Nap Like Salvador Dali

The surrealist painter Salvador Dali had a pretty interesting hack for generating new creative ideas.  

During the afternoons, he would sit in his chair with one arm draped over the side of that chair holding a key. And beneath that key, there was an upside-down plate.  

From there we would let himself drift off until just before the moment he was about to fall asleep at which point the key would fall from his hand to clatter on to the plate and wake him up, often with a new artistic idea in his mind.  

Dali called this technique ‘sleeping without sleeping’. But, you might recognize it as a pre-alarm clock version of the modern power nap.  

He wasn’t the only person who used this. Thomas Edison was rumoured to be the exact same thing with ball bearing instead of the key and Beethoven, while he didn’t use this key and plate method was fond of taking naps in his carriage in order to get new musical ideas. 

All of these people knew well the benefits of an afternoon nap which is, if you think about it, probably the best productivity technique ever.  

I mean, if you think about all the other ones like Feynman Technique or Pomodoro Technique, they all sort of involving work which makes them a hassle.  

By contrast, take a nap in the afternoon involves basically no effort whatsoever and yet has a ton of productivity benefits.  

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