Friday, August 27, 2010

Sleep schedule struggles

Who here remembers when I used to sleep until noon every day, easily? I usually worked from midnight until 3am or 4am, then went to bed and slept late. In the afternoon after I got up, I usually blogged, networked, and browsed the job boards, and at night I would get the real work done. Because no one was awake to bother me, and because I am a night person and have the most focus then, I was able to work much faster than I can during the day.

A number of factors made me have to change my schedule. Having a horse and sharing a car with my husband (in order to go ride said horse) were two major factors, but I think the biggest was when my cat Prince got sick last fall. He stopped eating sometime around October, so I was force feeding him, which meant getting up extra early in order to get some food into him before I went out to the barn or whatnot.

Even after Prince passed away in April, I kept my earlier schedule, which I was proud of. It means I get up earlier on the weekends and have more time to spend with my husband, which we both like. It also meant I was going for trail rides a couple mornings a week, and I've found the morning activity makes me less likely to be sleepy later on in the day.

The drawback is that I'm not as productive during the day. Other people are awake, so I spend more time checking email, Facebook, and blogs. But for nearly a year now, I've made it work, and I've been pleased.

Until Wednesday. I worked until 3am to meet a deadline, and then read for another hour. Although I was up at 8:30 the next morning anyway, I was groggy and tired. I went back to bed, and didn't get up again until nearly noon. Then yesterday, I also slept until noon, after staying up late again to finish a book (The Help, by Kathryn Stockett — awesome book).

I was so worried that my sleep schedule would be permanently messed up, so I made myself go to bed earlier last night, and got up at 9:30 this morning. Unfortunately, now I'm getting sleepy. (Dehydrated, I'm sure!) Time for a coffee beverage and a little blogging break!

After staying focused on work, I think my schedule is one of my biggest struggles as a freelancer. What are yours?


Mridu Khullar said...

The sleep schedule was a huge issue for me as well, especially when I was living alone. I made two important changes when I got married. First, I started sleeping and getting up at the same time as my husband, which was easy to do because we were really tired during the first few weeks of moving house and I just kept that up. Second, I got a separate room in the house that acts as an office. Neither the husband nor the cat are allowed there much, and I sit here all day and shut the door after 6 p.m. Just having this separation means that I'm forced to acknowledge that work time and non-work time are different and that really helps.

Katharine Swan said...

As long as there is facebook, I'm not sure I'll ever successfully separate work time from non-work time! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has struggled with the sleep schedule issue in the past. It sounds like you took advantage of a current situation to change your schedule, just like I did.


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