Study Style: Sleep When You're Dead
by Liz Boldman
I usually spend most of my nights fighting sleep, trying to get everything done. * * *
It's not that I procrastinate, it's that I work all day long and don't have much time to do anything else. So I read when I can, work when I can, write when I can, and sleep when my body gives out.
Is it healthy? Not at all. But I get by.
It seems there just aren't enough hours in the day, Liz.
Burning the candle at both ends is okay for a while, but it's unsustainable. Sooner or later, something's going to give; don't let it be your health through lack of sleep.
Like you, I've got plenty on my plate too -- running this site as well as having a demanding full time teaching job, three kids, a marriage, a commitment to the band I play in as well as a house that always needs something doing to it.
I used to get up at 5 am to build this website, work on it for an hour, do what I had to do, fit in another hour in the evening, then collapse in to bed too late.
I found that motivation got me through for a while. I couldn't sustain it though, and I got ill.
I knew I wanted to keep all the commitments in my life, but it dawned on me that I was going to have to change the way I managed them all.
Here’s what I did:Analysed my time.
When I kept a time log to discover how I was really using my week, I realized that, although I was using it fairly well, there were still a few pockets of wasted time that could be used more effectively (which for me meant more rest and sleep). Analysed my work.
This was a shock -- I thought I was doing more than I really was. The best thing I ever did was to set a simple timer before I started a task to see exactly how much focused work I was actually doing.Set realistic goals.
Experience has taught me that anything else isn’t going to happen without a significant cost to something or someone.Changed my sleeping habits.
I got up half an hour later and started going to bed half an hour earller. Late night TV or web browsing were just not worth the price I was paying.Introduced more structure to my weeks and days.
I’ve found that a schedule at home works well. Used along with
I’ve managed to organize things more efficiently and effectively.
Of course, life is rarely straightforward, but a framework to the week does seem to help keep things balanced.
It's important to balance and keep re-balancing work, rest and relaxation. And there are
ways to do that –- you just need to step back, analyse your situation and look for the opportunities.
I'd love to know how you get on...