This initial experiment with the 28-hour day ran for just under 16 weeks. I’m stopping during the Spring and Summer to enjoy the sun during the weekends. But, it worked so well for me that I intend to start it up again in the Fall.
The sleep time is awesome. Thursday mornings are the only days I woke with an alarm clock because that was the only day where work started within 2 hours after waking. I would usually sleep 8-9 hours without an alarm, but every 10 days or so my body seemed to need an extra 2-3 hours of sleep.
That leads to the next point, which is that you don’t really get full value from that extra 8 hours of wake time per week. If you consider the hour before bedtime when you’re starting to feel exhausted and winding down, you don’t gain much time at all. That said, these extra hours weren’t the primary reason for this, only an assumed benefit. The primary reason was to actually feel tired before going to bed to get a full night’s rest. Mission accomplished.
Do you have pets? I have two cats. Yeah, they never got used to the schedule.
No matter what my sleep schedule is or how it interferes with theirs, they
expect to get fed the same time every day. Two days out of the week I’d need
to feed them early, right before I’d go to bed, to make sure my sleep wouldn’t
get rudely interrupted by hungry cats.
The work benefits, however, met all expectations:
- That Friday off. All exempt employees should have Fridays off, because we know how many extra hours we put in. Having it as part of your schedule ensures you take it.
- Much uninterrupted time during the wee hours. Productivity during that time more than makes up for the Friday off. I can honestly say I got more done in 40 hours than a standard 50 hour week because of my smaller interruption window.
- No need to check calendar EOD Friday or stress during the weekend, because my Monday commitments were far past my arrival time.
- Easy to connect with colleagues around the world.
One drawback is when you do require input from other local colleagues. There’s always something else to do, but this drawback is particularly annoying when you need just one decision to be made at 3 a.m. so that you could work until 8 a.m. to finish the project, especially when you’re motivated to get that particular project done before all other ones.
An annoying non-work-related thing would be when an errand I forgot to take care of would pop into my head at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I would need to schedule it the following Tuesday or Friday when stores are open and I’m not working. In other words, this schedule worked well for me in all respects except when I’d need to coordinate some activities where other people are involved. Fridays and Saturdays weren’t always sufficient. This is perhaps the main negative comment that everyone who’s tried this has stated, that the rest of the world isn’t on their same schedule. Although I do like that I don’t get interrupted at work as often, I don’t like that I can’t go shopping whenever I want.
But, all-in-all, I’ve enjoyed it and plan to do it again. For now, I’ll take the time to enjoy the sun on the weekends and spend more evenings out. Now that I’ve learned of f.lux (and melatonin if necessary), I’m hoping to be able to wind down okay after being awake only 16 hours. The 24-hour day—my next experiment.