I have perfected the art of the 20-minute nap.

Any more time, I’m told, and you’re entering a different level of sleep. Twenty is just enough to give you that burst of energy to power through the rest of the day. I’m sure there are substances that could help you do that, too, but I’m not THAT interested in working around the clock.

The 20-minute nap, for me, goes something like this:

1. Eat something.

2. Turn the TV on low.

3. Grab a pillow.

4. Set egg timer.

5. Sit in a chair, then throw your legs over one arm.

6. Hold the pillow in your arms. (Don’t question this, just do it.)

7. Rest your head on the back of the chair.

At the end of 20 minutes, you should be ready to iron, clean, pay bills or empty garbage. Unless, of course, you set the timer for another 20 minutes. Then, all bets are off.

The 20-minute nap has helped me through a multitude of projects. I’m not quite at the Marie Kondo level of tidying up, but I have gotten specific rooms up to code, just in case.

The energy burst can be wasted on puzzles, card games, phone conversations and internet searches. But if you hide those devices under a pile that needs to be cleaned, you won’t be tempted.

I have a bad habit of leaving laundry in the dryer or in a basket. Folding things just isn’t my thing, so I wait until it’s an absolute must.

By putting my cellphone under the pile (and, yes, it does take some doing), I’m forced to begin the chore.

I don’t thank each piece of clothing as I fold it or decide if it’s ready to find a new home, but I do try to use Gap techniques to make sure T-shirts look like they belong on an end cap.

Towels are easier (and, if you’re keeping score, a closetful can be folded during an average commercial break) and look nice when they’re put on a shelf like a display in a department store. (In case you’re wondering, those perfect stacks aren’t stacks at all. Sometimes, they’re just one towel shoved into a display to LOOK like 12 towels in a stack. I know. I looked.)

A bucket – with all the cleaning supplies I could possibly need – rests in my kitchen, ready to be used during a lull in activity. I even have a stainless steel cleaner that has been banned in several states because it has been known to cause several debilitating diseases (but it cleans like a dream).

That bucket rarely makes a trip around the house in one day because when you’re working on a 20-minute energy boost, you can only do so much.

I’ve thought about using the power nap reserve to cook, but that just brings up another cleaning problem and nobody wants that.

Twenty-minute bursts give you the ability to talk on the phone, too, and could stretch the night depending on who you’re talking to.

I haven’t used the extra time for anything significant – rotating tires, for example, or yard work. And I’ve limited myself to what I can accomplish before midnight.

Try anything after that hour and you’re sure to have an accident. Every time I’ve hand-washed glasses at 12:01 a.m., I’ve cut myself and required stitches.

I’m sure that wouldn’t have happened had I napped for 30 minutes. But I’m not going to test the theory just to see if it’s true.

A dishwasher will get them just as clean. And, you can probably get a good night's sleep as well.



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