I am a night owl. It’s been a perennial source of problems in my life.
To start with, as a child, I always went to bed late. That meant being tired and miserable all day at school. Of course, my lack of sleep did not change the school’s scheduled start time from 7:45 a.m. to a time of my choosing. So inconsiderate!
As an adult, I regularly fall into the habit of getting to bed long after midnight. But I still have to get up by 6 am on a weekday. My kids still need to be at school in the morning. My office is still only open during the daylight hours.
Thankfully I have a manager who (apparently) doesn’t have a problem with the time I get to work, so long as I get all my work done and put in at least 40 hours per week.
I try to build my day around my nightly habits. I get to work later than everyone else, so I end up working later than everyone else. I typically leave the office at around 7:30 p.m., which is when my oldest will call me and say in her most accusatory tone, “Mom, it’s 7:30. Where are you? Why are you still at work??” Then I hurriedly pack up my stuff (squeeze a bit more work) and exit the building by 8:30 p.m., because she will call again.
But I get all my best inspirations after 3 p.m.! That’s when my focus kicks in. I’m totally useless prior to that. If I’m performing any kind of forensic research or analysis I know full well now that I will be most productive after 3 p.m.
In my perfect world, I’d wake up at 10 a.m., do a quick workout, have breakfast at 12 noon, get to work at 1 p.m., and remain there until midnight. Lunch and dinner would both be eaten at my desk while I’m working. I’d get home by 1 a.m., catch up on any personal business, and be in bed by 2 a.m.
Perfect! I know I’d get so much more accomplished during the day AND a good night’s sleep.
But right now, from that list, I only do two things: eat meals at my desk and go to bed at 2 am. You can see the current situation as it stands won’t work. We’re not designed to live on 4 hours of sleep every night.
My dream schedule doesn’t work well when you have young children either. I’d only see them on weekends! Oh, and you can imagine the husband would not be too pleased about that schedule either….