The Number One Productivity Tip to Learn from Filipino Entrepreneurs

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“You snooze, you lose” is a relevant tip we live by in the business ecosystem. It means that if we are not paying attention and don’t act swiftly, we lose any advantage to others who may have. The words behind this tip, however, does not constitute to not sleeping and not resting which is a common misconception to many.

On the contrary, we discovered that having good rest is the key to most successes when we asked several entrepreneurs in the Philippines about their productivity secret.

  • Junver Arcayna, Founder of Cent To Change, the newly established platform for savings and giving money to charity, utilizes power nap as a strategy to get innovating when faced with a creativity block.
  • Gabriel Billones Jr., a digital storyteller who is running his two businesses, Y Loop Digitals and Organic Pump, says, “Never underestimate the power of Airplane/Flight mode, and always get a good sleep.”

No wonder siestas have always been a part of the Filipino culture. The Filipino ancestors would be proud to learn that based on studies, it shows that even a 20-minute nap can recharge a person from almost total fatigue to full energy. Sleep is in fact, important yet we often forget that it’s a pillar of good health and wellbeing.


Exploring Alternative Sleep Patterns and Resting Habits

We learn from school that an average person essentially needs 7 to 8 hours to rejuvenate the mind and the body. It’s not necessary to believe everything in school as different people have different strategies to achieve a good rest. For example, Leonardo da Vinci and Nikola Tesla are said to have been fueled through polyphasic sleeping – snoozing in short periods throughout the day instead of sleeping for straight long hours. Entitled millennials even secure good sleep by getting pinnacle-quality, organic bed sheets and pillows or better yet, playing classical music. Others simply seek advantage of the night and have better sleep in darkness.

As for me, another entitled millennial who is also trying my hand on business, in order to rest I try to put away my phone to temporarily get away from online temptations or calls and just focus on sleep. Lock your phone in a cabinet, if you must but surely, not switching off from work would wreak havoc not just in your sleep but also in your work itself. I also reckon that doing exercises would get you better sleep as I have experienced before. In fact, studies found that regular exercise can create longer periods of slow wave sleep, which is the most restful type of sleep.

Related: Resilience as a Trait for Success: What These Startups Can Teach Us on Grit


There’s More than Meets the Eye – Great Entrepreneurs do Rest

We often see leaders and entrepreneurs dynamic and spirited that they may seem to have full energy 24/7. No, they don’t – ever. Successful entrepreneurs carefully plan and receive the right amount of sleep to make sure that they don’t leave money on the table. As young entrepreneurs, we need to recognize that lack of sleep will create some negative consequences that may harm our own businesses in the long run. We are already taking big risks in entering the business arena and we don’t want to make the risks any bigger.

Our entrepreneurial work covers pretty much everything from building the business from scratch, engaging clients, communicating with potential business partners, social media marketing to improving our websites and marketing campaigns. Each of these tasks require our time and energy. What we have as entrepreneurs is that freedom and flexibility to choose when we are going sleep, and how to make sleep work for us, not the other way around.


Think Long-Term and Have a Sustainable Game Plan

The bottom line is whatever our game plan in sleeping may be, it is important that we understand how to effectively manage our energy. This is the first step in maximizing our productivity. Through sleep, we keep our energy in a positive state which leads to constant state of relaxation and control. Hence, despite the challenges of our day, we will have more resilience and energy which will help us have a clear purpose in everything we do, thereby, giving a new forceful meaning of the quote, “You snooze, you lose” for our competitors in the business arena.

Related: The Unicorns of Southeast Asia: Meet the CEOs Behind Indonesia’s 4 Biggest Startups


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She is a Director of Research in 2030Tech Inc. and co-established,, a 2-way online portal in providing greater financial inclusion for Filipinos. She gained training on social entrepreneurship and economic growth from the Embassy of the United States Yangon, Myanmar and East-West Center. She has worked for 7 years in the health R&D sector with the Philippine government agencies in health and S&T, gaining experience in program development, implementation, and evaluation. Sheryl received her BS in Biochemistry from the University of the Philippines Manila and have earned some academic credits in Political Economy from George Mason University through University of Hong Kong’s short-term program. Currently, she is pursuing Bachelor of Laws and a scholar of a Thailand-based international NGO, Wedu.


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