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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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