Words & Banter

Sleeping On The Job ... Improves Your Job Performance?

So, almost a year later, I’m happy to report that I’m taking more naps and feeling less guilty (although I still laugh about one of the locations of Black’s infamous power naps). And now I understand how this “guilty pleasure” can be one of the best things you can do, not only for yourself but also for others, as it can leave you rested and recharged. Don’t believe me? Try it.

I'm sitting at my computer but I see our big black labradoodle, Moo (imagine calling for her on the street), curled up for a nap in an armchair. I look at her with love but also with more than a touch of envy. Because as much as the stacks of papers on my desk beckon (or is it taunts) me, a nap's what I really want, and probably need.

The reasons why are unimportant but probably familiar to most people. I stayed up later than I planned, then my sleep was interrupted during the night by Moo, a crazy morning filled with unplanned things that delayed what I'd hoped to have accomplished, which meant I was now working at full speed to "catch up" and I felt exhausted. Not to mention, this morning's caffeine had worn off hours ago.

You may be thinking, "You work from home, just stop what you're doing and take a nap." Well, it sounds like good advice except I'd feel guilty doing that, especially during a workday. A nap just seems selfish. Plus, I'm not sure how I'd explain it to Black, although she doesn't sleep normal hours, and does take power naps.


Anyway, a few days later, my eldest daughter sends both my sister and me a photo of her cat, Porsche (yes, like the car), fast asleep in her bed. And while I was busy typing something warm and fuzzy in reply, I saw that Black had already responded,

Some things never change … like a love of naps.

That made me smile, as it was so true of both Natasha (and all college students?) and her cat, and when I mentioned that to Black later that night, she explained that cats are notorious for sleeping up 16 hours a day because they're saving up their energy (remember they're hunters in the wild). Then she reminded me of how our Grandma Betty used to climb onto our kitchen table (no, I'm not kidding) and would take a catnap for 15 minutes. Then she'd jump up from the table, well-rested and ready to take on the world.

Black laughed that she must have inherited that trait (minus the kitchen table part) because she's taken power naps for as long as she can remember. In fact, she'd often take one in her racecar when waiting to go out on track, but even in her corporate days would close her door and take a 10-15 minute afternoon power nap. (She also couldn't resist sending me a Wall Street Journal, You're Going Back to the Office. What Happens to Your Nap Habit?, wishing that management realized the "benefits" of employee naps.) Anyway, the more we talked, the more I realized that naps can be incredibly beneficial, giving your mind and body time to recharge and recover.

All I know is that thanks to a dog, a cat, an unforgettable memory of my grandma, and basically "permission" from my sister, I think that the next time I need a nap, I might actually try to take one. And whether you call it a catnap or a power nap, I figure If it's good enough for Black, it's good enough for me. Maybe you too? (Although someplace you can close a door might be in order …)

Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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Photo by bhofack2 for iStock

Popcorn! Quite simply, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. Starting when I was a child, whenever I went to the movies, I’d get (and finish!) the largest bucket of popcorn available. And I always thought movie popcorn was far superior to what you could make at home … until a recent trip to visit a close friend in Tennessee, and she introduced me to Great Northern Popcorn (I promise this isn’t a paid ad). Now I’m addicted to it as I can make it on my cooktop. I know Black would be more interested in the science of what makes popcorn pop, but I prefer to just be obsessive about my popcorn …

Popcorn. Just the thought of popcorn makes me smile, makes me want to indulge, makes me happy. And I’m guessing my popcorn obsession makes Black roll her eyes (although she might admit it can be a healthy snack). However, plenty of people must love popcorn as much as I do. Why else would there be a National Popcorn Day?!

Over the past few years, the pandemic posed challenges that none of us could’ve foreseen (and I’ll never forget the dedication of the front-line workers or make light of the sacrifices so many had to make). But part of me has to laugh at the irony because it ended my seemingly easy “escape” from the stresses of life – going to the movies and enjoying the largest bucket of popcorn – when I needed it the most.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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You’re going to roll your eyes, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.


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That is totally out of character, unless you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions.


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Actually, no. For decades, my priorities, and therefore my life, have always been focused on the girls and Mom. But that’s all changing. And I’m not sure how to “change” with it.
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