Monday, 15 August 2011

Take a nap at work - not in the law library you don't...

It did make me chuckle when I saw this particular tip from Harvard Business Review, titled 'Take a nap at work'. The author explains how the more hours a person works without a break, the more their productivity actually declines, therefore taking a short nap between 1 and 3pm will revitalise you and thereby kickstart your productivity levels again. There's no arguing with this, I admit - but how many people out there would actually be in a position to take a lunchtime/early afternoon siesta??

The author suggests 20-30 minutes - any longer leaves you hazy, apparently. The three steps to getting your sleep are to schedule a time, find a quiet place, and tune out, setting your alarm of course so you don't end up going AWOL for the rest of the day.

The reason it made me smile was simply because this would never be feasible in any law library I have worked in. Scheduling a time would be the first hurdle - although we have agreed, staggered lunch hours, I find mine is rarely when it should be, because if an urgent enquiry comes in, it needs to be dealt with, and saying I had a nap scheduled wouldn't quite cut the mustard with my managers! Second problem would be finding a quiet place - short of retreating to the ladies toilets (and even then I don't think they are particularly quiet, given how many people share them!) - there is nowhere I could go that would ensure I wouldn't be disturbed. I think this would be different if you had an office, but even then, our firm is not the kind of firm where doors can be closed and privacy reigns - they are glass panelled, so discretion would be impossible!

The third step in the napping at work process is to 'tune out' - but in our library it's something I find very difficult to do. When it's all systems go and there are several enquiries being dealt with at once, I struggle to simply switch my mind off from it all, say, if I slip out at lunchtime. Therefore while a peaceful, daytime power nap would be lovely I'm sure, I think actually falling asleep at work goes against every mental belief I have - it's against my nature to associate the law library with a peaceful sleep!!

Having said that - kudos to anyone who can pull this feat off!!

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