Why Developers Work at Night

There's something about nighttime that brings out creativity. Maybe it's the silence in the air. Maybe it's a quiet inbox or a silent phone. Either way, there’s a trend among programmers of staying up late at night to pound away on keyboards.

Here are some reasons why many developers enjoy working at night.

A Tired Brain Helps You Focus

When you want to boost your brain power, nighttime is a good time to do it. The logic behind why this works might be a bit difficult to understand, but when your brain's tired, it's actually able to focus better. This is because when you're tired, your brain has to work extra hard to focus. So, it does exactly that.

During the day, your brain is prepared to focus. Our body is naturally geared toward a 9-5 schedule. We're prepared to learn and be active. Then why would our brain work at night? It's due to the fact that your brain has to make itself focus. It doesn't have the luxury of doing the job halfway. It has no choice but to focus on the task in front it, because otherwise, it won't get done.

Think about what it's like when you've had too much caffeine. Your hands are jittery and your thoughts are darting around everywhere. It's hard to focus for longer than a minute or two. This is similar to your brain during the day. It's ready to go. It's ready to take everything in. That's not always a good thing.

While this can be a asset when focusing for a long period of time, your brain still needs rest to function on a high level day after day. Many developers tend to get their rest starting very early in the morning (say 3am) and lasting close to noon.

You Have Adopted the Maker's Schedule

We are taught from a young age that we're expected to get your typical job and adhere to your typical schedule. That doesn't work for everyone, though. Especially for developers. Often times, developers will adopt what's referred to as "The Maker's Schedule."

What is The Maker's Schedule? It's a schedule for people who are creators. You see, there are basically two types of schedules in this world. The second, more unusual schedule is the PM one. A lot of developers feel like a nighttime schedule makes them more productive.

During the day, there are so many distractions. Even a quick 10 minute interruption can result in the loss of up to an hour of time. It's hard to get back into the groove of what you were doing when you get pulled away from it. Especially for developers. Their job requires a great deal of concentration. When that concentration's broken, it's hard to get it back.

It's also difficult to feel tired when you've been staring at a bright computer screen all day. Your brain will be far more alert than someone who works in retail or something. It's natural for your brain to not want to shut off after all of the light.

Don't let anyone shame you about working at night. You don't have to adhere to anyone else's standards about when you should and shouldn't be working or sleeping. Do what feels right for you. If that's "The Maker's Schedule," then enjoy the silence. You'll be surprised how productive you can be.

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