4 Tips For Getting Things Done on Zero Sleep

getting work done no sleepSummer usually calls for plenty of late nights, but for some of us, we can’t escape the need for early mornings as well.

I blogged a while back about how I had to visit the emergency room after suffering an allergic reaction. That wasn’t the first time I’d had an allergic reaction resulting in a hospital visit –the same thing happened when I was a freshman in high school. I thought they’d determined the cause of the reaction, but this latest incident proved otherwise and things have been a bit up in the air as to what allergen has been impacting me.

The uncertainty of it all has definitely made me anxious, which means I’ve been sleeping less and less lately. On a good night, I’ll get around 5 hours but it hasn’t been uncommon for me to be powering through on 3 hours of unrest.

Still, between moving, ending one job and preparing to start another and starting to make new changes to the blog (have you noticed the tweaks already?), I haven’t been able to skip a beat, regardless of my skewed sleep schedule.

I’ve gotten my routine for pushing through down, and though I hope a visit to the allergist and some time will get me back to normal, I’ve still be able to get things done (and well) during this off time.

Besides literally injecting espresso directly into my bloodstream, here’s how I’ve been getting things done:

1. Be as organized as possible, even with the little things. The worst part about being sleep deprived is that you feel so off routine. Organize as much as possible to make the flow of tasks simple and require as little thought as possible. If you can add time slots, I would. It may seem compulsive to remind yourself to shower at 7p.m., but trust me it’s helpful.

2. Stock foods that give you energy. You may be tempted to stick to an all coffee diet when you’re lacking sleep, but the crash that comes after your caffeine high can cause a major end to your productivity for the day. Stay away from super heavy meals that will only make you tired and stick to smaller and healthy meals eaten more frequently.

3. Avoid taking that mid-day nap. I know, I know, you want all the sleep. Trust me, I understand! However as good as that nap may feel after checking tasks off your list, you’ll likely find yourself up all night once again. Your goal should be returning to your regular sleep schedule.

4. Get mentally prepared. Getting things done when you can barely keep your eyes open is no easy feat. Get ready to rock this –prep a playlist of pump up music and get your head in the right space. Try to avoid distractions like social media that will keep you from the tasks at hand.

What’s been keeping you guys up at night? And how have you been powering through to get things done?

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  1. I stayed up last night reading The Casual Vacancy! I’ve been reading it for about a week and just finished it. I couldn’t put it down for the last 100 pages! I woke up this morning not wanting to do anything, so I pulled up my laptop and checked Bloglovin’, and lo and behold, this perfect post has been waiting for me 😛 After this I’m gonna write down my three-item-long to-do list

  2. Such good advice! As much as naps are enticing, I know that if I take one, I won’t be productive for the rest of the day.

  3. I totally feel you, lady! It’s so easy to fall into the routine of running on little sleep. I’ve been trying to get more sleep this week, but I’m still only getting about 6 hours. (My goal is 7.5).

    I’ve found that drinking lots of water and getting a quick workout in is a good way to stay alert. Also, creating a DO-ABLE to-do list also cuts back on the stress. It’s definitely not easy powering through on no sleep, but it can be done! I admire you for keeping your blog going so strong amidst the craziness. I seriously wish I could keep up with your routine, haha.