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Power Napping: How To Fall Asleep Anywhere

Power Napping: How To Fall Asleep Anywhere

This is part 2 of my post from last week on how to design the perfect nap.

Today, I’d like to continue by talking about how you can fall asleep no matter where you are. This is useful for napping in airports, couches, or at your desk if need be.

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The trick is to use sleep MP3s. They are essentially MP3s that play white noise for the duration of the nap, and then slowly wake you up by playing a variety of sounds. Whats great is that you can play them on your computer speakers, or make them portable by putting them on your iPod or cell phone.


They are so helpful (and far superior to a traditional alarm clock) for a few reasons.

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  • It’s too easy to make mistakes when setting an alarm for a nap. Alarm clocks are designed to be changed rarely, and used over and over at the same time each day. The math that is required to count x minutes ahead and get all the buttons right, while being sleep deprived, is just asking for errors.
  • Napping is not dependent on the time of day, it’s dependent on the length. The length of the mp3 never changes, so it is as simple as pressing play to get it right.
  • These mp3’s use white noise to block out other sounds and and soothe you to sleep. When I first heard it, I found it a little bit annoying, but I quickly grew to enjoy the sound, and it works better than earplugs to block out unwanted noises.
  • They wake you up gradually. Some start with relaxing clucking of chickens or a rooster, then play some music, and end with loud explosions and a human voice letting you know it’s time to get up if you still haven’t gotten up. This is much more effective (and pleasant) than a single tone that you will angrily turn off.
  • They are portable. I have one of these MP3’s on my blackberry so if I need to fall asleep, I just put in my standard headphones and I’m out. You can also carry them on your iPod.

Some finals tips for the perfect nap:

If you are sensitive to light, you may want to combine this with a sleep mask which will block out the light.

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Make sure you are as warm as possible, since just having cold feet or hands can be enough to prevent sleep.

Finally, if you normally like to sleep on your side, and you don’t have a pillow handy, you may have to try sleeping on your back. This will allow your head to be in a natural position without a pillow. Even though I never sleep on my back in bed, I’m able to nap in this position, so give it a try.

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Using these simple techniques, you will likely be able to fall asleep in most environments, and wake up ready to take on the day!

Brian Armstrong is an entrepreneur who achieved financial freedom working for himself by age 23. You can learn how to quit your 9-to-5 job, start your own business, and begin building wealth at his website: StartBreakingFree.com

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why We Procrastinate After All?

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

Is Procrastination Bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How Bad Procrastination Can Be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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Procrastination, a Technical Failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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