Computers don’t sleep: The never-ending workday

Well, you know, sometimes it’s just hard to end the day, because over the course of the day I’m starting to build up work, starting to get things done, and then now it’s getting on to the late evening, and it’s time to go to sleep and start working again tomorrow.
Once again, a very obvious point but this is what’s hitting me now, is we really are forced into this daily rhythm.
We have to find a way to work with the daily rhythm.
I mean, in this repeating pattern, we turn ourselves on, get everything rolling, accomplish something, and then, just as we’re getting going, it’s time to wind things down into the night, have a good night’s sleep, and then, in the morning, from that place of complete sleep, start things up again, take the next leg of the journey, and then get a rest once again.
So it seems like if we’re doing heavy physical labour, it’s just automatic that by the end of the day, you know, we’ll be just so ready to rest, and it’ll be welcome.
Good honest physical labour just makes things ready to go for sleep.
But then, when it comes to this kind of mental labour, designing things, working on ideas, concepts, and especially sitting down at a desk and working at a computer, it doesn’t really lend itself automatically to being done in the evening.
This work at a computer doesn’t give that kind of satisfaction of physical exhaustion.
Instead, it’s this weird kind of mental fatigue.
The body is still awake, it hasn’t had full exercise, but the mind sort of frazzled, keyed up, nervous, stimulated by looking at the computer screen, the tired eyes.
And this is the fatigue of the 21st century worker, working in this high-tech mode.
There is no natural endpoint for the day’s work.
The world of computers and the internet is this 24-hour flashing lights in our face, and it just seems to be outside all time.
That flashing computer screen just continues to be ready for more work, on and on and on.
This is how I’ve been working most of my life, most of my life doing work through computers, and I guess it’s become normal for me, but sometimes it really stands out how much this is not a normal and automatic default state.
This is a very strange environment to be working in.
And I feel it today as I’m working this evening, building my website, and, you know, studying all this tech stuff, trying to solve pesky technical problems, head scratching, and I’m just looking for that moment where I can say, okay, I have accomplished a piece, I have taken one step, and so I can comfortably end my workday.
But I’ve just been scrambling to solve problems, and that are not immediately being solved, as I become gradually more fatigued.
And eventually I simply have to call it a day and shut things down, start it up again in the morning.
I don’t really have a solution today.
I don’t have a clear insight into what to do about this.
Simply today, I’m simply noting this thing, that in this world of technical work, in the world of computers, there’s never a natural point to rest.
It calls us to just keep going forever.
It’s up to us to find a way to break this work into good rhythms of days, so that we achieve a piece of work, rest with satisfaction, and then start again on the next piece.
But for now, I simply have to wrap it up, get myself rested, fresh brain in the morning, and start the problem again.
Postscript: I ended up staying awake another hour anyway, till I solved that technical problem, so finally my mind can rest.

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