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How to take a nap at work

(MoneyWatch) We have certain ideas of what an office go-getter looks like. Taking a nap at one's desk usually isn't part of this picture. And even if it was, modern "knowledge workers" often have trouble finding the time to write an email, let alone have a snooze.

But there's some solid research suggesting that napping can make you more productive and focused. If you want to pull it off at work, here are some strategies to make it work without disturbing the unenlightened.

1. Feel free to close the door. If you have an office, you don't have to be available at all times. Get yourself a reasonably comfortable chair and a neck pillow. No need to hang a "do not disturb" sign, which calls attention to yourself. Few people are going to barge in, anyway.

2. Borrow an office. It's great if you have your own. But if not, find a work buddy and use hers while she's at a meeting.

3. Scope out somewhere quiet. The one silver lining to downsizing is empty real estate in large office parks. Find a couch in a low-traffic area and you're golden. Even a seldom used conference room can work in a pinch.

4. Head to your car. Tuck yourself into the passenger seat and hit recline. Set the alarm on your phone and relax for 20 minutes.

5. Nap at your cubicle. It's not the most comfortable place in the world, but most likely you're not being watched as closely as you think. A 10-minute snooze with your coat as a pillow can still make a difference in your life and ability to get things done.

6. Work at home. And then it's no one's business but yours. You may want to use a home office sofa, rather than your bed, though, if you think you'll have trouble getting back up after half an hour.

Have you ever taken a nap at work? How did you make that work?

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