Career despite insomnia - 2 X 7 tips: like Marissa Mayer and Einstein


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Ex-Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer only sleeps 4 hours a night, as does Napoleon. Albert Einstein slept 12 hours. Everyone sleeps differently. But what do you do when important decisions have to be made despite a lack of sleep?

Career despite insomnia - 2 X 7 tips: How Marissa Mayer and Einstein sleep careers


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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Too little sleep is unhealthy

Sleep is important, because in your body and brain regenerate. It is therefore astonishing that the health, energy and thus career-promoting effect of sleep is often underestimated:

Because sleep is extremely important, because nothing works without it. Nothing at all. Everyone knows what it feels like to wake up rested and satisfied in the morning and to jump out of bed full of vigor.

Little Sleep Competition?

It almost seems as if a regular competition has burnt in the management, who can blow through the longest without sleeping. Various deaths, which are due to exhaustion and lack of sleep, announce this.

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Ex-Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer says that she only needs four to six hours of sleep a night - but with less, she folds up in business lunches. Napoleon is said to have got by with four hours. Albert Einstein, on the other hand, needed 12 hours of sleep a night.

Why is sleeping so important?

Many would like to sleep like Einstein, but in reality they miss such a good night's sleep. Troubled nights are often related to today's lifestyle. Stress at work, time pressure, constant availability - our lives are full of events and appointments, even in our free time. So there is hardly any time left for leisure hours when we simply do nothing.

Because rest and sleep are essential. Quite a blessing for body, mind and soul. Sleep is great when it is good, it keeps us healthy and slim, it makes us happy and even smarter - and it helps us make the right decisions.

Who sleeps well, decides better

The two social psychologists Maarten Bos and Amy Cuddy reported on the Harvard Business Review blog (unfortunately, the Article from an experiment: The participants had to decide to buy a car. For this purpose, they were presented with a lot of positive but not relevant aspects of the car, as well as little but important information.

The majority of the participants, who had to decide immediately, chose the car with the most positive attributes - although these were not important. Participants who dealt with something else in between made the better decisions: They decided based on the relevant criteria.

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7 tips for better decisions despite lack of sleep job stress

But what can be done to switch off and sleep better and thus be able to make better decisions? The following tips can be derived from the findings of Bos and Cuddy in order to make better decisions:

  1. Think positive: Focus on positive experiences, not problems.
  2. Before falling asleep: Think of something that went well during the previous workday before you fall asleep.
  3. Create a to-do list: Whether you're managing open tasks online or writing them down in a notebook, a list helps keep track of things.
  4. Solve conflicts: Often, unresolved conflicts, such as disputes with bosses or colleagues, are the cause of the misery. Try a pronunciation, solve these conflicts.
  5. Take a time out: If you can hardly remember your last vacation, ask for a few days off to escape the stress of work and to recover.
  6. Turn healthy decisions instead of problems: Obtain all the necessary information and acquire the factual knowledge. Then you sleep over it. This means you give your brain time to process the information it collects.
  7. Use sleep for information processing: Our subconscious can process large amounts of information, but it is not very precise. So it is important to check the facts again the next morning: Eg are there any rules violated in my decisions?

7 tips for productive work despite insomnia

In principle, however, sleep quality can of course also be improved. But that doesn't help much if you've slept the night, but still want to appear as fresh and rested in the office the next day? 7 tips:

  1. Have breakfast and drink coffee: The body needs energy to start in the day. Therefore, do not skip the breakfast. And coffee helps to stay awake. Just do not exaggerate.
  2. Lots of fresh air If you're tired and unfocused at work, it's a good idea to get out in the fresh air in between to be more alert.
  3. The most important tasks first: Actually, a tip that should always be heeded, but especially he applies with akkutem lack of sleep: Work the most important things first, as long as you are still reasonably fresh. Later in the day you will probably become even more tired and unfocused.
  4. Light lunch: Of course, the notorious Schnitzelkoma beats even more mercilessly, if they are already struck anyway. So treat yourself to a light lunch so you can continue working in the afternoon.
  5. Powernapping helps: If possible, treat yourself to a short sleep of about 20 minutes. Studies have shown that this helps very well to regenerate. Sleep under the desk, in the conference room, with your head on the keyboard - or outside in the park.
  6. Prioritize appointments: Think carefully: Are all the meetings that you need so much during the day or can you cancel them? If the answer is yes, then you should do that, because the meeting with other people usually costs valuable energy.
  7. Only routine in the afternoon: In the afternoon, your concentration curve is likely to be at a low point, so you should plan for routines that you do not need to think much about. If nothing else is possible, you can only simulate work. Marissa Mayer, too, is at last confronted with the fact that she almost fell head-to-head with dinner.


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