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One Extra Hour - What Do You Do With It?

The number of hours that Americans sleep at night is down more than an hour from what it was in 1942. Does this mean that we've gained an hour more to do other, more productive things? Or, an hour more to do things like read and spend time with our family?
Based upon everything that I've read about sleep, the answer is no. What the missed hour is doing is making us less productive. Sleep disturbances cause fatigue-related productivity loss. 25% of Akamai's US employees are tracking their sleep using a device that they sync to our wellness platform supported by Jiff, Inc. Akamai Wellness is bringing awareness of sleep to employees in hopes that good habits will be supported and maintained, or new habits will be formed that will help keep us healthy, productive, and feeling more fulfilled. Recently, Akamai's program was highlighted on Jiff's blog.

The missed hour isn't giving us extra time for leisure activities, either. A lot of people have intentions to put aside time to do something they love but unexpected things arise that take up downtime. A leisure activity, like reading for example, can get pushed to the side when something else comes up. The Akamai Wellness Book Club was started with the original goal of bringing all US employees together to do the same activity. What I'm learning from the club is that a lot of us want to read, but it's hard to find time to do it.

I asked our colleagues, "How do you make time to do something you love, like reading?" and I want to share the responses. Once you make a commitment to spend time doing something you love, use our tips to help you keep the commitment:

  1. Make it a priority. Commit time in your schedule for it and when the time comes, just do it.
  2. Use your time during the commute. Read while you are on the train or bus, and listen to an audiobook while you're driving.
  3. Find an accountability partner (or team). Ask someone to regularly check in with you to make sure you're sticking to your commitment. It's a good idea to have a back up. Ask one other person to do the same thing.
  4. Eliminate something. Determine if there is something (scrolling through social media feeds, for example) taking up your time that you can stop doing or at least cut back on the time spent doing it.

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