T-SQL Tuesday #132: How Are You Coping with the Pandemic? Power Naps For The Win (FTW)!

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Taiob Ali (T) on the topic of ideas or routines for coping with the pandemic. Thanks Taiob!

Sleeping on the Job

Call me old school. Back in the day, if one was caught sleeping on the job, that was a fireable offense and one could lose their job. The concept of even taking a quick nap was verboten.

For years I thought well, what if I just go out to my car and catch a few winks there? It can work and I have done that in the past but it is not comfortable plus I’m kind of self-conscious about it- I don’t want a passerby to think I’ve suffered some kind of accident and then notify the authorities and cause an issue. Even to avoid co-workers wondering about me I have been known to drive someplace just so I could nap out of sight…

Sleeping on the Job – New and Improved!

A skill or natural ability I have is to be able to fall asleep quickly. My wife hates it as it takes a while for her to wind down in the evenings. Me? I can lay down and be sleeping in roughly 10 minutes. This has caused her to wake me back up if we were in the middle of a conversation and she wanted to finish talking about something.

I have been mostly working from home for the last two+ years. When the pandemic hit, many people were forced to work from home (WFH). For me my day to day really did not change. However I was affected by the pandemic too as we all were and it disrupted my life.

While I am not an expert on the art of the Power Nap, I am aware and highly endorse all of its benefits. I try to stick to a tight schedule but alas in today’s crazy meeting driven WFH lifestyle I cannot always take a power nap when I want to. A siesta is always the easiest way for me to take a power nap right after lunch whenever that occurs.

I’ll set an alarm on my smartphone (usually 45 minutes from when I start), grab a warm blanket, and find a comfortable surface (sofa or bed but usually not under the covers), and focus on falling asleep. I know for many of us, working in IT doing something like programming it can be hard to un-plug. We lose our head of steam and it can take a while to get back up to speed and this can be a source of keeping one awake when one wants to fall asleep!

From the start of the power nap time (wind-down, actual sleep, wake up) I can maybe squeeze in half and hour of sleep. Do I take more than one power nap a day? Sometimes, especially between meetings. This is the challenge- how does one temporarily silence their smartphone and other distractions to sleep while still maintaining the availability to be reached in the case of an emergency? Block the time on your calendar as personal time- YES!!! With our WFH schedules and lifestyles this shouldn’t be a problem- even talk to your boss about it. As long as one is putting in the work hours, I think most places would be accommodating. Or don’t put it on your schedule and try to nap between “interruptions” haha.

A Memory From My Yoot

I use that word a lot. At the risk of mansplaining a yoot, here it is. When I was in high school, I knew this one guy who was a crazy smart programmer who carried a briefcase to school. Heh, remember briefcases? Odd thing was, we never saw him open it. What was in it we wondered? Programming secrets? Stealing things from the school? Why does a high school kid need a briefcase, what is he hiding???

Then one day, I was passing by the library during lunch and I saw it! He was in the back of the library with his briefcase open.

I couldn’t believe it, the mystery was solved!

The briefcase contained a giant pillow and his head was down, taking a power nap.

To quote the late great Paul Harvey once again, “…and now you know, the rest of the story.”

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