Working past bedtime is taking out a time debt from your future self, paid with interest
April 10, 2021•327 words
Reading time: 2 min
I put great value and importance into my time, for it is limited. Yet, for years of my (recent) life, I've been keeping this poor practice up, taking precious time away from my future self:
When I have a large number of projects and tasks queued and due soon (e.g. in this scenario), I may choose to push my bedtime back, to temporarily gain more time my current self can use. The problem with this is that the 'large number' of projects and tasks usually cannot be digested down in just a day. As a result, I end up pushing my sleep schedule further and further back, deep into the night (or rather the morning of the next day), and keeping it there at a self-defined 'maximal limit' (say, 8 am next morning) until some days after I digest down my queued tasks list.
Following such a period, I will then engage in a period of highly variable sleep times, from sleeping in the morning (of the next day), to snoozing in the afternoon, to sleeping in the evening, and then back to sleeping far, far past midnight.
This practice destroys my sleep schedule and disrupts my circadian rhythm (which regulates your 24-hour sleep cycles), decreasing sleep quality, and therefore raising my sleep duration requirement.
The fatigue generated and lack of focus from the lack of sleep likely decreases my productivity as well.
This probably harms my health as well, decreasing my physical and mental well-being, (and probably shortening the time I have in my future). Taking time from 'sleep time' is taking out a time debt from your future self, to be paid with massive interest.
- I take more time to complete work due to lower productivity
- I require more time asleep to compensate for the generated fatigue and poor sleep quality
- I'm harming my health and decreasing the time I have in my future
I have to stop.