Thursday, July 29, 2010

Occupational Pastimes

I'm a big fan of the saying, "Work smarter, not harder!" First off, there's some truth in that; innovative methods will get you further than mindlessly toiling. I'm sure you can come up with your own example to show this. More importantly, cheerily smiling and telling yourself "work smarter, not harder!" is a great excuse to do all sorts of slacking; after all,you can't start working smarter until you stop working harder. Let me tell you this: the key to working smarter is being well rested.

Unfortunately, for those of us who have more engaging pursuits than sleeping, it's often difficult to remain well rested. Really, the best solution is to nap at work. Napping is pretty simple - it requires only a few props, and can be done at any time during the work day (try not to let naps interfere with your personal life, though. Best keep them 9-5).  The first tip I would give is try to have something on your computer screen that at least makes it look like you've been productive at some point during the day. That way, if anyone comes over to check on your progress, you'll have something to point at while you try to rub the sleep out of your eyes.

Once you've got your defense mechanism up, go for some of these positions. 

"Despair" position. Props needed: None. Cons: Someone might try to comfort you.
"I'm despairing, but don't bother waking me" Position. Props needed: towel.
The "I'm working hard!" Position. Key here is to make sure the eyes are hidden. Necessary props: pen/pencil, strong elbows.

"Bomb shelter" position. Props needed: desk. Pros: You're lying down, safe in case of an emergency. Cons: Someone might check to see if you have everything you need (possibly sarcasm)

"Well-Prepared Bomb Shelter" Position. Props needed: desk, towel, canned food and opener if available. Cons: Someone might try to join you if you're too well prepared.
This last position is really only for the really ambitious nappers out there. First off, it involves preparation the day before, and you'll have to leave your computer on, so it also wastes energy. The benefits are enormous if you can perfect it, though. Really, only try this if you have an unhealthy disdain for your job or are completely irreplaceable.

Part 1
Part 2. Necessary props: Lack of concern for consequences of your actions or lack of foresight.


  1. This is the most beneficial set of directions I've ever read. Take THAT inner-office mediocrity!

  2. Glad you found it useful, Morgan; we share a common nemesis!