When I was in the Army, I learned that I could stay awake for 72 hours straight . . .

BUT . . . After about 18 hours, my mental acuity decreased precipitously every hour . . . By the 71st hour, I might as well have ingested a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug because I was seeing and hearing things that weren’t really there.

the Army knew this would happen, thus the reason for throwing us Officers into a 72 hour operation. When we did our AAR (After Action Review) we all acknowledged our uselessness at the 36 hour point.

The scary part of this was that even though we were thoroughly COOKED we continued the operation thinking that if we were to rest we would surly fail to reach the objective.

We were wrong . . . We stayed awake (but not conscious) for the full 72 Hours . . . and failed the mission.

30 days later, we had another 72 hour offensive river crossing operation thrown at us with no warning whatsoever.

We lieutenants gathered together and began our “concept of the Operation” remembering our earlier failure . . . and the one thing that quickly made its way to the surface was the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation.

We decided we would work overlapping 4 hour shifts and that each of the 4 of us would have a 30 minute nap every 4 hours immediately followed by a 30 minute “orientation period” to get up to speed on the operational status.

Not only did we meet our objective in 65 Hours (7 hours early) but we also completed it feeling exuberant . . . not COOKED.

How often do you take yourself to “COOKED?”


It kills your productivity and is not fair to the people you serve.

They deserve the FULL you (not what’s left of you after being COOKED).

Even if you have to say “NO” once in a while, this is worth noting.


To REALLY get this concept, you’re going to have to master the art of the nap. 20-30 minutes of shuteye can rejuvenate miraculously.

Take care of yourself FIRST such that you can effectively serve those who rely on your service and results.

There now . . . permission to nap . . .

You’re welcome!



Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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