Tag Archives: naps

If I Were King

April 27, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

I have difficulty falling asleep because I obsess about one thing or another that happened during the day—like the lobby door at the dentist’s office that lacks a “push/pull” label, or the person ahead of me at the checkout line who was just staring at the card reader in amazement while the cashier and I twiddled our thumbs, or the local news anchor’s nightly grammatical error. While I am ruminating over these signs of the apocalypse, waiting for Morpheus to bless me, I play a little game in my head to distract my worried mind.

If I were King:

I would decree that everyone get more stickers.

Everybody loves stickers. I feel great when I get my “I Voted” sticker. My granddaughter likes smiley-face stickers, and my grandson is hooked on Ninjago (don’t ask; he lives in Japan). The point is, we humans love stickers. Our woolly ancestors, after bringing down a mastodon, would stick bits of its liver to their chests as a sign of their hunting prowess. I’m sure I read that somewhere. More stickers! We should get stickers like “I opened the door for somebody with an armful of packages,” or “I didn’t lose my temper with the kid at the drive-thru who forgot the ranch dip,” or “I parked inside the lines,” or “My hair looks good today.”

If I were King:

Cell phones would have to be converted to rotary dialing. Think about it: Texting would become impossible, distracted driving reduced, frustration with butt calls ended, and our memories would be improved because we’d have to remember numbers again. If you don’t remember somebody’s number, they’re not important to you anyway. There may even be health benefits as we strengthen our finger muscles. Think of it—a nation of healthier fingers. An added benefit: It would really make it hard to play irritating game apps. I hate you, Candy Crush.

If I were King:

FedEx guys would just leave the package on the porch and not ring the doorbell. It upsets the dog. ’Nuff said.

If I were King:

Naps would be required. Every day, all places of business, offices, factories, and telemarketers, would be required to close from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. As in, closed. Shut down. Not open. Everybody would have to take a nap. Why? Because, naps are good, and the King likes naps. I think the “Grouchy People Index” would drop. We’d all be happier. And after a few years’ practice, we’d be good enough nappers to send a team to the International Siesta Competition in Madrid. Snoozers are judged on sleeping position, loudest snore, and original costume. America needs to win this competition. Besides, I nap every day between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and I like a little quiet. After all, I am the King.

Now back to sleep.

Wait…Can’t sleep…I’m worrying about my costume.

This article appears in the May/June 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Otis XII hosts the radio program, Early Morning Classics with Otis XII, on 90.7 KVNO, weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. Visit kvno.org for more information.

Deprivation Blindspot

May 20, 2015 by

This article appears in the Summer 2015 edition of B2B.

Which of the following is significantly correlated with ethics?

Chocolate

Vegetables

Caffeine

All of the Above

In a recent survey, most people responded “all of the above.” I picked “chocolate” because I think chocolate is associated with everything that is worthwhile in life.

But, bizarre as it may sound, the answer is….. caffeine.

Why?

The Huffington Post reports that professors at the University of Washington, the University of Arizona, and the University of North Carolina have identified what we can call the Deprivation BlindSpot. The more sleep deprived, the more likely we are to be blinded by the desire for quick solutions, the need to fit in, and other psychological tendencies that lead to unethical decisions.

“When you’re sleep-deprived at work, it’s much easier to simply go along with unethical suggestions from your boss because resistance takes effort and you’re already worn down,” says David Welsh, an organizational behavior professor at the University of Washington. “However, we found that caffeine can give sleep-deprived individuals the extra energy needed to resist unethical behavior.” (Note: You might think so, but Welsh’s study was not funded by Starbucks.)

If there is any truth to the claim that caffeine can help us resist unethical behavior, it’s worth implementing a workplace policy that provides free coffee and other caffeinated beverages to all employees.

And it’s reasonable that other practices can also protect us from the Deprivation BlindSpot. First, let’s make sure we take breaks. No more working straight through the day, getting up only once or twice, and eating lunch at the desk.

Second, managers and supervisors can walk around, talk to employees, watch their body language, and ask questions. This practice can help us identify each other’s deprivations. It also helps create a culture of care and respect.

Third, schedule decision-making meetings and high-pressure tasks at the beginning of the day, when even the most exhausted employees have their best burst of energy.

Finally, napping is not just for kindergarten. Employers can promote napping. Google and other tech companies are known for it. Progressive companies are building nap pods and separate rooms to invite employees to nap. As long as employees perform, they can take as many naps as they want.

In what ways do you see yourself or your employees being tired at work? Have you witnessed workers making not-so-great-choices because they’re tired? What do you do to help yourself and them overcome the Deprivation BlindSpot?