It's a bit hard to stay disciplined and actually work, when nobody is holding the Axe of Firing above your head all day, but so far so good. I haven't yet succumbed to the temptation to play games at random times, but it's starting to occur to me that why the heck not? so maybe tomorrow I'll do some of that. For the first time in ages I've felt motivated to clean and organize my flat, which is utterly amazing, especially since I've felt that way for three days straight now. I think this schedule freedom thing is going to be very, very good for me.
I've gotten my build environment fully up to date and can now build working debug packages of X3 on demand, which means I'm in prime position to start code work. My big job of the day was to go through my backlog of personal emails and bug reports and put together a tasklist. I'm waiting on word from my lead on what my priorities will be for the near future. I'm hoping to get to work on improving our interal task coordination and bug tracking processes; I'd like to build a whole new system (the ones we have work fine, but are suboptimal).
Anyways, I'm waiting on word back on what I should be focusing on. In the meantime, I'm collecting some thoughts and concepts on all the various stuff that I might get assigned to, just so I'm prepared to dive right in as soon as I get my priority chart back. This month is something of a probationary period for me (my final payscale and job title will be determined by my performance this month) so I'm really itching for a chance to prove myself properly. Nobody has any doubt that I can get the job done; really we're just experimenting to find out what I'll be able to do with no other demands on my time (i.e. without an Evil Day Job). I honestly have no idea how I'll end up, so this is kind of an exploratory procedure for everyone concerned.
Getting back to the subject of sleep, I've decided I'm definitely going to say the hell with rigid sleep cycles. I'd done some looking at biphasic and even polyphasic sleep schedules, but it seems to me that the medical realities behind such schedules really aren't well understood enough yet. For instance, there seems to be some debate as to whether or not polyphasic cycles are actually healthy/possible. I've got total freedom to try anything I want, but frankly polyphase cycles seem to be even more unforgiving than a traditional monophase sleep-when-it's-dark schedule. Even worse, there seems to be doubt as to whether or not polyphase schedules allow you to recover from physical stress (i.e. hard exercise) properly. Since I'm wanting to give my Parkour interests a strong shove with this new schedule freedom I have, it would be pretty stupid to adopt a sleep cycle that doesn't let my body recover properly.
However, by direct contrast, it seems like everyone has good things to say about free-running sleep phases. I'm a firm believer that any medical "science" that tries to make strict generalizations about the good of every single human being is most likely full of crap; everyone is different. As a corollary, everyone is going to react to differing sleep patterns and cycles differently. The idea of free-running sleep is that you never actually force yourself to wake up or go to sleep; you sleep when tired, and wake when rested. Seems pretty darn good to me.
In fact, the only objection I've seen to adopting free-running sleep patterns (so far) is that it's virtually impossible to reconcile the habit with societal patterns. That's perfectly fine with me, frankly; I have no obligation to be in some building between some arbitrary hours of the day; I have no particular aversion to being asleep or awake at times people find "weird"; and in the modern world of 24-hour supermarkets, I don't have to worry about dying of hunger. Seems like this is definitely the way to go.
As a matter of fact, I've basically decided to go for it. I slept in a lot this morning, so I'll probably be up until 3 or 4 AM working/goofing off anyways. Seems like a fine time to start adopting a free-running cycle. I'm already very well adapted to living on weird sleep cycles (as evidenced by my previous journal blatherings, and the fact that I lived through the Crunch Mode period) so I'm thinking that I'll probably be fine. Every now and then I'll probably have to stretch my sleep schedule to fit someone else's convenience (meetings come to mind) but that's not a problem at all. Worst case I can just go back to sleep afterwards [grin]
Really the only genuine problem I can see is that it may be hard to resist the temptation to oversleep a lot. I'll have to develop some strict discipline in getting out of bed as soon as I wake up feeling refreshed, because I currently have a bad habit of just snoozing for another 3-4 hours and eventually getting up feeling like crap. I don't see that as a particularly insurmountable obstacle, though; just a little challenge.
My hope is that, over time, a free-running cycle will tend to keep me awake as much as needed. The idea is that I'll only be sleeping when I genuinely need rest, so I should always be near-optimum in my sleepness/awakeness ratio. I really can't see any physical health risks, either, since the whole idea is to be attentive to my body's needs. There might be some psychological stresses involved, but my mind's so screwed up, there's no way that'll cause any permanent issues [wink]
So, as usual, I came here with about three sentences worth of stuff to say, and ended up spouting for far too long. Maybe, with all this extra time, I'll figure out the magical art of concise communication.
Or maybe I'll just keep reading Dune.