The nocturnal workers' thread


Greetings fellow nocturnal workers, i thought a thread to celebrate all things nocturnalness was appropriate. Today I finally realised that after trying for the best part of the last year to work 9-5 hours, I just can't produce the quantity and quality of work that I'm able to produce in the small hours. So I'm changing my working hours to suit my most productive periods.

I don't know what everyone else thinks, but there's too much visual and audible noise in the daytime which stops me from getting into the "zone". I guess it's horses for courses depending on whether you're and owl or a lark, but what time of day does everyone else produce their best stuff?


am a night owl as well. my best work is produced between 10pm and 3am.


Unbelievable. Sylvester, you truly sound like my soulmate. It's 2.13am, I just ordered a double cheese pizza delivery, drank a bottle of coffee to stay awake and hope to pull now a nice all nighter to make up for this weeks procrastination. Funnily, I always thought that it's only the PhD which makes me do this, but even now I still find myself unproductive during the day and highly productive during the night.

"All night long, I'm working, all night long...all night long"


I'm with you two! I'm absolutely crap during the day, don't really manage to get much done. However at night, for some reason, I can get loads done.


It's something I've kind of known about myself for years but I've tried to force myself into doing it during normal daylight hours. It doesn't work as I never manage to generate any momentum in the daytime, hence lots of faffing around and general procrastination. If I'm going to stand any chance at all getting this done in 3 years me thinks burning the midnight oil will be the only way. Just as well I don't suffer from seasonal affective disorder!


Me too! It's got a bit extreme though, going to bed at 8am after a night of thesis-writing is OK apart from when the rest of the world wants to bother you during the 9-5 zone


Same here sylvester


Anyone burning the midnight oil this evening? Do you find that even though you are most productive at night, you still feel guilty for not getting the work done during the day - or is that just me??


not just you


mokey, i worked late last night, too, but didn't log on to the forum as i was really glad to get to bed once i was finished! (was preparing for a class i teach on monday mornings)

i know what you mean about feeling bad... this happens to me often and i find myself having to work consciously on it. keep telling myself "this is just how it is, how i work, the best i can do... no point in making it worse by feeling guilty about it!"
still, can't deny that i DO feel guilty about it. for example i avoid letting my housemates realize when i get up really late after a long night...


I've always been like this, undergrad to MA and now phd - I can only ever get "real" work done at night. I TRY do do 9-5 (well, 10-6, 11-7, whatever ;) ) but I find that the only work I can do during the day is communication, transcribing, data-input, filling-in forms etc. I can't do the real thinking/theorizing and writing stuff that really makes the phd until the wee small hours!!!


There is something really special about burning the midnight oil. I wrote my best undergrand and MSc pieces by working through the night. I have to say that now though, the latest I can go to is 1am in the morning! Trying to match with my partners working hours is one reason!


Yep, burning the midnight oil here, and going along nicely. I also feel guilty for not being conspicuous around the dept in the daytime. It's like I feel I have to be seen, and seen to be working. In truth, i doubt my supervisors are even bothered what hours i work so long as I'm producing the goods (which daytime working clearly isn't doing for me).

Since I reverted back to this way of working I'm feeling somewhat reassured. For awhile i was questioning whether I was capable of higher level thought, somehow remembering that I was able to do it on my dissertation but seemingly not anymore. In fact, it's still there, I merely forgot that I wrote my dissertation late at night and now I've rediscovered that way of working. My confidence is returning!


Hmm this thread is making me think... I have been wondering lately why I felt I was able to do great work as an undergrad/MSc but nowadays I can't seem to do any of the 'higher thinking' that you are talking about sylvester... But now that I think about it I always did that kind of work at night! Maybe I need to go back to that way of doing things?!?! But same as you bulbs I have been trying to fit in with my partner's working hours... Another problem is I teach a few early morning classes so couldn't stay up too late or they'll think that I'm a zombie lol!!!

But it's definitely something to consider so thanks Anything's worth a try at this stage


I think I'm going to be having another all-nighter...I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me - so glad to have found this post. I don't know if anyone watches the weekly 'cutewithchris' on youtube but "morrre cwoffee" comes to mind! Anybody else up?