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Sleepwalking Your Way to the Top

Bob Goldman on

You've heard it all before.

If you want to get ahead in your career, you have to work hard.

Well, how has working hard worked out for you?

I thought so.

The sad fact is that success doesn't come from working hard. It comes from sleeping hard. It's true! Without adequate sleep, you are condemned to spend your work days in zombie mode, too drowsy to take advantage of those rare moments that can turbocharge a career, such as the opportunity to kiss up to your manager or tattletale on your closest work friends.

And how many at your job are sleepwalking through their careers? A lot more than you think.

According to the Nosey Norberts at Gallup, 57% of U.S. adults want more sleep. That's up from 43% in 2013. Also up -- the percentage of people who don't get the minimum daily requirement of eight-plus hours and the number of people who report getting five hours or less.

What Gallup doesn't report is the opportunity to leapfrog your sleep-deprived co-workers. Considering that sleeping is your superpower, you may be hiding your light under a bushel. Or under a duvet.

What will it take to supersize your sleep? Let me tuck you in with these three tips:

No. 1: Sleeping at home won't cut it.

Home is where the heart is. It's also where your stuffies are. Just crank up the volume of your Sleep Number bed to 11 and off to dreamland you go. This assumes, of course, that you pay no attention to your partner, your children, your chores, the latest episode of "Love Island" and the late-night demands of your pets (Pro tip: The perfect pet for a power-sleeper is a sloth.)

But sleeping at home alone is not enough. You also have to sleep at work.

Many people are lucky enough to have a mind-numbing job or a boring boss -- or both! -- but if you are not so advantaged, you will have to create "Sleeportunities," so that when everyone else is on, you can doze off.

Your first step is to find a comfy hidey-hole where you can slip away for a quick snooze without fear of discovery. Focus your search on a location that everyone else in the company wants to avoid. Top of the list, of course, is the human resources department.

The demented drones in HR are so worried about being replaced by AI chatbots that you can crawl under any desk, roll out your blankie, turn up your favorite lullaby playlist and snore away the afternoon, without ever being noticed.

 

No. 2: Sleepercize is the secret to business success.

You already have an exercise program. Now you need a Sleepercize program.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise sends oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. According to me, Sleepercize fills your brain with dreamy dreams and turns your cardiovascular system to snooze mode.

The first step is to evaluate how much extra sleep you will need. If your co-workers are sluggish and listless, you may only need an extra two or three hours of sleep during the work day. If your company is full of hard-chargers, you will need to power sleep throughout most of the day.

With your daily sleep goal established, make sure you keep a pillow jammed into your backpack or briefcase. It will make naptime more comfy-cozy and make it look like you are taking tons of work home. Your favorite stuffie will happily live in your bottom desk drawer, but be sure to rotate. That way you won't always have to tell Peter Panda he can't come to the office today.

Above all, avoid caffeine. It's not a problem with office coffee, but a $12 Mocha-Frappa-Eggplant-Spice Yuanyang is difficult to resist. A viable alternative is the Triple Melatonin Latte. One sip and you'll be out cold.

No. 3: Never forget what you're sleeping for.

Your extra hours of sleep aren't designed to impress the people from Gallup. It's to give you the energy to take advantage of opportunities to sabotage your best friends at work and look like you're working at highly visible times of the day. Like in the morning, when everyone else is rubbing the sleep from their eyes, you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And at the end of the day, when even your most motivated co-workers are eyeing the clock, you're on fire -- peppering the management team with emails and burning up the office Slack.

Which is why I never start the day saying, "Good morning."

I say, "Nighty-night."

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Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@bgplanning.com. To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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