By: Dan Miller


If you’re like many serious career climbers today, you’ve relegated sleep to the bottom of your priority list, convincing yourself you can burn the midnight oil on your way to success instead.
We are in a culture that equates time with accomplishment. Thus we feel the constant pressure to work longer hours. The badge of honor is to be too busy. As we share how things are going, being busy beyond reason is a sure sign of success. Or is it? One of the clear by-products of this new economy where technology allows us 24/7 access to our workstations and instant information has been an almost total disregard for sleep, family and personal balance. The brightest and best appear to pride themselves on total commitment to work, ignoring relationships, and focusing on the business bottom line only.

I grew up on a farm, and in retrospect I see how successful my father really was. Yes, he worked hard, balancing the roles of both farmer and pastor. The pastorate paid nothing so the farm was our source of income and yet the duties of the pastorate always had equal priority. But the farming also forced a cycle of work and rest in that there were a few weeks of really hard work, but then the season ended or the rains came for a few days. Nothing could be done to alter these inevitable events of nature and I am convinced that God orchestrated the required periods of labor and restoration. And even with plenty of work to be done and with perfect weather conditions, Dad still recognized the power of “keeping the Sabbath holy.”

Is giving up sleep the secret of success? Not according to James B. Maas, author of “Power Sleep.” “There is a way to condition yourself to get less sleep, but not to need less sleep,” he contends. “You’re simply becoming habituated to a low level of alertness.” Maas believes if you get 8 hours of sleep, you will be able to get your 19 hours of work done in 12 efficient hours. Worried about missing “success?” Albert Einstein slept 10 hours a night.

My recommendation: Expect and make deposits for success in all areas of life, including physical, spiritual, and personal development. True desirable “success” does not come from 168 hours a week devoted to work. Make deposits of success in the other areas of life this week. In a job that requires unreasonable time? Hey, there are plenty of opportunities out there that reward results, not time!


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