Some love them, some hate them, but their benefits are undeniable.
There’s no time like a Tuesday after a long weekend to have you feeling sluggish. Maybe you partied a bit too hard, didn’t get enough sleep, and figured you could phone it in on Tuesday at work? Then when you walk in, you’re slammed with a ton of tasks and an afternoon meeting that’s going to require you to be on your A-game. We’ve all been there. It’s an unfortunate situation to be thrust into, but not impossible to deal with.
Cue the Power Nap. A short slumber that will boost your productivity and drive so that you’re not counting down the seconds until 5 o’clock hits so you can rush home and veg out on the couch for six hours. Naps have gotten a bad reputation over the years as something reserved for babies and the elderly. That’s until recently when major corporations like Google, Facebook, and Apple have recognized the benefit and even gone to the extent of installing napping pods at their offices.
If you’re ready to change your day for the better, here’s the proper way to go about napping…
Time It Right
A nap often get misconstrued as a full slumber, when in reality it shouldn’t last for more than 30 minutes. Anywhere from 15-30 minutes will be extremely effective. As soon as you put your head down, set an alarm for 30 minutes. This way you won’t have any excuses to oversleep. Some doctors recommend drinking a cup of coffee immediately before you lay your head down, that way once the 20-30 minutes is up, the caffeine will just be kicking in as you awake.
Take What You Can Get
Even if you aren’t fully falling asleep, allowing yourself to stop what you’re doing and rest your system for 15-20 minutes will be more effective than trying to push through and drinking more caffeine. Bring a sleep mask to work, lay your head on your desk (or lay on a couch, if you’re an exec), and allow yourself to fully relax. It will re-boost your system even without actual sleep.
Keeping a small pillow and an eye mask at your desk is a smart move. It will allow you to maximize your comfort. Also, recognize that you should alert the proper co-workers that you’re embracing this new nap strategy. Don’t suddenly bust out a pillow and sleep mask one day out of nowhere because it’s going to look like you are being lazy and disinterested in your work. Even if you need to stay an extra 30 minutes after everyone leaves so you get your work done properly, make it known that your napping isn’t a sign of laziness, it’s a sign of productivity.
If you’re unable to nap because you work on Wall Street or someplace that’s loud and busy, head outside for a short walk or find a nearby bench and sit for 20 minutes without being on your phone. Take deep breaths and allow yourself to relax as much as possible. This form of meditation should also give you a boost of fresh energy for attacking the rest of your day.