Mind you, if anyone caused pangs of guilt in your head, ’cause you took a short nap in the middle of a work day, erase those negative feelings, pronto!
Downtime is not a waste of time… repeat these words in your head, until you feel free of guilt… not because I’m suggesting that you feel so, but because you will truly feel liberated from that nagging feeling that somehow made you feel you’d committed some major crime.
Mid-afternoon can take its toll on you, in more ways than one. Perhaps it’s the hottest part of the day. May be you’ve had a series of meetings all morning, and concentration during those meetings was imperative – - even if you were not the speaker (in fact, more reason to have been concentrating on those ‘need to increase productivity’ speeches from your boss, and his/her boss) – - because your annual bonus depends on what they said this morning! It is also possible that what you’d planned and hoped for as a productive sales call turned out to be a ‘hit by a bolt of lightning’ nightmare… your junior had just botched up, and you spent precious time troubleshooting, mollifying the irate customer or prospect. One could put this down as an occupational hazard… but remember, although the blow was hard to handle, and you somehow succeeded to salvage that business, the entire process and effort took an immense toll on you – not quite quantifiable.
At every juncture, each one of us is making decisions… numerous decisions… some impact us in small, trivial ways (but they all add up, nevertheless); others, have a bearing on our lives. It’s e.g. the difference between keeping – or losing – your job; or, whether or not your kid will be able to go on a camping vacation with buddies in the spring… your bonus would pay for that eagerly-awaited vacation and the much-deserved new pair of boots you will buy for the child, to not simply show off, but to bring some comfort to those little feet. Isn’t that what you’re wearing out your soles for (without having to sell your soul for the extra bucks)?
Decisions such as these take their toll on us as working individuals. Your short nap will not break your company’s bottom-line, but without the twenty minutes’ shut-eye, you may, at some point, reach your breaking point! Think of it as a mini vacation from work… from having to look at a gazillion emails, a respite from the incessant stream of phone calls, but most important, it’s a few minutes off, from having to ‘make a decision’. Your productivity is bound to improve and you’ll more than make up for the ‘lost’ twenty odd minutes, ‘slacking off’. Try it out.
Reams of research by psychologists, scientists, and even global businesses have arrived at one common conclusion that we, as human beings, in today’s mad pace of work, technology, and media impact, are inundated by information overload that takes a toll on us. With the numerous points of decision making imposed upon us each day, it is not unreasonable that our body and mind require rest and rejuvenation at a mid point during our waking hours… separate from the deep sleep we normally go into, for 6-8 hours each day of our life. A quick internet search within scholarly articles for query phrase (keyword search) “mid-afternoon nap productivity” generated numerous results… the pix here is a screenshot of page 1 of the SERPs.
A recent article in The New York Times also evoked numerous thought-provoking reader responses.