It’s been so friggin’ hot this summer that my energy has crawled into a hole somewhere. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re young or old, the heat just beats you up. So rather than pound your way through something, I say take a nap.
Napping is an art form that is highly underestimated. You have to cultivate it, so that it’s just enough, not too much. Step one is to listen to your body. When your butt is dragging, it’s time to take a time-out.
Step two is to set yourself up to take a real nap, not the kind where you’re in front of the TV, or have music blasting and you nod in and out. Find a quiet space where there will not be interruptions. And for goodness sake, don’t take your cell phone with you. This is a nap, not a time to wait and see if you are important enough for someone to interrupt you. And step three is to try not to make it too long. Twenty, maybe thirty minutes are the best.
If I take a two-hour nap in the middle of the day, I wake up feeling like I’ve been drugged. You know that feeling after you’ve taken benadryl—when your mouth is moving in slow motion and you have no idea what you’re saying. Sometimes, though, those are called for too. If you have been working at both ends of a candle, you may need a few days or a week with sleep and naps.
I think we think too much about managing our energy. It’s not a science, it’s an art. Which means it tests you to rely on your intuition. How do you feel? What does your heart tell you to do right now? Scary, huh? Even if you are intuitive and follow your intuition all the time, we Westerners, especially we Americans, love love love to be busy, in demand, and tell people how courageous we are because we only get five hours sleep a night.
So be brave. Take a nap. Invest in nap development, finding just the right amount that keeps you from feeling like the walking dead when you wake up. Better to invest thirty minutes now in down time, so you can be sharp as a tack on the next phase of your project. And tell your friends proudly of the benefits of napping.