My Career, Sans Ladder

October 05, 2005

Scared to sleep

A big issue with being unemployed is dealing with the large amounts of unstructured time. Without really noticing it, three hours just slipped by and all I did was have lunch, watch some TV, and take a nap.

My body has this reaction to make itself sleepy whenever I'm uncertain of what I'm working on. When I say scared to sleep, I don't mean like this, but in a "scared to death" kind of way. There are various levels - from yawning in a meeting when I don't understand what's being discussed, to taking a nap when there's no reason to. It's frustrating to feel tired when I know I should be doing something else.

Not sure if this happens to others, but if it does, any advice on how to overcome it?


  • I do have a similar problem, although I hadn't consciously associated it with fear. (I think you're right to do so, though.) I don't have any magic solutions but here's what I've learnt about avoiding this problem for myself:

    1) Unstructured time is a killer. So I have to try to structure it, in anal, boring ways like to-do lists (that I have to complete before I'm allowed a nap).
    2) Making myself leave the house - run errands, go for a walk, meet friends; it doesn't have to be ostensibly productive. Napping the day away heightens my sense of fear and uselessness. Getting out there gets me thinking more constructively.
    3) Eating bread for lunch makes me sleepy almost immediately. If I can avoid wheat, I stay awake longer. I deeply (and irrationally) resent the idea that eating something yummy causes me problems, but there it is. You may or may not have the same problem.

    By Blogger ScroobiousScrivener, at 7:17 AM  

  • thanks for the tips...I've never been very good with making/keeping schedules, but I think I'm just gonna have to work on it.

    luckily there seems to be an abundance of productivity hacks online (as long as I stay focused :)

    By Blogger adam, at 5:26 PM  

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