Why Companies Should Insist that Employees Take Naps

The problem is that most corporate cultures remain addicted to the draining ethic of more, bigger, faster. Rest, by this paradigm, is for slackers. Until your employer sees through that myth, consider these tips to take matters into your own hands:

* Schedule a regular time for your nap — between 1 and 3 p.m. is ideal — to increase the likelihood that you’ll take it.
* If you have your own office, create a cheeky sign for your door to set expectations others. As in: «Short nap in process to insure high afternoon productivity.»
* If you work in a cubicle, see if you can find a quiet space for your nap, even if it means leaving the building and taking your nap on a park bench, at a Starbucks or in a local library.
* Turn off your technology and set an alarm for 20 or 30 minutes.
* Close your eyes (obviously) but don’t try too hard to fall asleep. Instead, breathe in through your nose to a count of three, and out through your mouth to a count of six. Even if you don’t fall asleep, this way of breathing will insure you’ll get a rejuvenating rest.


by Tony Schwartz | //blogs.hbr.org

Good luck, right?

But here’s the reality: naps are a powerful source of competitive advantage. The recent evidence is overwhelming: naps are not just physically restorative, but also improve perceptual skills, motor skills, reaction time and alertness.

I experienced the power of naps myself when I was writing my new book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working.
I wrote at home, in the mornings, in three separate, highly focused 90 minute sessions. By the time I finished the last one, I was usually exhausted — physically, mentally and emotionally. I ate lunch and then took a 20 to 30 minute nap on a Barcalounger chair, which I bought just for that purpose.

When I awoke, I felt incredibly rejuvenated. Where I might otherwise have dragged myself through the afternoon, I was able to focus effectively on work other than writing until 7 pm or so, without feeling fatigued.

When Sara Mednick, a former Harvard researcher, gave her subjects a memory challenge, she allowed half of them to take a 60 to 90 minute nap, the nappers dramatically outperformed the non-nappers. In another study, Mednick had subjects practice a visual task at four intervals over the course of a day. Those who took a 30 minute nap after the second session sustained their performance all day long. Those who didn’t nap performed increasingly poorly as the day wore on. Continuar leyendo «Why Companies Should Insist that Employees Take Naps»

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