Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Pointlessness of Afternoons

Here I am, quarter past midnight, wide awake as I usually am at this time, but I have to go to bed because I have to get up fairly early in the morning.

If I could choose my own sleeping and waking times, I would go to bed at two in the morning, get up at about nine, work in the morning, sleep from two o'clock to three o'clock in the afternoon and then stay awake until two again.

But I can't do this. Because we are British we are expected to work in the afternoons. In hot countries they have a siesta - but we think that's a bit soft, a bit foreign. And yet it's a good idea - if I do sleep in the afternoon I am much better able to work later on. If you have a Really Really Important job title then you can call it a "power nap" - the rest of us afternoon-sleepers are just considered lazy.

In our office we never have a proper hour's lunch break - usually it's ten minutes. Longer than that feels indolent when there is so much work to do: and so I tend to just keep working through that sleepy two-till-three time.

I have always felt like this. The only point of being awake at all in the afternoon is to take yourself to a sunny summer meadow by a river to lie reading a good book until you fall asleep.

I bet most bad business decisions are made in the afternoons. I bet most wars are started in the afternoons when people are tired and grumpy. "Oh, sod it, I've had enough of this meeting, let's invade."

The whole nation should stop between two and three. We'd get much more done and be much happier, pleasanter people.


Blogger Ailbhe said...

Staying in bed all day gives me insomnia.

1:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cue Noel Coward. 'Mad dogs, etc etc'
Being expected not to nap seems as daft as skipping lunch, or not filling the car with petrol until the end of a long journey.


12:00 pm  

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