Like batteries and every other animal on the planet, humans need to recharge and rest. The problem with it is that we often don’t rest enough or in the proper way. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep, teenagers 8-9. That sleep should be bookended by an hour without technology right before we get up and right after.

However, that’s not all! We also need time away from our normal work hours doing something that’s not work. The human attention span is about 15 minutes, so work hard for 15 minute segments, with short breaks inbetween them. In the breaks, do something that’s different from your work. If you sit down at work, get up and get a cup of water, and try to move around. If you’re doing manual labor, sit down for a bit. Rest is so important but we ignore all the signs and try to push oursleves through it.

The bottom line is that running yourself ragged makes you far more unproductive, unhealthy, and miserable. It may seem counter intuitive that sleeping for 8 hours vs. 5 hours will give us more time, but being truly awake for 12 hours is far more meaningful than being a zombie for 18. Sleep the proper amount, give yourself time to relax when eating meals, relax afterward, and you’ll be able to do far more and far more productive work.

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