Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Midnight Conundrum

Here you are, it's midnight on a Saturday night. You feel tired, you could definitely go to sleep, but you also feel able to continue working. You have two big assignments due on Tuesday and have put a few hours into one of them already today, and you're primed to continue. But if you stay up late doing this, you'll sleep late tomorrow, and then getting up Monday will be even harder than usual.

Go to bed or keep working?

For me, the answer usually has to be "keep working." This is because I really cannot (or, at any rate, do not, ever) get up in the morning and get right to work. So if I go to bed, I may never recover the momentum that I feel right now, or at best I may recover it hours after getting up on Sunday. For the most part, I get stronger and find it easier to work more and more as the day goes on, at least when I'm vaguely able to structure my time that way.

I made the choice to continue working and I got some really excellent work done despite also feeling tired. Now it's 3:15 and I'm really quite tired and ready for bed, but I have big tasks completed. I also happened to stop at a "downhill" point, which is good. (By "downhill" I mean a point from which it is easy to continue. It's like riding on hills with your bike - if you need to stop, it's better to stop on a downward slant so that you can easily start up again.)

Basically when I feel "tempted" to work I have to make use of that temptation unless there are truly compelling reasons not to. As long as I get overall something like enough sleep, getting my work done is more important than sleeping at any particular time.

1 comment:

Sally said...

I can relate to this. That's how my summer schedule got shifted so far into the night. Of course, it's a lot easier to do during the summer than when teaching at 8 a.m....