Growing up in California the winning secret to success was a 24/7 lifestyle. The idea of having it all meant you also had to do it all. But we all have the same 24 hours in a day, so sleep was always the first thing to get cut. Like a badge of honor, cutting out sleep was acceptable behavior. Everyone was doing it like a designer drug and getting ahead with their to-do lists. What could be the harm in it?

The winning secret to increasing rest and productivity.

I remember being in college pulling all-nighters on many occasions, and feeling like I was really getting stuff done. Somehow, I worked full-time, went to school full-time and had an active social life. But sleep? Well, there was no time for that. And the mistakes that I made from exhaustion? Those were chalked up to inexperience.

[Tweet “Busyness does not equal achievement, accomplishment or progress.” ~ Varian Brandon”]

For many years the working culture of America has deemed sleep as the enemy. Drink more coffee, cut your sleep and get ahead. Being busy means being productive and slowing down, well that is a sign of weakness and laziness. It wasn’t until my divorce that I decided to stop the madness. I felt tired all the time, everyone else dictated my schedule and at times I just felt out of control and disconnected.

The winning secret to increasing rest and productivity.
It was the summer of 2011 while walking at one of my favorite parks here in Tennessee that it hit me like a ton of bricks – I have a choice. At that moment I decided to take my sleep seriously and give more time for myself. It almost seemed decadent to be so selfish, but I was up to the challenge.

The winning secret to increasing rest and productivity.

On average I sleep eight hours a night. On the weekends I gladly admit to sleeping eight to ten without guilt – and I may even sneak in a nap. I also make it a point to get outside. I take walks in nature and connect with mama earth. In some ways I felt like a pioneer on my own path, refusing to subscribe to the notion that lack of sleep was productive, until I started noticing a huge shift in the tech world – sleep was becoming cool.

Just this week, Micheal Hyatt released a podcast on How To Achieve More By Sleeping More. Shawn Stevenson from the Model Health Show, iTunes number one health show, has not only written a book Sleep Smarter, but recommends it as one of his key secrets to weight loss. If you still aren’t convinced, Tim Ferris of The 4-Hour Workweek and Noah Kagan, from #30 at Facebook, talk about the power of productivity from a good nights sleep and how lack of sleep is the equivalent of having a 2.0 drug alcohol level. Coming from two people who have both built multiple million dollar businesses, I’d say you better perk up!

With that said, getting plenty of sleep just isn’t enough. The key to our salvation is getting plenty of sleep and getting outdoors. Taking time to connect with nature recharges us and eliminates stress. As Michael Hyatt says, “How often do you take advantage of the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of nature?”

[Tweet “We are influenced by our environment in ways that we are not even aware of. ~ Netta Weinstein”]

So what is the winning secret to increasing rest and productivity? The answer is simple: Sleep and Nature. So simple in fact, you may delay in getting started, but remember, as Tony Robbins says, ‘complexity is the enemy of completion.’ And as we’ve all learned today, sleep is not the enemy nor is it complex, but your lack of devotion to it is.

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