Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dogs Do It. Cats Do It. Even Educated Fleas Do It. Let's Do It. Let's take a nap.

It’s been three months since I’ve adopted my new work schedule. With the new work schedule comes the new sleep schedule but it also changes my productivity cycle.

My productivity in the past picked up steam from 2pm-9pm then bounced back up from 11pm-1am. After monitoring the new changes, this is what I’ve determined to be my new productivity cycle:

5-6am – Stop the world, I want to get off. Find man who invented alarm clock and kill.
7am – Semi-cognizant of surroundings. [May require assistance from caffeine goodness.]
8am – Morning meetings. Appearance of fully functioning human requires serious concentration.
9am – Able to read emails and check voice mails but not respond. Making to-do list for the day trying. God help you, if you have brush fire you need my help to extinguish.
10am – Engine fully warmed up. Prioritize and begin tackling to dos.
11:30am – The wheel’s on fire and rolling down the road. God help you if you’re in my path. A stampede could pass by my office and I wouldn’t even know.
2pm – ADHD begins to kick in. The hamster wheel begins to slow down. Must grab lunch. Yes, I eat very late, folks. Always have. Breakfast at 9-10. Lunch at 2. Dinner at 8. You can still call me a tramp.
3pm – Digestion and ADHD continue. Shiny objects fascinate me. Best to avoid conference calls.
3:30-4pm – Second wind picks up. Finish to-do list and begin preparation of the next day.
5-7 – Evening meetings or depending on the strength of the second wind, I stay to finish or jump start on work.
8-9 – Fuel Pit Stop
9-1am – Home and Personal Time. Lately, I’ve had to push physical and mental projects to the weekend. Weeknight projects must require minimal effort and exertion.

So by my guesstimation, I’m no longer an evening person. I’m not a morning person either so I guess I’m a some-of-the-time person.

Fortunately, my meetings now fall either in the early morning or late evening. That means when my productivity peaks during the late morning and late afternoon, I can fully concentrate on my work.

I know that meetings are part of my work but I’m sure many of you will agree 6 out of 10 meetings, especially if they require more than 4 people, are not as productive as they should be. I find that if I’m revving to work, I get rather uppity if I’m stuck in a Working Group or Task Force discussion. I much rather be semi-aware at a meeting than fully-aware. It lessens the pain.

Now this cycle is ever-changing. Depending on the day, the projects, the brush fires, my energy can stay up all day or be at an all time low for hours on end. That’s why I honestly think a required naptime for all would be beneficial to productivity.

I’d be a George Costanza and nap under my desk if I could. Unfortunately, under my desk is a plethora of wires and surge protectors that make me believe the only possible death I could receive at work is death by electrocution.

I want a nap folks. I want an after lunch naptime. How can I start spreading the word? How can I put a do not disturb sign on my office door and shut the lights off for a 20 minute interlude?

You may say that you’d like the idea but find napping in a strange place unrealistic. I’ll have you know that I have a gene, hereditary in both my brother and my opinion, that allows us to sleep anytime, anyplace, anywhere and in any position. We’re like babies and could if needed sleep for 16 hours.

I once fell asleep on the subway and woke up with a line of spittle falling from my mouth. That was back in the days when I had to commute to the WTC which took nearly an hour and a half.

To get this movement going, we should start small. If there can be a National Talk Like a Pirate Day and A National Take Your Dog To Work Day, there can be a National Take a 20 Minute Nap at Work Day. For 20 minutes, all phones, emails, pdas and meetings will be suspended. Everyone shut your lights off and nap in your cubicle/office. It will be good for you. A Puppy pile is optional.

Addendum: There is a National Napping Day and it’s coming up! April 3, 2006 is National Napping Day.

Related Tags: ,