Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I was asleep by 8:30 last night, worn down by an ear infection. I planned on doing some work in the evening but my body said, "No, you're not," so I crawled off to bed.

It was a reminder of the beautiful and regenerative virtue of sleep to one who thought no reminder was necessary. As a rule, I try to get to sleep by 10:30 at the latest and even follow a regimen to produce some solid rest; e.g., no caffeine after seven. Things build up unnoticed, however, and the physical side eventually tugs at the mental and declares time for a break.

I've written here before about the unrecognized role that fatigue plays in organizations. Performance starts to decline because people are simply worn out. The boasting about long hours spent at work has never impressed me. Far more admirable is the person who does as much in three hours as others do in twelve.

Instead of long hours, it is wise for our days to combine real effectiveness with some serious sleep. Each supports the other.


Kurt Harden said...

Well said, Michael. And don't you also notice how fresh and in perspective things seem after a good night's sleep?

Michael Wade said...


Absolutely. The old decision-making line of "I'll sleep on it" makes sense.

I've noticed that some of my worst decisions were made when I was tired.