Could you use forty extra minutes each day? I know I could. That's almost five hours a week!

In the fast-paced world in which we live, every minute is precious. Whether it be used for reading a book, building exercise into your schedule, spending more time with your family, or anything else, forty extra minutes each day could make a world of difference!

I've previously written about challenging your sleeping habits, but since then I've done even more research and I'm now convinced that these two habits—unusual as they may seem—can together be a life-saver in regards to productivity, energy, and time management

  1. Sleep no more than seven hours each night
    Most people assume that they need eight hours of sleep each night to get a good rest. In reality, however, studies show that people who sleep closer to the seven-hour mark live longer, happier, and more productive lives than their eight-hours-a-night counterparts. In fact, sleeping too long can actually shorten your life more so than not getting enough sleep! Seems counter-intuitive, right? But that's what research shows us!
  2. Take a twenty-minute nap every day
    Naps aren't just for toddlers anymore! A short nap in the middle of your day can boost your productivity, refresh your mind, and help you stay energized (10-20 minutes is best). Research shows that people have a natural dip in energy between 2 and 3 p.m., so that is an ideal time to nap! Be careful not to nap longer than 20 minutes unless you have more than an hour to lay down because otherwise, you're going to wrestle with grogginess.

Napping at work is actually becoming an increasingly popular trend. Companies like Google, Nike, and even Ben & Jerry's encourage napping at work! If you can make time in your daily schedule for a quick nap, do it. You won't regret it (I know I haven't).

Consider spending a break in your day curled up on a couch or with eyes closed in your car. Another option is to get a fancy “energy pod” just for that perfect siesta!

It's important to note that one size does not fit all. These tactics may not work for you realistically, and that's ok. Most important is that you are intentional about your sleeping habits. Make a schedule, and be consistent. If you decide to implement these two changes in your life, stick with it for a few weeks to feel the full effect before giving up—it may take some time for your body to adapt.

Question: What would you do if you had an extra forty minutes in your day?

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