Working endless hours scattered throughout the day and night is neither healthy nor sustainable. I used to be one of those people. I came into the office early, stayed late, and volunteered for any project I could get. I did this in the hopes of getting noticed, getting ahead, and expediting my growth at a Fortune 100 Company. How else was I to be noticed and acknowledged for my hard work? Or so I thought.

In this virtual working world, both individuals and employers have not set boundaries. As a result, workloads are flowing  at an even faster pace, and many are working all hours of the day and night, resulting in lost sleep and time away from the things that rejuvenate them (time with family, physical movement, personal hobbies, etc.).  

Need more proof?  Sarah Carmichael lays out why long hours can backfire on you, and why we need to deliberately prioritize balance.https://bit.ly/2PYfOr6 

So, what does this have to do with presenting and communicating?  You can’t be burnt out and be a great communicator. According to a study by the Department of Psychology University of California, Berkeley, sleep deprivation has a significant impact on the way we perform not just physically, but mentally and emotionally: https://bit.ly/2QnCKQd 

These findings suggest that sleep loss impairs discrete affective neural systems, disrupting the identification of noticeable affective social cues. Bottom line – when we misread our audience, there’s going to be a disconnect. 

Physical health, including sleep, increases your interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are exactly what you need to persuade your audience, close the deal, get buy-in, build trust, and read the room. All this is nearly impossible if you’re too tired to perform.

Managers, employers, and leaders – if you want to help your team be effective communicators – establish more realistic expectations for the workday, and get some sleep.