If you’re a developer, you’ll probably have, at one point, programmed way, way, beyond your bed time.
I often get called out on it with people asking me “Why do you sleep so late Clint?” and “Why do you spend all night programming?”. I’ve always struggled to fully justify it to them until today.
My daily routine when freelancing or under studies for my degree is usually this: Wake up – Chores – Spend time with fiancée – Socialise – Work – Sleep.
You might think “Isn’t that cycle backwards?”. Usually work comes between wake up and chores. So why do I pick so sleep after work and work the night shift?
Here’s why: Most modern professions require primarily simple repetitive tasks. Some physical, some mental, some so simply they are essentially effortless. Then there are the science professions, one that require a lot of mental work, a lot of consideration, but also a lot of general writing too, and I hear it can get very repetitive. Software Engineering, implemented in the form of programming requires primarily mental activity. Design, structure, creation, testing, planning, preempting. Especially if you freelance and have to handle most of the work yourself.
This lends itself to a nocturnal pattern. I wake up in the morning, do the physical chores early when I still have the spirit and energy. I shower, wash, eat. Then I socialise, I spend time with people, become forfilled in my existence and life. This is all very easy on the mind. I will then work from around 9pm till midnight. Then I will socialise with those nearing sleep. By this time I am still very mentally active, but physically the day is drawing to a close. I will then work until around 5am. I wake at 1pm. It is flexible, from midnight till 8am I can sleep, ensuring I can drift over timezones to meet client timezones.
The main benefit here is that you spend your physical energy during the afternoon. Spend your social energy in the evening then spend your mental energy at night. Leaving yourself thoroughly exhausted by morning. You then sleep until afternoon.
I am writing this post after a long day of work and play. I’m thoroughly exhausted and am only writing this blog post as a testament to the fact.