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Sleep, Sex, and Reruns

As far as I’m concerned, a bed has two purposes—neither of which include watching latenight reruns.

Look around: we are in the throes of a torrent of multitasking. Everyone is attempting to “increase productivity” in their business and personal lives with their iPhones, iPads, iMacs, and iWhatevers. Multitasking is endemic to our culture.

We must accept that no matter how much we multitask, no matter how many concurrent emails, texts, and status updates we respond to, we’ll never get everything done. That’s because there’s an infinite quantity of tasks to undertake once you’ve “completed everything.”

We are constantly bombarded by contemporaneous inputs, and thus it’s more important than ever to find sanctuary in interstitial zones: waiting rooms, the grocery store, the bedroom.

So, I’ve taken back my bedroom. When in bed, I refuse to watch TV, surf the Web, or text message—I can do those things elsewhere, another time. I find refuge in knowing when my head hits the pillow, I’ll either be sleeping or intimate with someone else, but nothing else.

There’s comfort in singletasking.

Read this essay and 150 others in our new book, Essential.