I worked night shift while writing A Story About Self-Confidence: What’s In A Name?, a month~long story at Eville Medical in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.” It’s a difficult shift. Socializing requires careful calendar coordination. What was once a casual consideration over whether I felt like meeting up is now a careful balance of budgeted time. The shift is easy once you figure out when you must go to sleep by and follow that.
Easier still when I say I’m 12 hours off from day-walkers.
I wake up at 6pm so I have enough time to write [this essay], edit [this essay], and do anything else I might want to do. To wake up the most well-rested, I should go to bed by 8:50am or 10:20am, so I aim to go to bed at around 10am.
It is easy to disobey “shoulds.”
I’ve blocked out my calendar for when I go to work, when I go to sleep, along with anything else I might schedule, like writing time, weekly weigh-ins, or anything I might forget otherwise. Once I’m done with an entry, I’ll delete it.
Honestly, I don’t like living such a regimented lifestyle.
On the final day of editing, I edited the entire novel of all the major continuity essays from 2:28am to 4:41pm. I did have take time for breaks and didn’t spend every minute working, but that was 9+ hours over 14+ hours spent working.
I had a blast!
As I take the next few weeks to figure out how to start marketing this novel and maybe sell it, although everything right now is freely available, so I’m not sure how much I can profit from it, I will start adopting the month’s work pace.
The biggest thing I learned was pushing aside procrastination.
Almost every free moment I had, outside of my scheduled work and sleep, was dedicated to furthering the novel somehow. Whether drafting out sketches, some light editing, or writing, I didn’t have time to waste on procrastinative activities.
If I didn’t feel like writing, then I’d go to sleep earlier.
There’s the sort of fatigue like I have right now where I didn’t get a great amount of sleep. I forgot to turn on my fan to cancel out the white noise, so I woke up at 1:30pm and 5:30pm, but I was able to get back to sleep fairly easily.
I can push through that fatigue just by focusing more.
The sort of fatigue that I can’t push through is the sort where it’s difficult to form words or consider where I’m going next. It’s like listening to disjointed music where you can’t focus. If you can switch the soundtrack, it’s all good.
If not, then it’s time to go to bed.
If you pace yourself, you can achieve whatever you want, but as soon as you throw in an additional hour into something when you were too fatigued, you will start to see the failures of your decisions later on.
I have this theory about the normal workweek.
Everyone in social-oriented jobs hates Mondays because they’re at their most well-rested and capable, but they also have to deal with the most amount of social pressure throughout the week, so by Friday, they’re checked out.
I’ve been working weekend nights for months.
I start my workweek on Friday night and everyone on the crew, collectively, has decided to work or stay on this shift because they don’t want to deal with that social bullshit. We’re just there to work and do what we want to do.
We’d rather deal with health problems than people.
For us, we don’t have that same “TGIF,” even if we start on Fridays or end on Fridays, because there is overall less stress of people and work on the night shift, so we don’t feel the need to “get more” out of our time off at home.
When I work days, that time before and after work is sacred.
It’s now just an extension of the downtime I have on nights, except I don’t have to worry about doing any work outside of what I want to do, but it’s only been recently where I realized that I should consider the end of my “leisure time.”
Let’s say I clock out of work at 7am.
I should, therefore, also clock out of my leisure time at 10am. This makes it difficult to schedule activities, except on “my Friday,” where I can be more relaxed about when I need to go to sleep and when I need to wake up.
If I keep this in mind, night shift work is easy.
Any kind of work is easier when you budget your time well enough. The primary reason I start hating previous jobs and contracts was I never budgeted enough “me” time. It’d just be work, sleep, work, and I’d begin hating work.
Now, I give myself downtime before and after work.
This time I spend before I need to clock into my professional work, where I write or edit, is where I can self-actualize, so say my professional work just throws my emotions or physicality through the wringer, where I just feel wasted.
I can go home and sleep because I accomplished “my” work.
When I’d wake up and immediately go to work, say I had one of those rough days, then I’d arrive home and try to “reclaim the day,” only to fail in frustration. Repeat for days on end for weeks. That’s when I began polishing my resume.
Now, I can sleep away most of those frustrations.
In my dreams or idle moments, I can imagine what I might need to do – if I can’t figure it out through writing or talking to people. If I budget my sleep well enough, then my body tends to work better. Things just tend to work out better overall with more sleep. Work tends to be more reasonable. I can concentrate better.
Adequate sleep doesn’t fix everything, but it’s a start.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: Third essay title. I would, overall, say that I did well enough throughout the month in terms of sleep. I ran into some health problems that I’m still sorting through, but I don’t think it’s related to sleep or working the shift, rather, probably some heavy stress from work earlier on in the month that might have caused some residual health issues. I’m still working on the solution to that.|
|Related: Other 2019 Novel writings.|
|Picture: I keep the same picture on all of these so I can have more time to rest than figure out how to reinvent the wheel.|
|Written On: November 30th, 2019 [6:45pm to 7:26pm, 41 minutes, while listening to All My Heroes Are Cornballs by JPEGMafia and Tarot Will Teach You/Burn Your Money from the Holy Mountain soundtrack]|
|Last Edited: November 30th, 2019 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|