Day Pigeon

There are a lot of studies out there concerning night owls and morning larks. Or whatever they’re called. However, I don’t really feel like I can relate to either of these types of wakefulness.

I remember learning about the psychology of sleep during A levels. I don’t know how up to date that knowledge is now, but I know that teenage hormones interfere with teenage sleep and that REM is important for dreaming and also possibly consolidating memory? Eh. You can Google it.

I haven’t been getting as much sleep as I’d like lately. It is entirely my own fault so I’m not going to go on about it too much, but it got me thinking about my working style. Can’t seem to get my brain off work at the moment, unsurprisingly.

I’m not batman but, when it comes to revision and coursework, I work best alone. I also have to work in silence and during the day. It’s a very different working style to my logical friend.

I realised very early on that our work styles were not particularly compatible so, when it comes to the assessment/exam time of year, we go off and do our separate things. Once it’s over we are able to properly reconvene, catch up, and binge watch as many TV shows/films as we physically can.

I’ve found that I can’t concentrate on work when there’s background noise or other people present (I found the perfect room in the psychology building to hole up in this year and stayed there late enough to nearly get trapped inside), and I also tend to hit a bit of a slump at 3pm and 9pm.

I know this because I went through a phase of trying to work through the day in first year. I don’t advise it. Last time I checked, the research says that doing things in 40 minute slots is supposed to be good for productivity. I generally set a timer and try to force myself to do 45 minutes of work and then a 15 minute break so I can regain my focus. In theory, that way my arms will be a little less inclined to feel like falling off at least.

I used to make myself go on a random walk at 3pm so I could gently exercise off whatever stress I had accumulated by that point. God, in first year I was willingly getting up at 8am to revise for exams! First year me would be seriously judging third year me right now. I had a much healthier approach to work back then than I do currently. It probably helped that I was in catered accommodation. This year I have had to find time to cook alongside getting shit done for very important deadlines. It’s important to find that time because cooking makes me happy and it’s pretty important to eat.

I’m managing things better now (although there was one day where I very nearly decided to not eat anything other than grapes) that my psychology dissertation is out of the way but I’ve still got the upcoming portfolio presentation hanging over my head. I’m most of the way there. I just need to do the electronic submission and then prep for the motherfucking presentation. It’ll hopefully be fine but I’m nervous about potential technical difficulties, especially since I have to do a live demonstration of my application. Yay.

The main thing that being a workaholic has taught me is this: when you get to the point where you feel tired, shaky, inclined to cry and slightly nauseous, you should stop. No buts, no ifs, stop unless the deadline is in the next 5 minutes and you still haven’t submitted anything. Listen to your body. You don’t have to like what it’s telling you but you should definitely pay attention.

The other thing about being a workaholic though, is that it seems to get results. I’d really like to graduate with a first class degree. It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t, but I think I’m too invested in the idea now not to be at least a little upset if I don’t get one.

I saw a post on social media a while back about being a permanently exhausted pigeon. That’s what inspired the title and consequent rambling of this post.

Picture from: http://akramsideas.com/permanently-exhausted-pigeon/.

I’ll be fine. It’s not that bad. It’ll be over soon and then I’ll have something new to whinge about, such is life. But, for the meantime, I am that pigeon.

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