What is the number one thing that gets in the way of GMAT performance and preparation for that matter? It’s not quantitative, it’s not verbal, it’s no problem type or rule or anything like that. In fact, it’s a good night’s sleep or more particularly, it’s consistently having a good night’s sleep.

Sleep hygiene and allowing the brain to absorb the information it’s learned in the past day, as well as prepare to absorb new information in the coming day is absolutely essential to learning any new process or skill. Yet, most professionals preparing for the GMAT are already running at a continuous sleep deficit. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to get a full eight hours of sleep every night!

1. Prioritization of Time

If you say “well I don’t have time between my work and my social life and the GMAT”, consider this: People who get a full night’s sleep are significantly healthier and happier than those who do not. So, if you don’t have enough hours in the day, re-prioritize your time. That might mean taking yourself out of the GMAT for a little while. Actually, it should make you more cognizant of all the things you’re not doing with your time. Thereby, allowing you to refocus towards the future and why you’re preparing for the GMAT.

Way too often, it’s too easy to rob Peter in order to pay Paul. That is borrow now, to pay later. When we do this with our time, we put ourselves in this downward spiral – this downward cycle where we’re focused more on the job at hand than where we’re looking to go. We see this a lot with our clients who are preparing for the GMAT.

2. Invest in Yourself

Being committed professionally is vital to success, it’s vital to growth and learning. At the same time, if you’re so committed that you’re putting in 12 or 14 hour days, every day, then maybe it’s time to revisit the resources you’re giving to your employer rather to yourself. Ultimately, the amount of time you invest in the GMAT, in yourself and your sleep is entirely up to you. Realize that the best outcomes come from prioritizing yourself, your learning, and your career and leveraging them to be as productive as you possibly can at work, on the GMAT, at business school, and ultimately beyond.

So turn the computer off, put on some soft music, and go to bed.

If you liked “Sleep Affects GMAT Preparation”, be sure to watch 6 Things Most GMAT Preppers Get Wrong