Productivity at 10 pm?

They call it “productivity” but it’s more likely just busyness. Microsoft research into the use of their Teams product has discovered there are now three peaks in a day. It used to be only mid-morning and early afternoon, but now another peak has appeared at 10 pm. Euphemistically, Microsoft equates keyboard activity with productivity, but keyboard activity at 10 pm is unlikely to add much value for most people.

The workday has expanded by 46 minutes since the start of the pandemic, and most of that has been after normal office hours. It is a leadership task to preserve the health and productivity of your people. Do your employees work at 10 pm? Are you okay with that?

Track Your Sleep

Do you track your sleep? New research from the UK has added dementia to the long list of diseases and health problems associated with too little sleep. After controlling for many other factors, they found that 50-year-olds who slept six hours or less per night had a 22% increased risk of developing dementia. For 60-year-olds, the risk went up by 37%.

Keep track of your sleep for a few weeks to get an idea of whether you are sleeping enough. The Apple Watch and many other smart watches will register your sleep. You can also get a sensor to place under your mattress or even a Google Nest with radar to track your movement during the night. But even without a device, you can simply write down when you started your evening wind-down, when you went to bed and when you got up. Spending some time winding down (without devices or TV) and spending enough time in bed is the first step towards better sleep.

If you don’t get enough sleep, it is very hard to improve your life.