I like to fancy myself as the king of my little slice of the universe from time to time. Not a royalty King, thus the small “k”, but in case you didn’t know, I’m kind of a big shot around here. That said, I’m a busy guy. I work hard and play harder. The point is, being awesome as I surely am, takes a lot of energy and when you are this awesome you actually hate to miss anything because of sleeping, so you have a tendency to only catch five or six hours a night (four on Wednesday night). The only problem I have with four or five hours of sleep in a night is that I need six. Without that extra hour or two I can get to feeling a little less than awesome.
To fix that, I make use of the power nap. 15 – 20 minutes max and I feel like a new man. The health benefits linked to napping are well documented (if a little heavy on the cheese – “boost creativity”? Oh give me a break). For me, timing is everything. I’m up unusually early, before 4:30, to get ready for and to the office before 6. The extra hour gives me time to get a lot of work done before the phone starts ringing at 7:30 – 8. Often, if I can’t crash before 9 or 10 pm, I run short on sleep. If that happens, I’ll find myself with heavy eyes around lunch time (11 am). I’ll eat lunch and then nap for 15-30 minutes so I can attack the rest of the day. What I try not to do (and sometimes fail at) is take a nap after I get home. First of all, that’s my ride time. Second, if I nap late I’m either wrecked for the rest of the evening or I have a tough time falling asleep later on that evening, thus compounding the lack of sleep problem in the first place.
Now, some employers don’t agree with or allow the power nap – I don’t know any of them, I used to shut my office door regularly for 20-30 minutes at lunch time to decompress, but I’m sure they’re out there… There is a solution if that’s the case for you: Throw aside the chains of bondage and open your own shop doing what you love. As the boss you’ll get to take naps whenever you want… Unfortunately you’ll also end up working twice as hard if you want to keep that business for more than a couple of years. Admittedly, it’s not perfect. Let’s nap on it.