T Nation

Work+Life Balance

I left my old job a few months ago to take a PhD position, which requires in addition to classes to do as much research as possible (practically this is 20 hours a week but it varies). I have a pretty good system going where I work from 11-7 or 8 6 days a week even though I have no set hours. What I am finding, however, is that I am having a lot of trouble getting my mind off work when I am done with it. When it is 10pm at night on a Friday, for example, I cant help but think there is something that I have to be doing. Sometimes Ill wake up at night in a panic thinking “Shit, Ive gotta do that too.” or “I have to get this done by tomorrow as well.” I need to figure out a way to let this stuff go, as it is affecting my sleep and my productivity.

I know I am taking the right steps and am doing the right things because one colleague in particular gave me a complement on my work ethic, which I really needed because I was feeling like shit prior. My prior job had very strict rules and hours, so while the work itself sucked I knew after about 4 or 5pm on any given day I could leave it at the office and do whatever the hell I want. I am not used to setting my own hours and still finding time to chill out. It probably doesnt help that I am a workaholic haha.

So to the people of T-Nation who have jobs that arent a fixed 9 to 5, how do you get your mind to separate from work?

Young academics smoke weed.

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I have similar issues during my busy season at work. I’ll see spreadsheets in my dreams and randomly come up with solutions to problems in the middle of the night.

This was the remedy recommended to me, by a supervisor.

I didn’t sleep much this whole summer due to work. I have a large project that is one poorly worded email from lawyer involvement. Usually a workout, some whisky and reading before bed will calm my mind. On more stressful days, I usually get a very solid buzz.

On even worse days…

I much prefer an edible. I hate smoking it.

Reading before bed is a good one.

Is the Beaver State, a legal state? Can you get edibles like I get Little Debbies?

Nope, I have a security clearance and would rather not lose it over that. Plus it give you man boobs and lowers testosterone if you do it too much.

Yep, have been so for a year now.

An edible a day, per dispensary. I have lost count of the dispensaries within a 5 mile radius of my home.

Do you have any issues or problems in your community, having all those places around?

Any crime, or general scrum bags hanging around? Or is everybody pretty normal?

I’ve never been good at this. But for a couple of brief periods, I’ve never had a job that didn’t require 60-70 hrs. per week. I also obsess over better/faster ways to do things which makes for those episodes of popping awake in the middle of sleep with a solution.

I think that some people (like me& many others) literally can’t shut it down. I also wake up at the exact time required without an alarm clock, whether it’s a 45 min. nap or 3:00am one day and 5:00 am the next.

I find it addicting, quite frankly, but when I start to realize Im forgetting about other things in life then I feel like it needs to be addressed.

You might be an educatioholic. Look up your local chapter of academics anonymous. I know a few of people with one PhD, some with two, masters, and multiple minors. Some of them are unreachable. Once they crossed that line into professorship it was obvious that their path was set and it was going to be a way of life.


To preface, I could count on two hands how many times I have used. I’ve always been against it’s legalization, because of the the perceived effects insinuated by your question, as well as I don’t think most people can act responsibly. With that said…

On a personal level, no, it hasn’t changed or impacted my life in any way. I haven’t noticed any additional crime, scum hanging around, etc. Although, I live in an area with fairly high crime rates and poverty, but this is mostly due to the number of prisons in my area. I live in a good neighborhood, so I am insulated, I suppose. Weed has been legal here for quite some time medicinally, and doesn’t have the same negative connotation has other places I have lived. Too be honest, I don’t think many additional people, like myself, are using due to the legal change. Instead, it just gives people a more convenient place to purchase. Everybody who wanted to use before, either got a script, or just had a dealer. I dislocated a finger and was offered a script, really not hard to receive at all.

On a non personal level, from what I hear, DUIs are up. Also, a serious issue is that owners’ of dispensaries cannot put their money in a bank, because banks are federally insured, and MJ is federally illegal. They end up leaving the money in safes in their shop, and there have been quite a few break ins. I have a banker friend who says that people frequently come in to open an account, claiming they are in the agriculture business… he’s apparently had to go through quite a bit of training to identify ‘money laundering’.

On a positive note, a taffy is like $3 and will put you to sleep.

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Falling asleep isn’t an issue, but I have this problem. I wake up, without an alarm, thinking about work and can’t go back to sleep. Fortunately, 95% of the time it is a reasonable time to wake up. I’ve just taken it as motivation to do morning cardio, respond to emails, or get some reading in.

If you’re doing a PhD the only answer to finish.

If you’re thinking research and number of hours worked, you picked the wrong gig. You may blow a year sorting through nothing, then get a publishable result in the course of a couple of weeks. It’s just how it works and it gets better once you “get on a scent” like if you were a hunting dog.

When was the last time you got laid?

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Last night around 2am, why?

And FWIW I track my hours because it helps me stay productive when I am tired. I have found that pushing myself to ensure I get 7-9 hours a day helps me stay ahead of school work so if something comes up I can allocate time as needed or take a break. As an example, because I got my work done a few days in advance I was able to take a short trip with my friends to support one of our buddies DJ at a bar we used to go too. Totally worth it haha.