June 28, 2011

Life is too short and so are 24-hour days.

I have looked into modified sleep schedules, purportedly used by DaVinci and other historical greats, with the desire to make more of my awaken time by making more of it. Modified sleep schedules supposedly allow the practitioner to get by on 3-4 total hours of sleep per day, by modifying the sleep cycles into multiple small power naps throughout the day. Of course, this plays havoc with anyone with a regular job, since scheduling meetings and other activities have to be taken into account, and with less sleep, more rigor is needed to ensure you get it.

I have yet to find any compelling evidence that suggests that any of these sleep schedules can be adhered to or that they increase productivity. I do know that by the time I am done for the day about 10PM, I am usually DONE for the day. My thought processes are mush, and I actually fall asleep at the keyboard while trying to get in just a few more emails or online posts. This could be due to a number of factors, including being slightly overweight and my age, but I can't help wondering just how productive I would be with even MORE sleep debt than I already carry. I'm getting about 6.5 hours a night now during the week. The modified schedules are supposed to help by allowing the body to deal with the sleep deprivation more often, though.

There's just not enough hours in the day to deal with all of the things I've taken on, but there's even more things I'd like to do. I can't remember the last time I had an hour to devote to piano practice, for example. Cutting down on my hobbies is something I have battled my whole life. It's part of why I'm halfway good at a good many things, rather than expert at any one thing. Whether it's an inability to focus, or just the absence of a desire to do so, is a question I should likely be asking a psychologist to evaluate.

As you get older, though, your responsibilities weigh on you as more pile on over time, and they seem heavier, even though you're the one who's changed. We keep thinking that financial independence is the key to relieving the pressure, but even my retired mother has yet to actually stop working, so that doesn't seem to be the answer.

Well, if you've got the answer, let me know..I'll be here, trying a few dozen new things before I fall asleep at my desk...

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