I’ll have a Nap Sandwich please

Last week I introduced the Feedback Sandwich* to end my week. I’m happy to report back that it made a big difference in how this week went. It’s like a pat on the back, wrapped around a wish. Totally magic.

This week I’m ordering up a Nap Sandwich.

Last week, the stretch or meat portion of my sandwich was about how my office was cluttered, which was making it hard for me to think. This week, I got to discover I was right (always a nice thing!), having an uncluttered office space makes a huge difference in how I work! It also prompted me to turn off my computer each night, which seems like a small thing, but is the springboard for a load of really great stuff.

Now here’s the stretch, or the meat.

Getting enough sleep! I stayed up late, got up too early, and had some sleepless times in between. Now it was a bit of an anxious week for me, particularly with a doctor’s appointment on Friday that I was dreading, plus lots of construction in the neighborhood shaking the house and making noise and dust, and there are things I can do to ease the rougher times.

Things like, going to bed early enough for eight good hours, not looking at the computer or iPhone for at least an hour before bedtime and definitely not making dreaded appointments for the end of the week.

But maybe even more importantly? Naps!

Naps are good. I took a nap every day at Rally, and I was crazy creative and productive. Also, I can take a nap even if I had a great night’s sleep and I shouldn’t be tired. And if I’m not quite ready to fall asleep? Never underestimate the power of faking a nap.

It’s not always easy to take a nap at work (see photo). However, I am all set up for napping in my office. I have a lovely clean carpet, pillows, cushions, even a down comforter. Also, because I work from home, I’m steps away from a great napping couch, or for those serious naps, my bed.

Turns out I’m not the only one thinking about naps either. Maryann recently wrote, More Praise for Naps, which you should read if you’re dubious about the benefits of naps. I may need to re-read it, or the Harvard Business Review piece she quotes, once a day until it really sinks in.

And now, for that last piece of bread.

I like how I am working through my projects and my to-dos one thing at a time with a clear desk and a clear mind! I’m using systems, but not in a rigid you-must-do-this-the-right-way way, rather knowing that they’re an experiment and that I can make adjustments as I go along. I think spending time with Cairene has finally rubbed off.

 

* * *

*What’s this about a Sandwich?

Well, yes, I am hungry, but that’s not the kind of sandwich I’m talking about.

This time I’m talking about giving myself a Feedback Sandwich at the end of each week. Or major project. Or milestone. Or, well, you get the idea.

I first learned about this concept in my NLP Trainer’s Training. We were learning to train, which included learning to give feedback that was useful. The basic format of the Feedback Sandwich is:

  • Bread = Compliment, what the person did well, be specific!
  • Meat = Suggestion for improvement
  • Bread = Compliment, this time an overall positive assessment to take into the future.

This Sandwich comes with a warning.

For starters, it’s not necessary to create a Dagwoodian monolith of a feedback sandwich for it to be useful. It’s okay to keep it simple with a small, elegant tea sandwich. Also, I encourage carbo-loading in this case. More bread than fillings!

Another danger of the feedback sandwich is that you start getting programmed to know that criticism follows that first compliment. If I notice that I start to cringe whenever I try to give myself a compliment, I’ll probably look at another way of reviewing my week. Until then, I think with heartfelt review I’ll be just fine.

(If you’re in a position where you need to give feedback to others on a regular basis, you might want to skip the full carbo-lover’s sandwich and try this open-faced revised feedback method instead.)

What’s your feedback sandwich look like for the week?

Please share yours in the comments below, or on the Perception Studios Facebook page.

Photo by Matthew J.

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