Sleep Deprived? Be Productive At Work With These Four Steps

Sleep Deprived? Be Productive At Work With These Four Steps

Sleep Deprived? You Can Still Be Productive At Work

I have a seven week old. She’s adorable and I love her so much, but I already understand why Adam Mansbach’s notorious NSFW parenting book is a bestseller. My tiny human is not a fan of sleep, and I’m operating on less than I ever have. (I see you, college finals week, and I’m laughing at the idea that those were tiring all-nighters.)

I’m also back at work, and while my colleagues know it’s a transition period, it’s still my job to, well, do my job. I don’t want to be pigeonholed as the tired new mom and get passed over for something exciting that requires attention to detail. So, I’ve come up with a four-step plan to save me from my most sleep deprived self so I can still do good work.

Step 1: Proofread Everything

When I say everything, I mean everything. Yes, that includes obvious things like reading the body of an email aloud before you hit send. (I’ve learned that just like you’d fast-forward through commercials to get to the main program, I seem to skip over including prepositions in my first drafts–and you won’t make a good impression if the sentences in your business emails read like tweets.)

But that’s not all. For some reason, in my head, I automate to signing everything “Love, Sara.” So after I make sure the email to my boss reads correctly word-for-word, I keep reading all the way to the very bottom. (Because, no, auto-correct, I’m not wishing her “All the beast,” either.)

Keeping your emails polished gives off the impression that you still have it together, and have enough resources to communicate effectively. No one will know if you spend an extra five minutes on everything you write–but they will notice if you skip this step.


Step 2: Only Write Things You’d Make Public

Before I hit send, I also double check the “to” field. Have you ever accidentally sent an email to the person you’re talking about, instead of the intended recipient? Well, situations like this are all the more likely when you’re exhausted and your brain connects “email about Mary” to “email Mary.”

Therefore, it’s critical that you only type things absolutely anyone could read, and still hold a favorable impression of you. Sure, you should do this anyways, but haven’t we all forwarded an email to a colleague and attached a snarky comment to go along with it? Well, you can not do this when you’re sleep-deprived.

Face it: You’re not at the top of your game. So, make sure absolutely everything you send reflects the best you. That way, at worst you’re sending an email that says “Whoops, I meant to forward that to Dave!” and not trying to find a way to say, “So sorry I called you an idiot!”

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