Successful people often feel as though they should always be working no matter what else they are doing. This is especially true for those in C level positions and business owners. If you asked yourself how many times you have shaved a few hours off of a good night’s rest to get more done, the answer would probably be countless. If you thought about how often you have skipped out on a leisure activity like a nice round of golf to put more time in at the office, you might get melancholy just thinking about how many times that has happened. It just so happens that sleep and golf may be two of my favorite things which is why, when I came across a study that touted the benefits of these two activities, I needed to share with our readers.
Working on Too Little Sleep? You May as Well Be Drunk.
We often correlate long days and late evenings with success at work. And while there is no doubt that extended hours are typically the practice of successful entrepreneurs and business people, it is important that you are getting enough sleep too. We need sleep to recharge our batteries. Lack of sleep promotes a lack of clarity, poor decision making, and ultimately, poor health.[i]
The science behind it explains that sugar levels in our bodies are not properly regulated when we are sleep deprived. Poor sleep habits over long periods wear our bodies and brains out and without a recharge the results among others are:
· Lack of productivity
· Inability to distinguish nuances in decision making
· Memory Loss
· Poor Cognitive Functioning
Data has revealed that pulling an all-nighter results in the same loos of cognitive capacity as being over the legal alcohol limit for driving. While we often look at those who never seem to sleep and get so much done as superheroes, you might reconsider and turn out the light at 11 pm.[ii]
A Hole in One
So, after a good night’s sleep what could possibly be better than spending four hours on the golf course? Sounds great to me! However, we often convince ourselves that we should postpone a game until we have gone through that pile of papers our desks or chores on our “to do” list. According to a recent academic study it pays to play golf and play it well. Executives who play golf earn 17% more than those who do not, on average.[iii] And those who play well earn even more comparatively.
The statistic might beg the question, “Why?” Perhaps because golf is a game of precision, integrity, honesty, and patience. Aren’t those qualities we want to see in a business partner, colleague or someone who provides us with a professional service? How someone executes their golf game, whether they are good or not, can tell a lot about who they are off the course. Golf rewards players who remain calm under pressure, don’t lose their temper and think strategically. These are all virtues in business as well.
Swing A Club and Go to Sleep
So, what is the lesson? Although it is paramount to the success of any business that its leaders be dedicated to putting in the time and effort required to ensure growth, stability, and organizational structure, a seventy-hour work week may not be the best route. The critical measure of work isn’t and never should be input, but output. So, don’t feel guilty about getting another golf game in this week and try to get some sleep…it’ll pay off.