November 2, 2018

The Roundup: Halloween leftovers at work, ideas for the extra DST hour, and sleep deprivation impact

In this week's Roundup, how to handle extra Halloween candy at work, and what to do with your Daylight Savings hour. Plus, the effects of sleep deprivation.

Resisting Halloween candy temptation

Ah, leftover Halloween candy. This week, most of us have likely dipped our hands into our desk drawers to grab a mini chocolate bar, or popped into the break room or cafeteria for a sweet afternoon pick-me-up from the cumulative stash.

But if you’re trying to resist the temptation at work, here are a couple of tips:

  • Hide it: If the candy is in a common space, try putting it into a covered or non-clear candy dish, to encourage an “out of sight, out of mind” approach, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) suggests.
  • Avoid it: In the same vein, take detours to avoid passing the treats, the AICR adds.
  • Bring your own alternatives: If you can’t say no entirely to indulging, balance it out by bringing homemade versions of your favorites.
  • Donate it: Some organizations collect and redistribute candy to various groups, like troops overseas, or sick children and their families. This would also be an opportunity to rally your team or the entire office to support a good cause.

If you’re more inclined to save and savor leftover candy into November, here’s some food for thought: some dentists say you should actually eat your Halloween candy all at once, according to Time.

Speaking of dentists, the Time piece mentions another way to give Halloween candy back for a good cause, which was launched by a dentist more than 10 years ago to prevent kids from partaking in ongoing sugar sessions.

Be productive with your extra hour this weekend

It’s also the end of Daylight Savings Time this weekend. Clocks will be turned back one hour on Sunday, resulting in what FastCompany appropriately describes as “spreading the delightful experience of waking in the dark and then trudging home from work in the dark, too.”

Rather than focusing on the hatred and hazards of DST, FastCompany provides some ideas for what to do with that extra hour. They include calling a friend in Arizona, where there is no DST, brushing up on your professional social media skills, and learning about emerging tech.

Our additional suggestions are to brush up on your conference call etiquette, consider opportunities to boost voter turnout (as we covered last week), or start addressing the thieves of productivity, as Whitespace at Work CEO Juliet Funt discussed at INSIGHTS.

How a bad night’s sleep affects your brain

Another thing you can do with that extra hour this weekend is catch up on sleep.

Psychology Today covers how lack of sleep can affect cognitive performance, and it’s not pretty. While we’re all aware of how important sleep is, it’s worth reminding ourselves that it broadly affects our abilities to think at optimal levels.

“It’s difficult to identify a cognitive skill that isn’t affected by sleep and compromised by sleep deprivation. That’s how pervasive the effects of insufficient sleep are on the brain,” the publication states.

The following are some reasons to prioritize getting more sleep, from Psychology Today:

You can’t focus well without it. “Attention is especially sensitive to the effects of sleep deprivation,” the publication states. Maintaining focus and concentration is key not only at work, but at home, and sleep deprivation makes it harder for that to happen.

Your reaction time is slower. With lack of sleep, brain cells are sluggish. “Reacting to changing circumstances around us is a critical skill that helps keep us – and others – safe. And it can be significantly compromised by sleep deprivation.”

Making and storing memories is more difficult. A definite obstacle in your work life, if you’re sleep-deprived, not only do you impair your ability to learn and create new memories, you’re also more likely to forget existing memories.

Decision-making and judgement skills suffer. Recent research cited in the article found that “not only will sleep deprivation make us less adept at sound decision making, we won’t have the self-awareness to catch ourselves making shaky decisions as they happen.”

You’re less creative. REM sleep has a major positive impact on creative thinking, so without it, you miss out on more opportunities for inspiration.

Danielle Ng-See-Quan

Dani is the Managing Editor, Content Marketing at Ceridian.

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