single most important key to success. So Friedman asked her what habits she’s developed to help get to bed on time — something so many of us struggle with.
“Part of my strategy is monitoring,” Rubin explains. “We tend to do a better job with any behaviour if we monitor it. If you want to eat more healthily, keep a food journal. If you want to get more exercise, use a step counter. If you want to stick to a budget, track your spending. I use a Jawbone Up band to keep track of my sleep.”
Monitoring your sleep takes very little time, she says. But it offers big benefits.
Rubin, a self-proclaimed sleep zealot, started monitoring her sleep when she realised she was underestimating how much she was getting. “We tend to have fun remembering all the times we do things right and discount the number of times we do things wrong. Monitoring really helped me to stick to it.”
Her other favourite trick: Get ready for bed earlier in the night.
“I used to find that I was so tired that I didn’t want to go to bed because it seemed like too much trouble to get ready, take out my contacts, wash my face, and brush my teeth,” she explains to Friedman. “Now I try to get ready earlier so that there’s very little I need to do when it’s actually time for bed.”
She says she used to think the advice to brush your teeth after eating dinner as a way to end night snacking was too good to be true, “but it’s been amazingly effective for me.”
Not only has this two-minute trick helped her cut down on late-night snacking, but its made her bedtime routine much “easier,” she says.
To watch The Peak Work Performance Summit, click here.
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