Well, it turns out I didn’t go to yoga last night. But it wasn’t because I was feeling self-critical or anything like that.
Instead, late afternoon/early evening yesterday found me a really good work groove, making progress on the several hundred tasks that need doing in order to meet the half-dozen-or-so important deadlines I have between now and next Wednesday. And that momentum was momentum worth keeping up.
It’s funny how these deadline seasons at work make me act more like a college student than I ever did when I was actually in college.
As one of those obnoxious brainiac kinds of kids, I was able to play the “school game” pretty well up through my undergraduate degree. Now, I’m not saying I coasted or anything like that—I was way too driven, way too much a perfectionist to have that kind of relaxed attitude about schoolwork. But, all in all, the work of school was the kind of thing that came relatively naturally to me: reading, recalling, analyzing text in an aesthetic/historical/ivory tower kind of way.
Now, the work of work draws on some of those same strengths and skills. But the ways it’s grounded in more of a real-world context, the way it requires building of new ideas and new text—that all makes work-work more challenging to me than schoolwork ever was. Challenging in a good way, and a huge co-factor in why I find my career to be so rewarding, but challenging nonetheless.
All of which is to say: I’ve come a lot closer to pulling all-nighters in my adulthood than I ever did in school.
Now, let me be clear: I’m too old to stay awake the entire damn night, and I can only push the envelope for a night or two before I need to allow myself a full night’s sleep. But still, back in the day I always got a full night’s sleep, and that’s not the case in my mature adulthood.
Nowadays? I’m more likely to nap for a few hours, work a few hours in the midnight-to-five stretch, and then take another quick nap before getting up and getting ready for the office. I don’t know why it works so well for me, but I’ve been up to it for the last 10 years of my career, so I’m guessing this pattern won’t be changing anytime soon.
Tonight’s going to be a full sleep night, but I might just do a bit more rough drafting before heading off to bed. Honestly not sure if that’s a sign of dedication or just of co-dependency.
CLOSING SIDEBAR: I know, I know: supposedly, I “don’t blog about work.” And I don’t ever plan to be sharing office gossip, or company IP, or even many specific details around “the work of work.” But the occasional self-reflective passage about my work habits or motivations in a sort of a-contextual autobiographical vein? That I might just do every now and again.
Image credit: PXHere, public domain.