Productive Sleeping

you do the grunt work all day, and let the big boys to the heavy
lifting all
night

Yesterday, a great article by Tony Schwartz on the the Harvard Business Review urged us again to do what is supposed to come so naturally to us

Sleep.

The way I see it, there are 3 classes of sleep deprived people:

(a) Those whose duty demands it

If you're a soldier on the front, or if you're a fledging startup who just got slashdotted, you better be worrying about your current crises.

(b) Those who have bad habits

That guy who stays up every night to watch CSI and then comes to work groggy probably should get some self-discipline.

(c) Those whose job demands it

Note that job ≠ duty. The latter carries with it a moral obligation, the former just obligation.

This one is tricky, since it's easy to make the cognitive mistake in thinking that more time working = more stuff done. [1]

That puts one in a vicious cycle, with weekdays spent losing sleep, and weekends attempting (unsuccessfully) to get it back. Leaving little time in between for any really creative work.

This is tricky because the best way to get sleep is to sacrifice it in the short term, work like hell, and get out of the present situation to something more bearable.

In the long-term however, I think we've really got no choice. Somehow or rather, we all need to accept our mortality, and give it the respect it deserves.

Unfortunately, I've got no answers to this problem. I think such behavioural change admidst an opressive environment is fundamentally hard to achieve. Some people just seem to have the fire to want to make things better, and can figure things out almost instinctively. Others require a guiding light.

All I can say is, "Sleep, and the inspiration will come."

[1] - In some jobs, manual labour for example, more time working really equates to more stuff done. If you're in such a job, and it's unfulfilling, you've probably got more pertinent things to worry about than sleep.


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