Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Art of Sleeping III

3. Geek Stance
In the first article of this series I mentioned how it is difficult to catch a good night's sleep in Mumbai. As I entered work life, I figured that the bookworm stance wasn't quite possible given the new settings where I am in a cubicle and a computer monitor stares at me. Of course since everyone around me is working seriously, sleeping should perhaps be the last thing on my mind. After all I get paid to work and not sleep. However often the lack of sleep in the rest of the day meant that I had to pay of my sleep debt somehow. That's when I learnt the power of Power Nap.

Put simply it is a short sleep of 10 - 15 mins taken during lunch breaks, tea breaks or simply breaks from work. The best way to do this is to simply put the head down on the desk, or sit back in the chair. However I soon learnt that not all colleagues / bosses are appreciative of power nap. So I invented the Geek stance. All one has to do is support the head with both palms and stare at the monitor. Then open some sort of document, code, spreadsheet, presentation, email etc. This gives an impression that one is actually reading / thinking through the document on screen. Then simply close the eyes and steal your power nap. This way the enemies of power nap think you are reading and you get your much needed nap.

Again there are pit falls and this stance may not work well if the cubicle walls are less than 5 feet since the lower height would mean someone could even spot your closed eyes from a distance. If someone stands behind for sufficiently long then that person would realize that you are not reading at all since the page hasn't moved. Of course a really long power point presentation may be used to offset this since the presentation is capable of turning pages automatically. In short given the office settings and their openness this stance requires a lot of alertness, lest some one might catch you. This strategy can of course cost you the job if the manager hates power naps so this is a "handle with care" type of strategy. Be sure to gauge your surroundings well before trying it out

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