4 ways to recharge at work (without sneaking a power nap)

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While there are plenty of clever ways you can certainly sneak a power nap at work, you shouldn't have to tune out to truly tune in. We've rounded up several ideas that you can use to unwind while on the clock, without ever having to set an alarm.

1. Get creative

That drowsy, midday feeling can often stem from a serious lack of stimulation. When this happens, it's usually a signal that you need to turn to something slightly more exciting. Of course, titillating tasks aren't always on the 9-to-5 agenda, meaning you might need to temporarily step out of work-mode and into play-mode. Fire up a blank document and start pattering away with any thoughts that pop into your mind. Whether it's ridiculous rants, the next great geek novel or an aha-moment for your next personal project, it doesn't matter what you put here. What matters is that you're letting go of monotony and embracing all those ideas that would have likely otherwise fallen to the wayside.

2. Stretch your limbs

Sitting or standing in one spot for too long is enough to make anyone feel a little stir-crazy. When you're stuck on the clock, treat your body in the same manner that you would if you were on an incredibly long road trip. You wouldn't remain in the car for nine straight hours without even stopping for a break, so why would you sit anywhere else for that long? When you start feeling tense, step away from the screen and shake it off – literally, shake it off. Stretch your arms, your legs, your neck – stretch any area that feels tense. And if it's too awkward doing this in front of coworkers, take a bathroom break or use it an excuse to step outside.

3. Take a hike

Speaking of stepping outside – nature can work wonders when it comes to refueling our overworked, tired tanks. While you probably don't actually have time for a hike, you can certainly eke out a 15 to 30 minute break in your work schedule to take a leisurely stroll. If it means sacrificing your lunch break, pack a snack that you can easily enjoy on your walk.

4. Make a list

Sometimes getting back on track is really as simple as making a list. Tasks become overwhelming and bog us down when we don't have a clear vision of where we're headed. The next time you're feeling like a nap is the answer to make it all better, try prioritizing your tasks and tackling them in whichever order allows you to be the most efficient.

When all else fails, catch some quick z's

OK, OK, so we've been trying to find ways to work around the power nap this entire time -- but when the thing that your body is truly begging you for is rest, you may not have much choice but to listen. If you're lucky enough to work in a place that has designated areas for quick naps, you're good to go. However, if your company is the kind that frowns at the mere idea, you're gonna have to get crafty. In a recent article, Inc.com suggests napping in your car; a conference room; the restroom (shudder); at your desk and...yes, even under it. Of course, the best solution is to make sure you're getting a solid six to eight hours of sleep nightly, whenever possible.

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Stacy Warden

Stacy Warden is a contributing editor of the Pluralsight blog and has worked in publishing since the dawn of the iPhone. Currently, Stacy deals in tech and education--a combination that she finds absolutely fascinating. You can find her on Twitter @sterrsi.