In business it can be tempting to burn the candle at both ends to get your projects over the line ahead of time.
However, there are a number of good reasons to avoid all-nighters and instead take a more balanced approach to managing your time, so let’s explore a few of the main motivations behind this.
A lack of sleep will quickly impair your thinking and cause you to make more mistakes
The biggest reason why you shouldn’t go longer than 24 hours without sleep is that your sleep-deprived brain will be far less able to think clearly than if you are well-rested.
So even if you are spending hours on end working to bring a project to fruition, this might be a waste of time if you end up making mistakes because you are over-tired.
And in the long run you could end up taking longer to go back and fix the errors you made due to a lack of sleep than you would have done if you took a break and re-juiced your body’s batteries.
Your health will suffer in the long term
If you consistently choose to miss out on sleep because of work pressures, then this is not just something that will leave you feeling tired each day, but also a vicious cycle that will be detrimental to your health over the course of months and years.
People who have poor sleep patterns tend to be more susceptible to gaining weight, and are also at greater risk of things like heart disease and diabetes.
There’s no point sacrificing your sleep to hit business project targets if you won’t live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Bad habits are self-perpetuating
Another problem with falling into an off-kilter sleep cycle when pushing yourself hard on a business project is that you won’t be able to just flip a switch and get back to your normal pattern when the crunch period comes to an end.
Even a small amount of disruption can take a long time to rectify, and the idea of being able to ‘catch up on sleep’ is a myth. So the best solution is to avoid succumbing to these bad habits in the first place. Rather than staying up into the early hours, go to bed at a reasonable time and start the next day afresh.
Risk-taking behavior is encouraged
One often overlooked side effect of having sacrificed sleep for a business project is that you will be less inhibited and more likely to take risks when making decisions.
This is actively unhelpful in a lot of professional scenarios, and could leave you exposed to risks unnecessarily. Recklessness is a side-effect that you’ll definitely want to avoid, especially if there is a lot hanging in the balance.
Emotions are amplified
Your general emotional volatility will increase when you are over-tired, and this has all sorts of negative ramifications, whether in your work or personal life.
You will become quicker to anger, and faster to feel frustration, which will impact those around you as well as making your own efforts more of a challenge.
This can impede productivity, create tension in the workplace, and even damage your career progression if it repeats itself time and again.
The bottom line
Not only is sacrificing sleep bad for your career and bad for your health, it’s also completely unnecessary.
Top entrepreneurs and successful individuals are well-rested and even embrace the impact of the power nap to maintain their status. So if it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for you too.