Saturday, August 29, 2015

The guide to napping at work

Ever since you read my definitive guide to curing stress you have been wondering about the best way to nap. Your questions have been answered with my official non-scientific guide to napping at work.

Nap gear:

Your fleece/sweatshirt is your friend here. Roll it up and use it as a pillow. Bubble wrap envelopes work really well for supporting your butt, or yoga mats if you have some on hand. Don't get too comfortable though or you might not wake up on time.

Nap location:

If you have your own office, its easy, just close the door and lay on the floor. I work with an open floor plan nowadays though - but if your company is cool enough to have an open floor plan then they probably also have little phone-booths with chairs you can kick back in. The key to napping upright in a chair is the lean your head back on something (your sweatshirt). Your neck won't support your head once you fall asleep so if it isn't supported you'll wake as soon as you nod off.
Don't nap on your desk. It is best to separate your exact nap location from your exact work location or you might think about napping too much.

Nap length/time:

I usually set my alarm for 20 minutes, but find myself waking regularly after about 15 minutes. I wouldn't recommend napping for longer than 20 minutes, but if that works for you then okay!
For me the best time to nap is sometime after lunch, anytime between 1 and 5. I know its naptime when I feel like I can't keep my eyes open and can't stand on my feet. This is easier to feel if you have a standing desk; and if you don't have a standing desk then go and make a standing desk.

Falling asleep / waking up:

Don't think about napping or about trying to fall asleep, I usually think about something technical like trying to find a solution for something at work. The key is to keep muscles relaxed, don't move. The truth is it doesn't matter if you actually fall asleep - having a uber relaxing moment is still great!
When you have that moment that you realize you were just asleep - that is when you get up. Don't wait for your alarm, don't lament that it was "only five minutes." Congrats you napped!

Feel free to comment if you have questions!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Turn your phone into a T-Pass

This is kind of an old project - but I don't think it has been blogged yet. The "T" passes for the subway in Boston are great - but they are an extra card that you need to carry around. They work with RFID so the essential parts are an antenna and a small chip.

If you soak the card in some turpentine you can with-care separate the plastic bits from the antenna and chip. I slapped mine on to the back of my phone. The first time I gave it an extra loop so it could fit underneath a round Loud Bicycle sticker. The next time I just put it underneath some clear packing tape which made it function a little better.

If you are trying this for the first time - please make sure to use a Charlie Card which doesn't have much cash on it just in case you toast it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

LoudBicycle Horn on CitiBike

I use CitiBike as part of my commute, and I wanted to use it with a Loud Bicycle horn. I needed a quick and easy method to attach and release the horn, so I bought an inexpensive spring clamp. An arm of the clamp fit perfectly in the channel for a bike tube:

All that was left was to mount it on the bike. It simply clips to the front of the basket. I found it helpful to stabilize it by running the elastic band as seen in the picture below. First attach the band to the top two posts (as if you were restraining a bag or something), then clamp the horn (clamp between band and basket), and then just detach the band from the posts and hook it around the front of the clamp.

All that was left was to strap the button next to the bell

 And ride on!