Tag Archives: time management

Getting enough sleep is key, but how much is enough?

I posted about some gumption traps before, and I mentioned caffeine as one of my favorite solutions. The underlying issue, of course, is sleep. Not too long ago, I made a note of the fact that even the simplest creatures imaginable have something like sleep. Evidently, it is pretty important.

According to this article over at news.yahoo.com, most people perform best on about 7.5 hours per night. My experience is consistent with the results presented in the news bit. Too little sleep leaves me uncreative and groggy; too much and I am lethargic. There is a balance to be struck. My problem is mornings. I hate getting up. I always feel less tired when I go to sleep than I do when I wake. That makes no sense. It drives me crazy. I’ll be rearing to go at midnight, and I force myself to go to bed then have to meditate to calm down enough to fall asleep. Then I wake up 8 hours later when the alarm goes off and I fell like my world will cave in if I don’t get 4 more hours of sleep. It’s absurd.

I’ve tried polyphasic sleep (I live a 7 min walk away from my work, so I can go home to sleep if I want). I’ve tried the rolling 28 hour day. They both left me with horrific nightmares. I felt like I was on a fast track to a mental breakdown. It was not good. So I muddle along.

I have mentioned nootropics here as well. I have not tried anything except caffeine. Maybe that’s why people get into them. Matt (that other guy on this site) sent me the sleep article; he also tells me that the use of nootropics is common among pharmaceutical representatives (he used to be one). Go figure. Think of science as the Sport of the Mind, except that there’s no rule against doping. Makes me want to go get a bottle of Nerve Tonic.

-Peter

Gumption traps and how to get motivated, part 2: Exercise

Exercise is a major way I stay motivated. When I was in high school I ran with the cross country team. When I was younger than that, I ran with my Dad. All told, including the intermittent months off, I imagine I’ve run an average of about 6 miles a week since 1995. Fitness guru? Maintaining my appeal for for my girlfriend? Well, that is an issue… but self motivation is important, too. During the weeks when I run, I feel like I’m more awake. On a day that I run, no matter what else happens, I have one string positive in the accounting of the day.
Of course, if you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it will be hard to motivate yourself to run. But as step 1 to a higher ‘energy level,’ you could do a lot worse than a 20 minute jog… or a walk for that matter.

Have a look around for some good shoes. I happen to like Saucony shoes for my wide feet.

Other than that, just make it part of your routine. Substitute walking to the grocery store form time to time. Carrying two bags for a mile is a nice little workout.

-Peter