I’ve written a few times about how I tend to work better at night. Trouble is, it’s not sustainable.
What typically happens is, I get some requests in from clients to do little jobs (quick 30 minute things). I don’t like having those sit around, so I try to do them all in one evening, but they inevitably stretch over to the next day, and that puts me behind on larger projects. I then need to work later to catch up on those, but that then ruins my sleeping pattern, and the only time I’m productive is late at night.
Take today for example, I woke up around 11am, It takes me an hour or so to get into the right frame of mind to code, then I work for a few hours. Then dinner comes, and I lose my streak. I then get back into the right mindset about 10pm, then work ’till 1/2am, and eventually fall asleep about 3am, if not later. That then affects my eating habits, because my sleeping pattern is about 5 hours behind my eating patterns. I can count the number of times I’ve had breakfast in 2017 on one hand.
Spread over the day, the hours I do work constitute a full day, but I really don’t like it. It means I’m constantly feeling anxious about not having done enough work yet, and having the energy to ‘catch up’ later that night.
Anecdotally, I remember John O’Nolan telling me that when he turned 25 (or 24, not sure now), he suddenly started waking up early in the mornings, like a switch was flicked in his head. Given that I’ve struggled with this shitty sleeping pattern for about 6 years, I really hoped that would happen to me. Obviously, it didn’t, and I need to do something about it.
I’ve said countless times that I need to do something about this, but I’m starting to see it affect my health too, mostly down to eating, like I mention above.
I’m not sure what the solution is yet. It could be to slowly force myself to get up slightly earlier each day with some form of incentive like a beer in the evening, or something more drastic like rigging up a cup of water above the bed that is set to tip over me at a certain time, if it senses me in bed still.
I think the first logical step is to try more alarms, so let’s see how this goes.