I was really, really tired. It was mid-day and I could feel the pressure mounting of everything that had to get done and all there was to cross off my to-do list…but I was really, really tired. I swear it felt as if my head was pulsing and my eyes just wanted to drift close.
But napping is a bad thing, right? Especially during the work day. As a society we are driven to be productive, to use every moment to its fullest, to never stop until everything that needs to be done is done. And that’s a good thing, right?
Research actually shows that it’s not good to keep going, but that it’s really in our best interest – and the best interest of our business, boss, and company – to rest. Up to 65% of people experience performance issues during the day from being overtired. They have trouble organizing and concentrating. If they (we) would only take the time to rest, to nap even, they’d become more productive and effective. A morning nap is proven to help you think more creatively, while an afternoon nap rejuvenates you so that you can continue to produce. You can get much more done if you nap than if you didn’t take the time out at all. Even ten minutes of rest has incredible benefits.
The idea of napping at work is catching on. There are companies that support the concept of taking a break during the day. Ben and Jerry’s has a nap room, as does JAWA, a software development company in Arizona, among others. They believe their employees will come back from their naps thinking more creatively and with more energy and drive.
And yet so many of us, myself included, somehow still feel guilty. Still feel like someone will look at us askance, or that we’ll look at ourselves askance, if we rest. “Slacker,” we think…and pump the caffeine.
Well, I rested. I found a place to lie down and close my eyes. I will admit, I didn’t actually sleep (I rarely do) but I cancelled all thoughts of deadlines and projects and just allowed my mind to rest and enjoy itself. And you know what? My head stopped pulsing, my eyes stopped throbbing, and I went back to the rest of my day energized for more.
Do you rest during the day? How? What does it do for you? Please leave a comment with examples of how you rest during your workday.