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Survive an All Nighter

Survive an All Nighter

Grant Friedman

When I was in school, it was not uncommon for me to work throughout the night either studying or working on a design project. I found that at night, I could work much faster than I could during the day. In fact, I found that sometimes the quality of my work was better at night than it was during the day. There was something about working at night that really helped to grease my creative wheels so to speak. That is why I spent much of my college career working or learning at night but sleeping during the day.

While this practice worked for me on occasion, there were times when staying up all night actually worked against me; like when I would sleep through class or when I’d be too tired to run any errands that I needed to do that day. It’s for those reasons alone that most of my college professors, friends and family tended to frown upon this practice. They didn’t see it as work; they saw it as laziness and a waste of time.

While, I will concede the fact that the nocturnal life-style isn’t always the best strategy for being a successful student or designer, I do think that staying up late does have its benefits. In this article, I hope to outline some of these benefits and point out that it is ok to stay up late working or studying but only in moderation.

There are fewer distractions at night than there are during the day.

One of the best advantages to working at night is that there are fewer distractions. At night there is no one to text you, no errands to run, no good T.V. shows to distract you; it’s just you and the project that you’re working on.

Night time can be a time for learning new software or skills.

With fewer distractions, night time can be an excellent opportunity to learn new skills. Tutorial websites like PSDTUTS and VECTORTUTS can be a great resource for learning new design techniques.

Great ideas don’t always occur between 9 – 5.

Some times the best ideas occur to you while you’re at the gym, walking home from class, and yes, while you’re in bed. I’ve found that when I have a good idea, it’s best to work on it as soon as possible while it’s still fresh in my mind.

Clients aren’t always local.

I work with a lot of clients in different time zones. Keep in mind that at 10:00 pm in New York, it’s 2:00 pm in Sydney Australia. Some times, it just makes sense to work on your client’s schedule to make things run more efficiently.


While staying up all night working on projects works for me on occasion, it might not work for every one. If you’re a night owl, than working the “night shift” as I call it might work for you but if you’re most productive during the day, then I would suggest sticking with it. I’ve also found that some times it’s nice to have a break. There is a certain isolation that comes from working at night, especially during the winter months; so make sure that you get out during the day on occasion. I hope this article helps you to realize that working at night isn’t all that bad as long as it’s done in moderation. So the next time some one calls you lazy for sleeping all day because you worked or studied all night; don’t feel bad, you’re not lazy and you’re not alone.

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