"Are you an entrepreneur having trouble sleeping? Me, too.
On any given night I have a million thoughts running through my head, and I simply can’t fall sleep. I’m graduating from law school in 6 weeks, taking the NY Bar exam this summer, and of course am highly focused on growing TrueNYC. This all adds up to nights of endless ideas streaming through my head.
Luckily, I have come up with a few techniques to help me get some shut-eye. Some of these tricks I invented, and others are classics forever etched in proverbial stone. Below are a few strategies that help clear my head, and hopefully will help you get through some of your sleepless, entrepreneurial, inadvertent “think-tank” nights.
DISCLAIMER: these are not foolproof!
Case-in-point: I’m writing this article sometime between 2am and 3am on my Blackberry...as you’ll understand in a minute, it’s all part of the strategy.
Technique #1 – Create A Secure “Lock-Box”
The trick here is being able to clear your thoughts. When I can’t sleep, I imagine a large secure safe, reminiscent of SNL’s caricature of Al Gore’s campaign-platform “lock-box.” I then visualize myself in a room with the box, and I use my hands, or a shovel, and I literally take all my thoughts and put them in the box. I go to each corner, the entire floor, ceiling, everywhere in the room...and shove my thoughts into this safe. By this point, I’ve already started to feel my mind going blank, and the sleep washing over me. Once the box is full, I appropriately “lock” it, and pull a lever so it sinks under the floor. I close the floor board, and by the time I push my bed on top of it…I’m asleep.
Done laughing? When I first told my wife about this strategy she laughed at me too. In fact, she kept laughing…until she tried it herself! Now, not only is she my loving wife, but she’s also a proud member of the Dave Schnurman Sleep Program (“only $19.95!”). So, for all you naysayers out there: stop laughing at me, and give it a shot!
Technique #2 – Get It On Paper (Or Blackberry)
A typical reason behind my inability to fall sleep on any given night is the fear of losing a good idea. I find that I’ll try so hard not to forget this idea that I can't sleep for fear of it exiting my brain, the most minor of remnants of the idea teasing me the following morning, but never really materializing in my head ever again. A Blackberry next to the bed can help cure this problem, but a paper and pen work, too. But that would require me turning on a light and sitting up, and that’s simply too much to ask of this 21st Century Entrepreneur. See Blackberry in Bed for more details. After you jot your idea down, I’m confident you’ll find falling asleep much easier, and that the quality of your ideas will only increase. After all, white blood cells beget clear thinking and good ideas, and the only way to generate those precious white blood cells…is to sleep, and sleep deeply!
Technique #3 – System Shut-Down
This is the opposite of technique #1, and I just recently came up with it. Instead of trying to get rid of all your thoughts, embrace them all. Every single one of them. Let them hang out there, and don't try to process them. Instead of trying to empty the room via Al’s “lock-box,” let the room fill and overflow with your thoughts. The goal is to create a system shut-down because there is too much to process. As a result, it becomes easier not to think of anything, and before you know it you’ll be catching Zzz’s. The benefit of this technique over #1 is that it can happen much faster. The downside is that it’s much riskier, because you could be “overflowing” with thoughts into the sunrise! Therefore, it should only be attempted by people with a lot of experience at Technique #1.
Technique 4 – No Pills! Count Sheep!
If all else fails, just try the simplest technique of all: count those sheep.
I’d just like to say, “Good luck, and we’re all counting on you…” Happy sleeping.
This article is also distributed on PimpWiz.com, a website which offers content to the reader who wishes to symbolize and embody success.