Why Entrepreneurs Should Nap
by Jon Robert Quinn
Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. When I first became an entrepreneur, I was a teenager. I was always looking for new ideas, trying them, keeping what worked and dropping what didn’t. Today, I am doing the same thing. Over the years, I have built retail stores, online stores, written and produced music, toured professionally performing my music on stage, written books, coached businesses, built talk shows, manufactured products, imported products and the list goes on and on. In my twenty-plus years as an entrepreneur, I have found that by mid-day I am tired. It’s not that I am physically tired, it’s more that I’m mentally tired.
For over a decade I have found myself taking naps around two in the afternoon and it’s become a conversation between entrepreneurs and business owners I work with. They ask why I drop everything mid-day and sleep. They tell me I should just get more sleep at night, then I wouldn’t need a nap. Another thing I have heard is, “I wish I had time to sleep in the middle of the day.” Well, the answer is, you do. We all have time to make for ourselves. The choice is yours.
Sleep is very important for entrepreneurs because throughout the day, we are faced with a ton of decisions to make. We need to be able to make decisions with precision knowing that it’s the right decision and it’s not going to create havoc in other areas. Remember when you were a child and your parents would tell you to sleep on it? And then the next morning, whatever they told you to sleep on all of a sudden wasn’t such a great idea anymore? Imagine that happening mid-day and yet, you can move onto the next thing.
There is so many times when in the morning I come up with a great idea and I start spelling out all the variables and it looks wonderful on paper and the excitement of the new idea has you moving things forward. Then lunch time comes and after lunch you take a half hour nap and then upon waking up, the idea doesn’t seem like such a great idea anymore. You start thinking things through and you find yourself realizing that it was all emotion driving this idea rather than logic. Studies also show that naps are a source of stress reduction.
Companies like Google, which is one of the largest companies in the world are encourage napping at work and have built centers within the walls of Google just for the purpose of taking naps. More and more companies are encouraging employees to take a moment to themselves and take a nap. Today, I find myself working a lot less and thinking a lot more. Laying there looking up at the ceiling and thinking allows my mind to wander, thinking through problems and even while in sleep while napping, I will dream the mathematical equations needed to execute the idea and when I wake up, I have my answer. I now know if my idea was a good idea or not.
So, if you’re an entrepreneur and you find yourself tired sitting there mid-day, don’t be afraid to take a break and sleep for a half hour or even an hour. If you body needs it, then it needs it. I pretty sure you’ll find yourself thinking clearer and working smarter rather than harder when you wake up. Try it. See what happens.