I was on a flight a couple of years back and the man next to me was obviously doing work on his laptop. It looked important. Yes, I was sneaking glances over at him while he was typing in numbers from a piece of paper on to a spreadsheet on his computer. It was interesting to watch him because he kept falling asleep. He would be happily typing along and within a few seconds, his fingers would stop tapping and drift across the keyboard. Then I’d look at his face and notice his eyelids slowly droop down. Next came the chin drop to the chest, followed by the lean of his head to one side.
He’d remain that way a few moments, then jerk back awake shocked he’d been asleep in the first place. He’d resume typing, then guess what? He’d start the same process all over again.
I silently wondered how accurately he was working. Would he find mistakes later? Have to redo some things?
I almost, almost leaned over and tell him about the research out there that shows when we try to work on things when we’re that tired, we make a ton of mistakes, are less efficient, and then are still tired when it’s over.
I wanted to suggest he take a cat nap. It was pretty obvious that’s what his body was telling him. Heck, he could even set an alarm to wake up and continue working before the flight was over.
We all get tired like that sometimes. Our body will tell us when we’ve had enough. Maybe we’re sleepy and have fuzzy brain, maybe we’re irritable, maybe we can’t remember our own name. Our bodies are full of important information if we’ll just pay attention then actually DO something helpful with that info.
Why not give yourself a rest? It might not be a nap that’s needed per say. It could be though. Or a walk, or switching to a new activity to give your brain a break from what you’re working on. It could even be for a few days.
Maybe, just maybe, giving yourself a rest might actually enable you to get things done more efficiently, with less or no mistakes, AND you’d feel better.
Can you guess where my vote goes?
Give yourself a rest. I promise, if you are a woman, you are already doing more than enough.
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