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Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty about Taking a Nap Every Day

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty about Taking a Nap Every Day

Waking up early and going to bed late can start to take a toll both physically and mentally after a while. We wake up, get ready for our day, go the whole day without taking a rest, and then stay up late, creating a routine cycle that can often leave us exhausted, depleted of energy, and more stressed than we need to be. All of that can be prevented by taking a nap every day. There are even some famous snoozers who reap the benefits of daily naps, including former President Bill Clinton, inventor Thomas Edison, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, actor Matthew McConaughey, singer Lady Gaga, and actress Cameron Diaz. Here’s why:

Energy

One of the overwhelmingly obvious benefits of taking a daily nap is an increase in your energy afterwards. When you go through half of your day, your energy tends to dip, depending on how much work you’re doing (both physically and mentally), what you consume, and how much sleep you get the night before, among other things. By taking a 30-minute nap, your energy levels get a chance to rest and recharge, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day.

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Memory boost

Studies have shown that taking a nap of 20 minutes helps to clear your brain of built-up information, increasing the brain’s ability to remember long-term information. So, if you’re looking to improve your ability to remember people’s names at your new job, it might be a good idea to turn your computer monitor off and take a mini-nap to increase your chances.

It’s also been said that taking naps increase your alertness throughout the day. On a day without a nap, you may find yourself trying to fight off sleep. On a day with a nap, you’ll find yourself becoming more alert to what you’re focusing on, giving you a better chance to be productive.

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Taking a break

One thing that doesn’t happen too often is taking a break. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish after you’ve decided to regroup and catch your breath for a minute or two (or five), as a quick mini nap:

  • Helps cure writer’s block
  • Takes your mind off of what you’re working on
  • Gives you a chance to get up and stretch
  • Gives you an opportunity to take a nap

That’s right: when you take a break from what you’re doing, you can nap and reset your mind. This gives you a chance to seize the day.

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Refocusing

Taking a nap will let your mind refocus itself and give you a clear thought process for the rest of your day. This can be beneficial in many different ways: more productivity, more brainpower, less burnout, etc.

As you’re going through your workday, it might be a good idea to use part of your lunch break to sleep in your car (unless your job allows you to sleep in your office). Heck, it might even be a good idea to ask your boss if you can take short naps when you’re at work. Either way, find the time to get it done. You’ll be able to reap the benefits.

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Less stress

When our bodies shut down to sleep, they work on replenishing energy, relieving stress, and healing both body and mind. If you were to take a daily nap, even on the days that you don’t have work, you can begin to see your stress levels reduce significantly.

Because of this, we are ready to take on the day without dragging our feet the last half of the afternoon. So sit back, kick your feet up, and take a little snooze—your body and brain will thank you.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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