Give It a Rest



Yet again, it has been made clear to me that I'm in the wrong line of work.

Writing for a living doesn't pay much, and running your own business has its ups and downs. I really should just give it all up and become a consultant. I say this because apparently there is good money to be made in… fatigue management consultancy.

Really. A firm in Britain that does this consulting has just come up with some stunning revelations about work performance. They have concluded that you perform better at work if:

a) you're not on drugs,

b) you're not hung over, and

c) you've had a decent night's sleep.

As a result, I have concluded that:

• In addition to being underpaid, my job as a humor columnist just got harder because you couldn't make stuff like this up and be believed;

• someone, somewhere has paid this consultancy firm good money to tell them this;

• possibly they were on drugs, hung over, or sleep deprived when they authorized the expense; and

• I really have to find this person and their purchase order codes.

The consultancy firm has also commissioned scientists to come up with a formula to help you determine when you'll be the sleepiest. This must be because everyone knows that invoking scientists and especially scientific-sounding formulae makes you sound legitimate and ups your hourly rate by nearly fifty percent.

The formula is CDA + CT + KF = TMT, which stands for Circadian Dip in Alertness (your natural biorhythms) plus Chronotype (the timing of those natural biorhythms) plus Knacker Factors (lack of sleep or drinking alcohol) equals Time Most Tired.

I used this formula on myself and determined that I'm most likely to be tired:

a) just before I go to bed,

b) just before I sit down to pay all the bills and especially,

c) If I have just glugged a large glass of wine to help me get through paying all those bills just before I go to bed.

The consultants' website declares that their mission is to “raise awareness about sleep deprivation,” which I have to admit would be a tough job given that people who are sleep deprived aren't likely to be very aware of anything. They also probably have a hard time explaining “Knacker Factors” to anyone outside England. Finally, their site states that they “offer solutions to combat fatigue.”

So in the time-honored tradition of capitalism, I'm going to steal their idea and offer my own solutions, at a cut rate of course.

If you are feeling fatigued, you should try the following course of action:

Step 1: Turn off the television. In your heart of hearts, you know you don't really care whether what's-his-name gets kicked off the island, or fired, or wins the bachelorette or whatever.

Step 2: Find a comfy pair of jammies.

Step 3: Turn out the lights.

Step 4: Get into bed.

Step 5: Sleep.

When you wake up, you will feel less fatigued, and incidentally, also owe me $1800 for the consultation. Check, money order and most major credit cards accepted. Minor ones too.

And if you actually send me a check for that bit of advice, I'll call you a Circadian Dip.

Then I'll ask for your purchase order codes.

To read more of Chandra's work, visit www.ChandraKClarke.com.

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