How I scare the crap out of myself to avoid feeling like a zombie the next day

office-zombie

Working late at night is sort of great. There are no distractions, fewer obligations, it even feels sort of weird to send someone an email once it gets too late. It’s a fantastic time to focus.

But if I get carried away with it, I really end up paying for it the next day. The satisfaction of a late-night work binge is a lot less awesome when I’m dragging through work like a zombie. Sleep-debt is real and it hits me hard.

But I’ve found a great way to make sure I don’t let myself get completely consumed with work late at night.

I scare the hell out of myself with an automated phone call after I’ve done more than 30 minutes of productive work after midnight.

“Hi! RescueTime has a message for you: What the hell are you doing working so late! Go to bed!”

The phone call works because of the timing. Phone calls during the day, whatever, kind of annoying, actually. But a phone call in the middle of the night is really jarring, no matter what. It freaks me out. “What the hell? Who’s calling me? What’s wrong!? Oh yeah, It’s just me working too late.” Even though I snap back to reality and realize what it is pretty quickly, it’s just enough of a jolt to knock me out of the hole I’ve fallen down.

It’s scary, and that’s why it works. 😈

You can set this up for yourself pretty easily. You’ll just need a RescueTime Premium account, and an account with either Zapier or IFTTT.

Step One: Set up the alert on RescueTime:
rescuetime

You can set the specific details to suit your needs. This is your rational self sending a message to your preoccupied future self, so adjust the message accordingly (My personal message is more aggressive than the one in the template 🙂 ).

Step Two – Option A: Use this Zap on Zapier

Step Two – Option B: Use this Recipe on IFTTT
IFTTT Recipe: If a RescueTime alert goes off, deliver the message with a phone call. connects rescuetime to phone-call

Hope that helps those of you with workaholic tendencies spook yourself into less long nights! Happy Halloween y’all!