From dusk 'till dawn
May 16, 2009 5:41 PM Subscribe
I'm self-employed, work at home, and have a pile of work that needs to get done over the next three weeks. I want to switch to a night schedule. How do I do it?
Right now I'm working on a 9-5 schedule (more like 10-ish to 7-ish) and it's just not working for me. I'm not a morning person, and even with coffee, I usually don't actually "wake up" until 11. I have a big test in three weeks, and I want to maximize my study time.
Things that have worked for me:
1) Paying attention to my sleep schedule instead of trying to manage it. If I'm tired at 6, taking a nap. If I feel awake at 10, getting up and re-starting work. I wake up at 3 and can't sleep, turn on a light and do some reading. Right now this is kind of ad hoc -- but invariably, the work I do late at night is better and more focused.
2) Grafting myself onto my partner's work schedule -- getting up when he gets up (6-7 a.m.) and coming home to collapse at 10 or eleven. Basically, a "work until you pass out" schedule. (Unfortunately, he's no longer working 10-12 hour days, so this is no longer an option)
Things that haven't worked: Getting up at 8 and "getting to the office" (usually a cafe or a library) -- I get out of the house just fine, but it takes me a long time to get started, and I'm never done by 7. Lunch breaks takes up a lot of time, as does getting to and from "the office" -- I feel like transit / break time takes up a large part of my day, and yet I still don't have time to really relax! Then at the end of the day I feel like crap, because I've finished only half of what I set out to do.
Option 2 (work till you drop) isn't really an option, since I'm not disciplined enough to do this on my own (and can't pull this off for three weeks anyway) -- and now that we're BOTH on a flexible schedule, it's that much harder to marshal daytime hours. Beyond that, I've found that the work I do at night is invariably better, more focused, and more productive. I have more energy, and I can focus more clearly on what I need to get done. When I'm working late, I don't need caffeine to stay awake -- I get really energized, and generally FEEL BETTER and more focused on what I'm doing. Plus, everyone else is asleep, so no distractions.
So: a night schedule. How do I do it? I'd like to systematize this, if possible, to avoid wasting so much time during the day.