I'm stealing sleep again! I love it!
Ah, yes, what's "stealing sleep"?
It's a dangerous but interesting strategy. It means having a hectic, busy schedule where you run on low sleep, and grab naps/short sleeps of between 20 minutes and 2-4 hours when you have a free chance.
I'm... not recommending it. But it can be a good time...
For me, at least, every time I sleep my mind kind of "resets" to some extent. Or something like that. Thus, for a short period of time (weeks, at most), I can get a lot more high level work out of myself when I'm on this kind of schedule.
It might happen on a day like this:
5AM: Phone call
Nighttime: Assorted phone calls to the other side of the world...
On a day like that, I might wind up talking from 5AM to 5:30AM, work another hour, then sleep 3 hours before the 10:30AM meeting. After that, work for a few hours, hit the gym, shower, take the 4:30PM call, grab a nap before the 7PM meeting, and work all night.
The really interesting and cool thing about stealing sleep is getting the productivity at the expense of being tired, but then sleeping off the debt during a boring waiting period like commuting on trains or buses or airports. That's the main time I go out of my way to steal sleep - when I know I've got a bunch of boring, broken-up, not-conducive-to-producing time in front of me. Sometimes I'll work all night before something like that even if there's nothing important or urgent - I do it just so I'm tired enough to sleep in the airport.
I'll usually set 3 alarms if I'm doing this so I don't sleep through them. The most interesting thing about it, though, is the way our memory works. It's not quite linear. When taking 2-5 sleep sessions per day, it seems like there's a whole hell of a lot more time happening.
When I'm on a steal-sleep type schedule, my sense of time changes a lot. I might look at my calendar, and I realize only one day has passed since an event that seemed to be a long time ago. Or I sleep two hours, wake up, work a while, and then realize it's still the same day that started 10 hours ago.
It's weird. It's hard to describe if you've never done it.
Actually, aside from the erratic amounts of fatigue, it's quite conducive to high level work for me. Usually, when I do something quite important, some part of me starts kind of patting myself on the back for the rest of the day. Yes, there's momentum, but there's also a feeling of "well, I did enough for today."
Sleep 4 hours, bam, feels like a new day and can jam on more work.
I don't recommend this. I don't recommend against it either, but there's downsides. It's not a sustainable long term strategy. But for short boosts, it can be rather remarkable. It feels like time is passing so slowly, and so much is possible to do...