Here is my own take on the serious business of napping.
During this peak period of activity in our industry back to back 12, 14, and 16 hour days are not uncommon. Here is one trick that many of us use to remain energetic and productive in the face of the 80 hour workweek.
To achieve peak performance for the brain, and allow some midday recovery time for the body.
As an somewhat new early riser, and an occasional relapsing night owl, a mid day nap is vital, most days, to my own peak performance.
Typically by 3pm somewhere between eight and ten hours of quality work have been completed, and I start to fade a touch. Especially if I make the mistake of having anything resembling a heavy lunch. it just about goes without saying in this day and age that alcohol at lunch time is a social faux pas at the very least, how the previous generation got any work done in the late afternoon hours I cannot imagine.
Dozens upon dozens of emails written & read. Dozens of phone conversations, and perhaps two or three in person meetings to review financing strategy. Lots of brainpower exerted!
A simple 18 minute nap can act like a back up of data in the brain from the RAM to the ROM. Storing conversations, thoughts, to-do’s etc all on your mental hard drive, so to speak.
Think of it as hitting the ‘Save’ button on the first half of the day.
you will be sharper and in a better mood for the balance of the day/evening.
I have a preferred physical position, along with a few items that all contribute to my perfect napping experience.
Having had some challenges with my spine over the years, I have found that the perfect positioning is flat on my back on the floor, with my legs bent to 90 degrees, calves supported by a chair or footstool. This position eases the pressure from lower back. Flattening the spine along the floor helps compensate for having been hunched over a keyboard for several hours.
A large wool ‘napping sweater’, and an XL fleece beanie which rolls down loosely over my eyes. The beanie is perhaps optional if you have the luxury of a full head of hair.
a yoga mat rolls up nicely under your desk for this special occasion.
Never in a bed. Pretty much anywhere else though. Often in my office, occasionally in my vehicle in the underground parkade during the lunch break while attending a full conference day. During the summertime a variety of outdoor locations are also viable.
This is an ~18 minute nap, which for many will simply be an 18 minute meditation at first.
For myself, consistently 3.30pm is my start time.
The very best App of all?
Embrace napping, your body and your brain will thank you for it.