When your day starts late, for whatever reason, do you

A) just skip whatever you would normally have done in the lost hours (like missing school: if you stayed home sick in the morning, you missed history and math, but could get to science and English in the afternoon);

B) do what you would normally have done, but compress the schedule (reduce time on tasks from 30 minutes to 15, or similar);

C) focus on the top priorities, with normal (or near-normal) time spent on these tasks, and ignore the others;

D) have some other sort of late-start or short-day routine that you can put into practice without thinking too much?

Please share! I’ve been having difficulty getting to sleep, and so I get up late, rested but feeling very behind and like the whole day is shot by 8:30 a.m., and then I thrash, trying to figure out where to put my energy. When I start my day early, everything is fine, and there’s enough time, but some days that just isn’t an option. I need to figure out a clear Plan B. Or C, or D.

 

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3 thoughts on “Getting a late start

  1. Since I’m rarely awake by 8.30 a.m., I can’t answer this question!

    But when I’m feeling behind I prioritize, and I focus: getting through a bunch of stuff, or a task or two that really matter, feels good and as if I’m reasserting control. I also tend to have a *weekly* to-do list, which means I never feel too bad about not getting everything done on any one day. (And when the week is over, I start over, which means that although big stuff I haven’t done gets carried over, repeated tasks like going to the gym, writing for X hours, calling my elected representatives, aren’t doubled or tripled, so I don’t feel bad about last week’s shortcomings. In general I try to think of lists as a way of keeping my goals clear rather than as something to shame myself with.)

    And congrats on getting enough sleep! THAT’s an important daily achievement.

    1. That’s a nice way to think of it (sleep as achievement, I mean).

      It’s not so much when one wakes up, as whether the day is starting later than normal, and that could be because of an appointment that can only be fit in then, or car trouble, or any number of things.

      I like to get research done before anything else, and I have trouble focusing if I’m trying to do it in a 2-hour window when the plumber is going to stop by, for instance, or when someone else is vacuuming. So a couple of days this week, I’ve just given up and done things that don’t require me to focus on mental work. But then I feel guilty because I didn’t get work done. If I take up a “you snooze, you lose” attitude (option A), I don’t have to feel guilty about an individual day, but I fear getting to a point where I never do any research.

      Another complicating factor is associated time costs: a workout might be curtailed from 40 minutes to 20, for example, but going to the gym, changing and showering takes the same amount of time no matter how long one works out. So sometimes I’ll substitute a walk, but again, I can’t do that too often or my health deteriorates—I really need the gym workout.

      Mainly, I don’t do well with changes of plan unless I have *already* established back-up plans and can just deploy one without re-thinking the whole day, so I’m trying to establish a set of guiding principles for what gets re-scheduled, what has to stay, what can be cut back.

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