Powernaps and productivity.
Running a business means that you always have an endless amount of work to do, if it’s not replying to client emails, it’s balancing the books or working on new designs, and if it’s not that then it’s planning the days ahead or doing marketing.
It can sometimes seem overwhelming, but I’ve grown accustomed to it and I thank God that I love doing most of it or else I would have gone postal a long time ago and buried myself in a tub of cookies and cream.
Why does productivity matter?
Despite that, love for my work doesn’t change the fact that there is always a load to do, therefore being effective while I’m doing it makes sense — you get the work done quicker, more accurately or creatively which allows you to either move onto another task, or simply have more free time.
Why does everyone need to work from 9–5?!
Enter the typical work day for most people, the 9–5 monster…I just don’t think it works that well. It’s a dated, blunt force, dinosaur of a tool imposed on a highly non-homogeneous populace. Each of us have our individual body cycles, some prefer to work early in the day, others later in the day, some of us late at night while everyone else is asleep.
You don’t work at a constant rate unless you’re dead…
Personally, I have always found it extraordinarily difficult to remain at near full productive capacity for the duration of the 8 hour work day, it simply stretches far too long without a chance to recharge somewhere in the middle.
My productivity cycle dictates that for the first 4 hours of the day, from 9am-1pm, I am generally awake, firing on all cylinders and burning through my work. Come lunch time however and this slows to a crawl as my stomach is busy digesting food and I am working at half mast. My eyes are droopy, I’m on autopilot trying to stay awake and hoping my slurred speech doesn’t make people don’t think I’m high on drugs. Later on in the afternoon though, I get a second wind and I am often working up to 12am or later the next morning.
Lots of people follow a similar pattern, but due to their salaried employee status, sustained productivity isn’t a huge concern for them. As a freelancer who gets paid per hour however, this is a huge concern because ineffective time really is very costly.
This is where powernaps come into the picture…
Being fully aware of this surge-lull-surge in productivity during the day, rather that fight it, I’d prefer to flow with it. I’ve adopted somewhat of a bi/polyphasic sleeping pattern (as opposed to a monophasic sleeping pattern that most adhere to) now that I also live with a partner who has a different work schedule from myself.
I go to sleep relatively late as I enjoy the peace and quiet and can get a lot of my art done during the night / early morning. Then I usually awake around the same time as my partner, which would mean I don’t get the regular 8 hours sleep. I work till around lunch time when I will either go to the gym first, or have lunch and an afternoon powernap for about 25 minutes.
After the power nap, it almost feels like a second morning and this will help to fuel me through to another 6+ hours of work if I need to. On particularly long days, I will sometimes take two power naps spaced about 6 hours apart, and I judge the necessity to do so based on my clarity of thought.
This simple addition of power napping during the day helps me immensely, I’m able to learn more, be more productive around the clock and achieve more during my waking hours. If you’re a uni student or someone who simply has a lot of activities outside of the 9–5 day, try giving powernaps a go, they may just be what you need to get more out of each day.
If you try it out, let me know how you go with it in the comments
Keep kickin’ ass.