Posts Tagged ‘brain’

The Brain In The Jar

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

On the lower bookshelf of my office is an old jar. It is filled with brownish liquid. And floating in it is a great grey brain.

It’s a fake. I made it myself for some Halloween party. But it’s a reminder to me, the writer, that this is all I have to work with. I am a brain in a bottle, too.

The brain on my shelf is surrounded by books. Ideas. Stories. It’s just floating there, in its bottle, gathering dust.

I’m trying to not let the same thing happen to me. Surround me with books. Tell me stories. Share your ideas. But don’t let me do nothing. Don’t let me gather dust.

I have a few stories to tell, too. This brain in a jar is on the move.

What’s the one in your jar up to?

Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Take A Nap

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Sleep is more than just a restorative for a weary body. It is the process that our brains use to sort and store memories and information and to repair the body. You are lying to yourself if you say, “I need to sleep less to get more done.”

The opposite is what’s true: you’ll get more done AND feel better if you sleep more. One of the best ways to become more productive across a long work day is to take a nap.

A nap is not a failure. A nap is a recognition of how our bodies and minds work. Much of how we sleep and how long we let ourselves sleep is contrary to our needs. Modern life has given rise to the lie that successful, productive people “get by” on very little sleep, perhaps as little as 4-6 hours a day. But both sleep and anthropological studies tell us that humans need eight hours of sleep AND naps to achieve peak functionality.

A thirty minute nap might make the difference between an afternoon that drags on, with you struggling to get anything done, versus a productive, enjoyable afternoon. If you’re tired you might find it difficult to remember what you’ve done in detail and if you did things right. You might wrestle with decisions that should have been easier to make. Why? Because your brain needs a break. You need to let your systems process what you’ve learned during the day.

You need a nap.

I recommend taking three naps during the day: a short one, a “cat nap” late in the morning, another after mid-afternoon, and a restorative, longer nap to make the transition between afternoon and evening.  You may find that a single nap after lunch, a siesta, gives you renewed energy and clarity of mind to power you through the afternoon.

Quit kidding yourself. You need more sleep. A nap may be just the thing to help you get more done.