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Fa-la-la-la la: 5 Ways To Power Through The Day On Little To No Sleep

Getting adequate sleep is essential, but happens all too rarely for many busy entrepreneurs – especially during busy times like the Christmas season. The side effects associated with poor sleep habits are many, and include irritability, anxiety, and low productivity, all of which can make being a business owner all the more challenging. However, the fact of the matter is that with all of the things you need to do, getting sleep often falls on the back burner. When this happens, you need to be able to find effective strategies for making it through the work day. The following are five such tips:

#1 Start the Day with a Cold Shower

Before heading to the office, get into the shower for a quick, cool rinse. Even a mere 30 seconds spent in a cold shower will increase your body’s release of adrenaline and get you revved up for the day.

#2 Don’t Overdo the Coffee

When tired, your first response may be to stumble toward the coffee maker and continually pump yourself full of caffeine from the second you walk in the door until you leave the office. This can be quite counterproductive, as large amounts of caffeine can make you even more anxious and unable to focus. Try to keep your caffeine consumption between 50mg and 100mg, as this is the amount recommended to keep you alert. Any more, and you could end up making your day even harder to get through.

#3 Enjoy a Caffeine Nap

While we’re talking about coffee and caffeine, it’s the perfect time to discuss the wonder of the coffee nap. This may sound odd, but studies show that consuming a caffeinated beverage, such as a shot of espresso, and then taking a brief nap can be quite an effective way to increase brain function. Why exactly is this the case? Caffeine takes approximately 45 minutes to start working, so drinking a coffee and then taking a nap will allow you to rest until the caffeine kicks in. This can help you to push through the rest of the day while on your caffeine high.

#4 Let the Light In

When you’re at the office, keep the lights bright and the curtains open to let the sunlight in. Being exposed to sunlight will not only make your workspace more cheery, but will also keep your body from releasing more melatonin, the hormone that is associated with sleepiness. When you’re able, go for a walk outside in the sunlight as well.

#5 Increase Your Protein Consumption

For starters, you’ll want to avoid larger meals when you’re running on very little sleep. Eating large amounts of food requires that your organs put forth more effort to digest the food, leading you to feel even more tired. Keep your meals smaller, and make sure to pack in as much healthy protein as possible. While carbs may seem tempting, these foods only give you a short burst of energy, while proteins will keep you satisfied and give you a more sustained energy boost. Skip the muffin, and instead go for some yogurt, eggs, and meats.

For more small business tips for security entrepreneurs, please subscribe to our blog, or email newsletter. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your friends at Ignite Security Marketing.

5 Tips To Rock Christmas Like A Boss

The holidays are supposed to be all about rockin’ around the Christmas tree and walking in a winter wonderland. So why doesn’t it feel very fun at your office right about now?

Since you’re the head honcho and employee management starts at the top, it’ll fall on you to make the holidays go smoothly at your office.

You don’t have to be St. Nick — but hopefully, with a few key tips, you won’t have to be the Grinch, either.

Tip #1: Tackle Holiday Stress Head On

The number one cause of Christmas stress? Well, it hasn’t been scientifically verified, but we’re willing to bet it has something to do with putting off all of those responsibilities until the last minute.

Christmas shouldn’t feel like you’ve just been run over by a reindeer. They’re here for celebration and reflection. That’s why it’s important to get all of the stress out of the way as soon as possible.

Put an end to browsing for corporate gifts and finally click “buy now.” If you don’t know what to do for your employees, start emailing around for some ideas — right now. Whatever’s bugging you, now is the time to handle it.

If that means cramming a heck of a lot of party planning, gift giving, client relations, and new year planning all into the next coming week or so, so be it. Getting as much holiday stress out of the way will only save your sanity… and the sanity of the little elves around you.

Tip #2: Don’t Be the Office Scrooge

There may be no more infamous Christmastime employee-employer relationship than Bob Cratchit and Ebenezer Scrooge. Although Scrooge eventually learned his lesson about how to treat Bob, maybe it shouldn’t take you an overnight visit from three Christmas ghosts to learn the same?

If you’re a “Type A” personality (and if you’re in charge, chances are pretty good that you are) make a conscious effort to help out employees at this time of year.

Give them the gift of less stress from the higher-ups. As Tina Thygesen of Forbes writes, be flexible with working hours, especially since the holidays can always be a difficult balancing act of work and family life.

Unless your business is in some sort of end-of-year emergency crunch, there’s no reason you can’t take it easy on your employees and use the holidays to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year.

Tip #3: Set Clear Expectations

No matter what you expect from your employees during the holiday season, make sure they know and understand those expectations. When your plan for the season isn’t clear to everyone involved, you run the risk of either:

A. You being disappointed by a lack of productivity, or

B. Employees getting frustrated with the lack of flexibility.

In both situations, there’s a disconnect between you, the manager, and the employees you’re managing. Setting clear expectations and communicating them to your whole team will help everyone effectively plan their holiday and mitigate stress.

Tip #4: Gather Feedback — and Plenty of It

If this is your first holiday season managing employees, you still may have plenty to learn about office dynamics. So don’t be afraid to gather some feedback as you learn your way through your first end-of-the-year holiday blowout.

Even if you simply ask around for ideas on the Christmas party or how to handle scheduling, your employees are there for a reason. They’re there to help you out, and they want the holidays to go as smoothly as you do.

Tip #5: Don’t Pick Holiday Favorites

If you buy your employees Christmas presents, don’t play favorites. It might sound simple, but it bears repeating.

You should always buy everyone the same “office gift.” And if you don’t have the money to do that, don’t buy a gift at all. Every employee deserves to feel valued, after all. By picking out the winners and losers, you just give some employees the feeling that you’re playing favorites. The same goes for granting holiday time off — everyone should have the same flexibility and freedom to ditch the office during the holidays.

Manage for a Holly Jolly Holiday

The holidays shouldn’t be rocket science. But that doesn’t mean you should expect the very best when it’s some employees’ natural tendency to be a little sluggish around the holidays. Let it slide and stick to the principles that got you where you are.

With any luck, you’ll be able to navigate the holiday season with plenty of good cheer. Merry Christmas from your friends at Ignite Security Marketing!