Staying Within the Fringes

Sep 19, 2018

The fringes of my day, those immediate moments after waking up and just before dozing off, are the least effective times for me to get anything done. I shouldn’t necessarily be planning things out or making big decisions in those moments. My mental and physical functions are starting to wind down for the night, but I often have a tendency to try and push through it by staying up later, getting out of bed, not turning the electronics off, etc.

Now – there are some instances where it has been beneficial to “jump straight into action” immediately after waking up or “lighting the midnight oil” to get a project done. But that shouldn’t be every day, probably not even once a week/month, and most certainly: not a default behavior.

The length of time that these fringes take up varies from day to day (from a few minutes to an hour or two), but they’re there every single day.

(I imagine as I work on getting my sleep rhythm in control, these fringes will stabilize or even shrink in duration; for example, I may not feel as groggy in the morning for as long. And I will be able to understand, within my nervous system, how much time I actually have in a day, how much longer I have until my body and mind starts to hit that fringe, where the fatigue sets in.)

I should be doing my best to get all of my work down in between those fringes of my day, between the immediate waking and impending sleep.

It’s been difficult to recognize those fringes, since I have been operating in a very inconsistent schedule where everything feels a bit chaotic. But now that I am beginning to normalize my schedule, clarity and calmness is starting to make an appearance – revealing that the “frantic-ness” or “fatigue,” (depending on the day), is not the only way to operate in the day. Those are getting separated to the beginning and end of the day.

As long as I do important/critical tasks, make plans, make decisions, etc. in between the fringes – then I’m more likely to get more done, in less time.

Once I recognize that I’m in a fringe, it’s often best that I either (in the morning) gently get moving so that I can wake the body up or (in the evening) decide to close everything down and properly get ready for bed. Trying to make decisions or make progress in those moments is likely to be less effective and pushing myself in a way that isn’t healthy is only going to cause a ripple effect that will have a much larger negative impact during the following days, the rest of the week, or indefinitely until I make a conscious change again.

As I develop a proper routine and set my sleep/biological rhythm in place, then I can re-evaluate.

But for now? I’m keeping on with developing and sticking to a schedule/routine and staying within the fringes.

// Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash