Working Tired

Over the course of the semester I’ve found that, despite my best efforts, there will always be a few times here and there where the due dates for multiple papers and projects converge on one another. There are 365 days in a year and yet somehow there are always days in which it seems like ten thousand different things need to get done and sent where they need to go. To compensate for this, I end up staying awake until the most absurd hours of the morning to hand everything in on time.

One of my friends explained that this is just the way of college. It doesn’t matter if you’re a morning or a night person, you’re going to become a night person whether you want to or not. I could not have said it more perfectly.

I’ve always found that my most productive hours of a given day most often fall between 7pm and 3am. This is good to know and I usually create some of my best work and come up with some of my best ideas in that time frame. During the summer, on my own time, my sleep schedule usually tends to more naturally curve alonside my most productive hours of the night. I wake up a little bit later on some days, but I’m ultimately more productive because I’m a night person and I can utilize my entire time frame of productivity. At college I find that I’m awake way more than I should be for the amount of sleep that I get in a given night. My sleep schedule is wholly dictated by class schedules and schoolwork which may not be what I would normally prefer. After many many nights of this behavior you sort of start to build up a tolerance to sleepiness and drowsiness. It becomes commonplace to be exhausted and you just have to get used to it.

I think I would prefer to be judged not only by the quality of the work I produce when I’m functioning at 100% but also the work I can create when I’m exhausted, because they are one in the same. After a certain point in photography (and also most other hobbies and professions), you should be able to work your camera and know what settings to use and what to do even if you can’t really concentrate on anything, if you can make your skills second nature then all the more professional you can be. I’m sure we’d all still prefer to start our workday at 100% refreshed and energized, but it’s also good to know your limits if you ever have to work tired.

At this time next week all my schoolwork will be done for the semester and I will be onto my summer activities.

-Alex

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