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  • Diana Schneidman

Freelancing and Consulting: Today I took a nap. Why not?

Today I was tired in the middle of the afternoon so I took a nap.

In a way, it was an easy decision to make. I was tired and not doing anything well and didn’t have any pressing deadlines so I did what came naturally and went to bed.

In another way, taking a nap was a difficult decision, generating doubts and guilt.

Am I lazy? In a sense, yes. But on the other hand, I knew that I would work more effectively in the evening and be more productive. Which I did and I was.

There is another question I ask myself as a work-at-home: What would I have done if I worked in a regular office job?

Under the same circumstances but working a “regular job,” if I had been involved in something time-sensitive and demanding, the situation would have waked me up and got me moving. Problem solved.

But if the situation wasn’t an emergency, I would be just as exhausted as I was at home. I would not let anyone know. I would prop up work-related reading around me and look busy. Or I would occupy myself with frequent trips to the coffeepot to see if caffeine may give me a jolt and also because it’s impossible to fall asleep when walking or pouring coffee.

Or I would work on a writing project, perhaps trying to outline it or write a rough draft for further review on another day.

In my office career I tried not to have such days, attempting to go to bed as early as necessary to be prepared for work. But sometimes I got tired at work anyway. An emergency in the middle of the night, impending illness or tempting late-night TV was the culprit.

As a self-employed person, it doesn’t matter if I take a nap during the workday as long as I also accomplish what needs to get done.

I can’t remember reading another article for freelancers and consultants about napping during the workday. I’m writing this to help you feel better.

You may need a nap right now. If so, go ahead and sleep. I give you permission.

Or you may never nap during the day. This is your opportunity to feel superior to me. I’m happy to be of service.

It can be quite troubling to make the decision to sleep, but once I’ve made the decision, it’s as easy as scarfing down a bag of Fritos or flipping on the TV. It can be a wise decision, making me oh so effective when I wake up and sit down to work.

The danger in sleeping during the day is that it may disrupt my sleep that night, causing me to be tired the next day, resulting in another nap, and so the cycle goes.

This somehow reminds me of the funniest story I ever read about working at home. I saw it back when I started freelancing over 20 years ago. I was tickled when I read about a married couple where both partners worked at home. Their problem was that they would take sex breaks so frequently they had problems keeping up with the work.


Originally posted 7-30-13

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