minimalist lessons from the launch: how to get enough sleep

In my regular, not-obsessed-with-a-single-project life, I've worked hard not to compromise sleep just because I want to say yes to so very many wonderful things.  So it was a big deal for me to say right here in writing that I was going to get at least eight hours of sleep every night leading up to a huge project launch.  Here's how I did it:

How to Get a Big Project Launched and Still Get Eight Hours of Sleep Every Night:

1:  Go to bed at 9:30 p.m. every night--even on the weekends.

2:  Get up at 5:30 a.m. every morning--even on the weekends.

3:  Stay committed, even when you slip.  There were two nights in that stretch of about 20 days when I blew my bedtime.  The next day, I either got up later or took a nap in the afternoon.  Not ideal, but I did still get in those eight hours.

Okay.  Sometimes I read steps like the three above, and I get really frustrated.  It seems simple, but if it were so damn simple, I'd be doing it all the time.

So let's try that again:

How to Get a Big Project Launched and Still Get Eight Hours of Sleep Every Night:

1:  Give up some time with your partner.  

My kiddo goes to bed at 9:00 or 9:30 p.m.  My spouse goes to bed later than that.  So me going to bed at 9:30 p.m. means that I don't get time to talk with him on our own at night at all.  But, honestly, when you're trying to get a big project launched, you're probably not going to be spending that late-night time having quality hang-outs with your partner even if you do stay up late.

2:  Decide not to do things your pride is distressed at not doing.  And don't plan to squish them in later either.  

I mentioned in Monday's post that I canceled some plans I had already made, stopped fundraising for three weeks straight, and won't have advance materials for a November Board meeting.  That was hard, but I knew there weren't enough hours in the day to do those things and get eight hours of sleep.  

The harder part:  Usually, I would offer to reschedule plans as I canceled the original ones, try to cram in the planned fundraising next week, and promise to send written materials after the November Board meeting.  Not this time.  There will be no rescheduling; there will be a series of two solicitation letters instead of three; and there will be a gap in the nice, orderly set of Board meeting materials on my computer.  And that's okay.

3:  Go to bed at 9:30 p.m. every night, and get up at 5:30 a.m. every morning.  

That whole same-time-every-night thing really does make a difference.

For those of you who are naturally excellent sleep-prioritizers, I salute you.  For those of you who aren't (like me), try pretending you're about to launch a big project, and do those three things up there for two weeks.  I'd love to know how it goes!

PS:  The launch was fabulous.  And to any of you who are looking for a website designer who specializes in nonprofits, I heartily recommend Chris Liu-Beers of his very own Tomatillo Design.  He created our arts nonprofit's new site, and he absolutely gets that websites need to make work easier, more streamlined, and less cluttered for nonprofits.  (Small businesses, this would make great sense for you, too!)