I'm productive only at night, but this clashes with my class schedule.
July 24, 2014 2:23 PM Subscribe
When I want to do work that involves writing, I find that I am most productive during the hours of around 11 PM to 6 AM, because it takes me all evening to wind down from the day and get into a mindset where I can focus on creative/writing work. My circadian rhythm will then be messed up for the next three days or so. This is incompatible with my class and work schedule as a medical student.
If I weren't expected to show up and be engaged at clinic pretty much every day, I'd probably just forego class and continue working the way I have (pulling semi all-nighters-- I find the long, uninterrupted stretches of quiet time very conducive to getting things written). But my schedule is such that on weekdays, I am occupied from at 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Then I have to study medicine-related things for around 2-3 hours a day, which requires a very different sort of concentration (the kind where I'm actually fully awake and well-rested). I can't just do the writing work on the weekends, because the aftereffects of messing up my sleep schedule linger on for 3-4 days, and I can't fall behind in studying. It's difficult for me to perfectly time my work because sometimes it takes me a day or two of "mentally preparing" to write the piece before I even write a single sentence. To be clear, my question mostly concerns getting first drafts done-- once I have a first draft out, I don't have a problem with editing things on a normal schedule.
The effects of lack of sleep on my body are pretty negative-- my skin gets worse, I get a headache for a day or two, it impacts my mood and eating habits... I find that I physically feel best when I regularly wake up early-ish (around 5:45 to 6:15 AM) and sleep around 11:30 PM, which is what I normally do when I don't have any writing projects. If it makes a difference: caffeine has never really affected me and I exercise every day.