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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Want to write faster? Take a nap!

You know me, any excuse for a few minutes of peace and quiet is a good one.

Sleep researchers have been working for years to explain the benefits of napping.

Does this scenario sound familiar...

You've been at the computer for three hours straight. Between checking e-mail, balancing the checkbook, talking on Twitter, and writing you're sore, you're tired, and you need to run to pick up the kids in forty minutes.

Head pounding, back aching, limbs dead you stagger away from your writing session for a cup of coffee and a really bad afternoon.

Now, researchers say that if you turned the computer off ten minutes earlier and napped for 10-30 minutes, your afternoon would be much, much better.

When your energy levels dip at mid-day, listen to what your body is saying!

Harvard Business Review posted THIS Monday morning:
...naps are a powerful source of competitive advantage. The recent evidence is overwhelming: naps are not just physically restorative, but also improve perceptual skills, motor skills, reaction time and alertness.

I experienced the power of naps myself when I was writing my new book, The Way We're Working Isn't Working.

I wrote at home, in the mornings, in three separate, highly focused 90 minute sessions. By the time I finished the last one, I was usually exhausted -- physically, mentally and emotionally. I ate lunch and then took a 20 to 30 minute nap on a Barcalounger chair, which I bought just for that purpose.

When I awoke, I felt incredibly rejuvenated. Where I might otherwise have dragged myself through the afternoon, I was able to focus effectively on work other than writing until 7 pm or so, without feeling fatigued.

Finishing a book and taking naps... wait, isn't that what you want to do?

Write efficiently, feel better, take a nap, and then put your bum in the chair and write!


  1. I keep telling myself it would be healthier to take a nap instead of downing caffeine. Logic said I didn't want to waste the time. Nap = more alert AND more productive? No more arguing with myself. Nap wins. :-)

  2. So I actually have a good excuse to nap? I'll be back in 30 minutes. zzzzzzz