[CQ-Contest] Sleep deprevation

k8cc k8cc at mediaone.net
Sat Dec 4 15:48:22 EST 1999

The key, I believe, to being able to get that pre-contest nap is having
everything else ready to go so that there is nothing else to do but take the
nap.  One of my former managers at work used to say "How do you know that
you'll get things done on time without a plan?"  As applied to contest
preparation, its means making a list of everything you want to do before a
contest, prioritizing it, and scheduling each task.  In many cases one thing
leads to another.  If your mind is racing the day of the contest, its most
likely because you're not prepared in some way.

It's obvious that #1 priority is having the station ready.  Second on the
list should be your physical needs: food, drink, and personal items if
you're a visiting guest op at someone else's station.  Next would be your
operating plan, for which you can study old logs, tune the bands at varying
times of day during the days/weeks before the contest, and even look at the
local PacketCluster spot log.

If your station is ready, physical needs accounted for, and a band plan set,
you should be able to go into the afternoon of the contest with your mind
clear.  If its not, force it to be.  You've prepared as well as you can, so
take care of the final item on the preparation list - fatigue management,
and go enjoy a good nap.

I don't mean to make it sound easy.  I am the king of the "last minute
grandiose project that will allow a W8 to beat the east coast", hence my
contest preparations usually go down to the wire.  However, I pay for it in
fatigue during and after the contest.  Sometimes the best thing is to just
say no to last minute projects.



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