This post is “late,” and there is really no excuse for it. There are reasons of course: when I created a backlog of posts, I didn’t feel the pressure to write weekly, so things slipped in my mind. But that’s not a good excuse for this being written about an hour after it should have gone live.
A colleague of mine just commented to me “You look tired!” Which is true – I am tired. I’ve been tracking my sleep since about November of last year thanks to my trusty Fitbit, and in that year I found I get an average of five and a half hours of sleep per night. That’s well below the recommended eight hours. Until now, I’ve managed things fairly well, but with the addition of the third job (teaching) and maintaining a long distance relationship, things are really starting to strain for me. I’ve noticed it for a few weeks now, but this weekend things are starting pile up.
I napped more this weekend than I have in probably the last two years. I almost never nap. I hate napping, in fact. It feels like a waste of time, when I could be using that time (daylight) to do something more desirable than tending to my body’s needs. And yet, this weekend I found myself napping for at least an hour each day in the afternoon. I also elected to cut time short with my girlfriend to tend to some much needed cleaning at my apartment. The alternative would have been more social engagements and an early morning commute back home to go to work. She understood that I needed the time away and supported my decision. It’s why she’s a great gal!
My focus has been off lately, too. I keep talking about how I want to go back to the gym, but I haven’t acted on it. Call it failure to plan, call it failure to action on an item, but I suspect the real culprit is depleted will power. No, I don’t mean that I’m not willing myself to the gym. I mean I think have decision fatigue. It’s a long accumulation of factors that have finally hit a tipping point: poor sleep, poor nutrition, too many demands on my cognitive workload, stress from things in life, added stress from social media, etc. It creates a feedback loop that further breaks me down. Because I don’t sleep well and still try to contend with normal daily activities, my will power and motivation wane; this leads to poor choices and procrastination through my favourite habit (watching YouTube videos), which keeps me awake, which makes it harder for me to do the things I need to do, which weakens my ability to force myself to go to bed at a reasonable time, which leads to lesser amounts of sleep, and the cycle continues.
I don’t have an obvious solution to this problem. What I need to do is to critically evaluate my obligations, priorities and goals to find a better fit with my habits. That will take longer than one blog post to figure out, but for the meantime, the best I can do is monitor my health and situation to guard against large scale system crashes.