Question from a reader --
"I have a project that needs to be done in 5 days. I've made solid progress on it.. but definitely will need to deathmarch / burn the midnight oil as you call it to get it done.
I still need to finish content creation, create videos, and upload them to the site. As with any project.. it's hard to say "I'm Done".. though I know shipping is necessary.
On my wall I have these reminders
1. Eat properly.
2. Drink enough water.
3. Good sleep schedule.
4. Decide on the most important thing to do the night before.
5. Reviewing and working on things first thing in the morning.
6. Limit alcohol, sugar, wheat.
7. Exercise: workout, walk, jog, and sketch.
Okay. On a more positive note, if you're going to be undersleeping (well, try not to, but if you must...) -- take large doses of Vitamin C. If you start to get a little ill, you might consider taking a small amount of Tylenol and decently flavored non-narotic cough drops towards the end. Maybe it's an old wives' tale, and maybe not, but my grandmother was a nurse and she was always recommended heavy on Vitamin C, Tylenol, and Halls coughdrops when you feel an illness coming on. It seems to work for me. The Vitamin C, at least, is darn useful. Dose up highly on it -- there's no real downside to heavy doses of Vitamin C for a few days.
You'll of course do better if you have an accountability buddy.
You might consider scheduling in a short break or two for around an hour, maybe something that's even highly useful at a scheduled time like talking to a friend who has good perspective, or a mentor.
Be able to switch between different modes of work at different times. As sleep deprivation and exhaustion comes in, natural circadian rhythyms are amplified. You'll feel (relatively) much sharper during your high-awareness and times, and (relatively) much much worse during the low times. Balance what you're doing accordingly.
Very important -- if you have low-level stuff to do (going to the printshop, etc), then make damn sure you don't do it during one of those highly creative times, since you're going to need all you've got.
Don't exercise too heavily unless you're already a highly trained athlete and know your body very well. Heavy exercise usually requires more rest/recovery, and isn't done well on limited sleep/exhaustion.
Loud enjoyable music without lyrics helps stay awake.
So does showering. If you need to think clearer, grab a shower.
Most importantly -- try not to do this, and don't do it very often. Most of life is a marathon, not a sprint. But I know it happens occasionally -- good luck and godspeed. By the way, nobody mistake any of this for medical advice, this is explicitly bad for your health, I'm not advocating any of this (just recognizing that people will and have done it in the past, and describing what I did), and definitely go talk to a physician if you're doing stupid high-exhaustion overwork stuff with any regularity.
Final two pieces of advice:
*Make a list of what bad habits you're picking up, and quit them immediately when this is over.
*Schedule a 3-5 day vacation as soon as the dust clears, literally ASAP, and enjoy it.
I know it's not good to overwork yourself, but I gotta say, that "mental overdrive" you experience when working with a tight deadline can be quite invigorating, at least when used sparingly.
Updated my time tracking recently. Before we get started, allow me to quote "How to Live 24 Hours Per Day" -
“To “clear” even seven hours and a half from the jungle is passably difficult. For some sacrifice has to be made. One may have spent one’s time badly, but one did spend it; one did do something with it, however ill-advised that something may have been. To do something else means a change of habits.”
“And habits are the very dickens to change! Further, any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. If you imagine that you will be able to devote seven hours and a half a week to serious, continuous effort, and still live your old life, you are mistaken. I repeat that some sacrifice, and an immense deal of volition, will be necessary.”
As always, I recommend you start with a low amount and build up, as I described in "The Evolution of My Time/Habit/Life Tracking."
Okay, here's my new daily tracking -
In a reply to a reader, I found myself elaborating on things about Vitamin D3 that I didn't go into in my post. My answer is a bit tinged by my own worldview, a bit off-topic (surprise!), and opinions are solely my own, but don't let that dissuade you from doing your research into this powerful vitamin.
Glad to meet a fellow D-bomber who doesn't parrot the party line of kidney damage (which happens with non D3 types). I've only taken 4,000-8,000 IU for about 3 years (depending on if I forget to take that 2nd one per day) with no supplemental sunlight and last I tested my levels were only at 55 I think. I use Carlson's Vitamin D 4.000 IU Cod liver oil gelcaps. After seeing your dose I definitely have to up a notch :D. It's funny but anything over 20 or 30 I think in the 'conventional' medical paradigm worries the docs who aren't in on the benefits of D3. They always tell me of kidney damage and that one new england milk study (which used d2 instead of d3). I'm not immortal but ever since I've started C-D bombing as I call it (1-2k grams Vit C per day and 4-8k IU Vit D per day and maybe triple that when sick) I have only gotten sick once a year or so if even that. Now doing some no/low carb action to supplement that been feeling great so far - recovered from near metabolic syndrome myself.
W-in-H: D-bombing is a most fitting descriptive :) It's heartening to meet another soldier that has seen beyond the entrenched view on recommended Vitamin D3 doses.
D FOR DISRUPTOR
Don't get me started on the establishment. They're dogged by super-slow regulatory processes, research bias, and a legal minefield around consumer protection (that last one we need, without the mission creep). To that, add the preventative nature of D3, the fact that it's not Rx, and all those faulty studies, and I'm not surprised they'd shirk at recommending higher doses. They're also liable if their recs go wrong, so why mess it?