”Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil…It’s more about priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your time.” ~Margarita Tartakovsky, Writer

It’s safe to say we’ve all done it at some point in our life.

It could have been getting that homework assignment finished in high school that took longer than you thought, or studying for that final exam in college. (Was that just me?) It could have happened as you were preparing a very important presentation for your boss and co-workers. (Again, just me?) Or it just could have been packing for that long vacation when you realized half your clothes needed to be cleaned. (Seriously, just me?)

Whatever the reason, we’ve all had to pull the all-nighter, staying up to the wee hours to finish something we didn’t finish on time. We were burning the midnight oil.

How did you feel the next day? Did you fall asleep during the exam, or maybe get lost during the presentation? Forget to pack something important or neglect your spouse or kids during important “family time?”

While burning the midnight oil might seem like a great way to study, or get ahead in the corporate world, it actually hinders you in ways you might not realize.

Sleep deprivation is real, and can lead to a various amount of ailments, and even death. While entrepreneurs starting a business or new employees starting a job may have to put in the extra hours, it is not something you want to do long term.

According to the Harvard Medical School, lack of sleep can lead to: moodiness, depression, impaired brain activity, lack of concentration, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease and even accidental death. (That’s the tip of the iceberg, should I continue?)

You need to sleep as much as you need to breathe and eat. While you are sleeping, your body is tending to its mental and physical well-being, repairing damaged cells and tissues, fighting off various bacteria and viruses, and preparing you to face the next day.

Experts say to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night, while 8 hours is even better. And according to the same Harvard Medical School report, sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of death from all causes by about 15 percent.

So what’s an owner, boss, supervisor or manager to do? The #1 best option is to commit to having and running a healthy corporate culture that emphasizes employee well-being every step of the way. You will find employees more engaged, more patient and more involved when the company priority is a healthy well-balanced life. They will deliver maximum efficiency and value. Will there be times when people have to stay late to finish a project or meet a deadline? Of course there will, but these should be kept to a minimum. And promotions should never come just because an individual is always the last to leave. They might be staying late because they can’t prioritize or are easily distracted.

We all know that happy, healthy well-rounded employees makes for happy clients and customers, and that is always good for business. Now, go home and get to bed at a reasonable hour!

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