Often times when I start feeling tired in the middle of my day, I stick my head out the door and get some fresh air and then drink a glass of cool water. This is often enough to get me energized, but when it is not, I will usually take a quick power nap. There is nothing like pausing for a few moments and resting the mind and body during the busy work days. Face it, being a businessman or woman can be daunting–emotionally and physically draining, even exhausting. This is also true for stay-at-home moms, teachers, nurses and other caregivers, law enforcement, service providers, and laborers (well, literally anyone who works, and that is all of us!) No matter what the job or profession, long hours, working odd hours, health issues, stress, lack of sleep, plus a whole host of other factors, can result in being tired during the work day.
I am very much a morning person. In fact, there are days when I am up as early as 4 a.m. On those days the only way I can keep going strong until my work is done for the day is to take a quick nap after eating an early lunch. I most likely went to bed early the night before and woke up at 4:00, feeling refreshed and ready to go. So after a quick cup of coffee, I head for my home office and get right to work. On those days I often find I can get a massive amount of work accomplished while a lot of people I know are still fast asleep. (It's amazing how much one can get done when all is quiet!) Now honestly, I do not do this everyday, by any stretch of the imagination, but as I age it’s actually happening more and more often.
At first, I felt a little guilty napping, but I have learned to cut myself a little slack. And you should too. Give yourself permission to take a nap. I know many studies have been completed on this concept of taking a nap. Some larger companies actually offer a place to take a nap. Now I am not suggesting crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over your head and staying in bed the rest of the day. I am suggesting a quiet time when you can close your eyes and just rest. No phone ringing, no texts beeping at you, no music playing, no reading, or watching videos on Facebook–simply shutting your mind down and relaxing with a brief 15-20 minute power nap.
If it still rings true that “everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten”, I can see that napping isn’t a waste of time, but a way to make make better use of the rest of my time. A nap can be liberating, a great way to re-charge and re-energize… and that is bound to result in making better decisions, being more creative and better able to think through challenges, and ultimately increasing my overall productivity. More importantly napping helps people be happier and nicer to others. I certainly do not what to be known as “Mr. Grumpy” because I am tired all the time, and I do want to make the most of every day, so I will continue to take naps. And I will encourage others to take naps too. Go ahead and take a nap today and make your day even better.