The Tome of Habits

The Tome of Habit is a journal of essential habits that Sri is developing one at a time in support of achieving Sri-ness.

The Habit of Regular Sleep

started late december 2020

The first habit is regular sleep, so Sri is rested and able to apply the limited amount of disciplined energy she possesses.

  • Stop working at 6PM
  • Sleep Prep Alarm at 945PM
  • Stop passive video binging after 10PM
  • In bed by 11PM


feb 03, 2021Stopping work early (5PM or 6PM) gives me 6-7 hours to purely goof-off, and by 11-12 I am ready to go to sleep. A problem though is not turning off the brain to sleep at 11, but going to 1-2AM, because I’m binge-watching something. Being able to exercise control over binging would be a possible new habit, the habit of disciplined starting/stopping.

feb 16, 2021

Recently I’ve started to wind down well before 945PM. To try to capture early morning work hours, I’ve adjust the “go to sleep” alarm from 945PM to 845PM. Combined with stopping “productive work” at 5PM or 6PM to eat and wind-down, this seems like a sustainable pace. Not as much is getting done, but maybe it’s a good balance.

mar 01, 2021

After 8 weeks of doing the regular sleep habit, I’ve found that:

  • I am waking up around the same time every day naturally, around 800-900AM!
  • I am feeling overall more relaxed, and have enough time to myself after 6PM until I go to sleep around 10-11PM
  • however: I don’t have enough time during the day to make significant work progress
  • also: The regular working/waking times do nothing for focus…if anything, it feels like productivity has dropped.
  • When deep work piles up, frustration grows and no amount of regular sleep schedule will make that go away. Since deep work is HARD, I need to call upon creative isolation and go back into hermit mode.

With that, I’ve decided to stop the regular sleep habit in favor of trying biphasic sleep  with hermit mode to regain productivity when doing hard hard work. I think the regular sleep habit is good for doing lighter work, perhaps also when being on vacation. Biphasic has worked well for me in the past. The main drawback is losing sync with people’s normal schedule as my waking/sleeping hours bounce around.

The Habit of Biphasic Hermit Sleep

mar 02, 2021

My Biphasic Hermit Mode is an unbounded sleep schedule where I aim to have a Deep Work Period start between MIDNIGHT and 8AM and a shorter Social Interaction Period for talking to people and running errands.

There are two main sleep periods to allow my brain to “reset to zero”. During Deep Work periods, I will also take short 23-minute naps to recharge when doing very difficult work.

Ideally there are no meetings at all for maximum productivity, which is important for breaking ground on difficult projects. This includes virtual meetings as well; the high energy drain that comes from meaningful conversation with people is highly distracting and induces a long cooldown period before my brain is “quiet” enough to focus on a task.

apr 04, 2021 sunday

I’ve pretty much given up on having a regular sleep schedule because of conflicting requirements:

  • I have regular meetings in the morning with family and this disrupts my schedule
  • I have to work without scheduled meetings to be able to focus on difficult work (see The Tome of Blockages)
  • I seem to work best late at night. It is much more difficult to work in the daytime due to environmental issues with glare, the need for sunlight, and various interruptions throughout the day from people I know.

So I am at a loss.

According to my ADHD evaluator, some of these might be aspects of autism, mood/anxiety, or ADHD. The diagnosis of pure ADHD is in question, but the next step is to get neuropsychological testing done to determine exactly what cognitive symptoms I have, if any.

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