It’s 00:25 here right now. My brother’s asleep. My mum’s asleep. Even the dog is asleep. And yet here I am, attempting to write my media coursework. People who aren’t students are often surprised when I reveal to them that I did this piece of work, or that essay, overnight. It continues to confuse me.
For me personally, this is the best time of day to work. How often is it that your family are asleep, it’s quieter than the Night Before Christmas, and you haven’t got that annoying little list of “things I must do before today is over” rolling around in your head? In my house at least, I’ve always got some kind of distraction during the day. My dog will come and see me, holding a toy and putting on his please-play-with-me eyes. My brother might come in and ask if I want to go on the PS3. Mum wants a chat, friends call or text, and twitter is at its busiest. Right now, at half past midnight, I have none of that. I can hear the faint rustling of the tree in my neighbour’s garden through my slightly open window, the noise of the rain on the glass, and all I have to worry about is what I’m trying to write. It’s almost… relaxing. Which is something coursework rarely becomes. There is of course the underlying pressure of the consequence of not getting this done by Monday, but at this time of night, when everything else is dead, any sense of what time it is or how long I have left kind of vanishes.
I’m not suggesting everything should be done at this time of night, especially if you’re not used to being awake late. I fully anticipate being awake until at least 2am to try to finish this, and that doesn’t work for a lot of people. But next time you’re stressing out over a mildly-urgent piece of work, leave it until everyone else is in bed, and get cracking. You might surprise yourself.