At Google, it was not uncommon to sleep in the office. There were showers, nap pods, breakfast, and dinner, basically anything you might need. I don't work at Google anymore, I left to start an online flower delivery startup.
I had a ton of work to catch up on and a couple of days in between my lease so I thought, "why not?" Saving an hour on the commute every day and sleeping under the desk has got to be a good idea, right? Well, here is what I learned:
1. A Beanbag is NOT a Bed
Sleep is your friend. It keeps your mind fresh, makes you more productive and is great for your sanity. We have all had those all-nighters, but without a comfy bed to hop into, you enter a zombie-like state, reminiscent of The Walking Dead.
I was naive enough to think I could sleep fine on the floor or a beanbag. Unfortunately, what happened was I spent hours trying to sleep instead of sleeping.
2. More Hours Are Not Better Hours
Have you ever tried working after having a few beers? For me, anything over 15 hours a day is a bit like that. Yes, I might technically be doing work, but my marginal output just trends towards zero.
When I was sleeping in the office I thought it would be awesome to just keep on working. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but after 2 hours and no progress, a change in tactic was definitely in order.
3. Habits are Vital
The way I start my day dictates how productive I will be. The days when I wake up, make my bed, workout, and meditate, all before making breakfast, are my best days ever. The days when I wake up on the floor, go to the bathroom take a cold hose to my head and call that a shower are unfortunately, not.
When the habits I usually rely on are no longer available to me, I have to be conscious about the new habits I am creating. A simple thing like making my bed is vital for my productivity, but in the office, it just doesn't work that way.
4. Separation Between Work And Home is Important
Sunlight makes me happy. Being outside for just 10 minutes centers me, lets me breathe fresh air, and just generally makes me feel like a human being again.
I consider myself very fortunate in that I LOVE what I do, but if I never stopped doing it, not even for 5 minutes, I would start to lose it. That separation is what keeps me going, and makes me feel energized for tomorrow.
Steve Feiner is the CEO and Co-Founder of A Better Florist, a Singapore-based online flower delivery company.