Power Napping and Creativity

Monday, 20 July 2009

In Australia you see billboards along the highways urging you to pull over and take a power nap if you feel tired. As a touring musician I learned to take power naps (aka cat naps) long ago.

It started with early morning flights. I would try to catch up on the sleep I missed by dozing in my seat on the plane.

I would wake up confused and check my watch, only to discover that I had been asleep for less than ten minutes…yet I felt utterly transformed…refreshed…as if I had slept a whole night.

Last weekend I played an afternoon show at a festival in the south of England and then drove 457 miles to my home in Scotland.

I was extra-tired during the drive so I took two ten-minute power naps at motorway services along the way.

I arrived home at midnight feeling great.

Power naps enable you to leave everything behind for a brief moment in time, release stress, and recover perspective.

They give you energy.

The power nap is not only a useful tool for traveling (it’s the best way to catch up with a new time zone, for example) and safe driving, but an important creative tool as well.

These days I take a power nap whenever I need to solve a creative problem. I always emerge refreshed, focused, and with a new point of view.

I compare it to re-booting a computer. You just run better.

Is it lazy, self-indulgent etc., to stop what you’re doing and take a power nap?

Absolutely not.

It might be a difficult thing to get away with socially, as in an office environment…but if you run your own business and/or have the flexibility to set your own schedule, it can improve the quality of your work and increase your productivity.

Whatever you do, a power nap can help you do it more creatively and efficiently.

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