I get that question a lot.
The short answer is “Yes.” Usually a minimum of seven hours. I wake up once in the middle of the night and I have stopped checking my e-mails and other messages when I do. (It has helped my sleep pattern dramatically.) I also just bought amazing gel cooling pillows called Black Ice. They are amazing even though the brand name is sort of creepy.
People ask that question because I usually get a lot of stuff done every day and seem to be reverse-aging. I think my genetic make-up probably has something to do with it. My parents were both high-energy and well-organized. But some of it has to do with my choices and my lifestyle. In addition to the “get enough sleep” and “unplug at night” tip, here are some of my other suggestions.
- Eat cleaner. Eliminating sugar and fat and wheat (and most processed foods) from your diet really does improve your energy level and focus. Working out and getting enough B-vitamins into your body helps. (I recently discovered places like Reviv and IVme and have become a believer.)
- Don’t take things too seriously. Stress will kill you. Smile and laugh often. People will feed off your joy. Don’t be an ostrich, but avoid things and people who disturb you.
- Identify your passions and cling to a dream. A few years ago, I decided I need to build a life that involved writing, travel, and strategic consulting. It took a few years to get to a good place (perhaps even a great place), but seeing that Mindmeister map come alive is pretty damned cool! Be patient and keep the faith.
- Make plans and to-do lists. You’ll stress less and have more fun if you map out what you need to do every day, week, and month. (I am a Listmaster fan.) But when unexpected pebbles (or sometimes boulders) are thrown in your path, don’t freak, kvetch, or become paralyzed. Just breathe, adjust, and move on. If you are juggling multiple priorities and projects, think of them like rooms in a house. Spend time in one and then shut the door and move to another space. Running back and forth between chambers will only result in lack of focus and unfinished business. You can always return to another “room” later and fluff the pillows or make the bed.
- Plan for downtime. I just wrote a post about bleisure, which is one way I’m able to fit sun and fun and exploration into my work life.
- Make time for friends and family. Always. And I don’t just mean Facebook messaging. In your bleisure or personal adventures, make time to catch-up with people you love. And talk to strangers too. You never know where your next new friend, business connection, or angel may come from.
- Be kind to others. The older I get, the more I believe in karma. People from my past have recently surfaced to help me out in times of need.
- Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you fail. Treat yourself to little things that make you happier and less stressed. For example, I’ve always been a movie fan. Taking a couple of hours each week to see a good film will boost my mood, no matter what’s going on in my life.
- Be grateful each day for at least one thing. Treat each day as if it’s your last one on earth. (I don’t mean to be depressing here…I just try to focus on the “now” and celebrate the little things.)
- Hydrate, moisturize, make/keep regular medical appointments, and floss daily. An oldie, but goodie. You won’t be able to get as much done with you are sickly or toothless.
Oh…and take a nap every now and then! Contrary to popular belief, I do love my sleep!
A former big-brand executive (Citibank, MasterCard, Reed Exhibitions) and late-life entrepreneur (CEO of theONswitch marketing), confidently straddles the digital divide.
Innovation only happens when people break rules and question authority.
That’s what I (Nancy A. Shenker aka the “Bad Girl”) have always done. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I wasn’t uber-popular as a kid, so I’m used to it. I’d rather be respected and remembered than revered.
Girls are taught from an early age to be good. But we bad ones — the rule-breakers, the ones who question things, the ones who don’t sit idly by and wait for stuff to happen — have more fun, are more creative, and sometimes invent really cool stuff. We say out loud what’s in other people’s heads. We don’t lean in…we sit up straight.
I also follow trends and jump on new bandwagons. Not because they are perceived as cool, but because taking risks and trying new things can change the game. I learned how to use digital media starting in 2003 and I know as much about useful technology as most 20-somethings (even though I’m now close to 60). I use my mad social media skills to build communities and provide useful tips about marketing and business and life in general.
I’m not mean and I don’t break laws. But I have always marched to the tune of a different drummer. It hasn’t hurt me in life or in business. So come join me in being a little bad. It’ll feel really good!