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Sometimes when I'm bored I work in the evenings and even into the night on work related projects. Is this a bad thing?

Will it harm future productivity during the day? Should you strictly limit yourself to working 9-5?

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alternet.org/visions/154518/… –  HLGEM Jul 19 '12 at 22:18
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+1 good question that many people should think on. –  Thell Sep 5 '12 at 0:13

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One thing always to do is to ask yourself why it is so. if you are young and passionate about work then i must remind you that having a perfect work life balance is very important. Not having a perfect work life balance will be disastrous in the long run. If you are unorganized then organize yourself. If on a project with deadline then completely refuse to work overtime after sometime. But exceptions here and there as @siva pointed out is always ok. But exceptions shouldn't go on for long time :). Think and do what best for you and you know what is best for you, not your boss.

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There is no such thing as a "perfect" work-life balance--real life pretty much eliminates any chances of perfection. Even if there was, it would be different for everybody. –  Dave Newton Sep 5 '12 at 0:39

I think if you plan what you want to accomplish, working in the evening can be super helpful. I've found if I leave it open-ended and just decide to get some work done, randomly, I either stay up way too late or feel guilty about going to bed....clear goals for the evening make me feel like I've accomplished something.

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It doesn't really matter in which time interval you work, but what matters is fresh mind and energy to approach the problem you are going to solve with your thinking.

If we take examples of students in school, all will have different physical clock set for reading, some will like to get up early in the morning and some will be comfortable reading late nights. I don't think there will be any difference in their understanding while reading. Both will be equally powerful as they know which time is good for themselves. The same idea is applicable with working professionals, too.

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Sometimes when I'm bored I work in the evenings and even into the night on work related projects. Is this a bad thing?

No!

Will it harm future productivity during the day?

No!

Should you strictly limit yourself to working 9-5?

No!

The true enemy is not over-work, it is being bored. Unless, of course your closing in on burn-out. Don't confuse 'bored' with 'idle' though, rejuvenation is required for peak performance in most anything we try to do.

I've heard about this 'balance' thing my whole life but have yet to meet anyone who has accomplished something great and grand who practiced that balance while doing the thing that is great and grand. For that matter, I've never read or heard about such a person either. They just do not go hand in hand...

If performance during a particular period of time is what is most important to you then you need to work on perfecting that timing and matching your physical and mental clocks to it, then go all out during that time period. If performance of a particular task is what is most important then plan that task to your performance schedule. ( Just recently an article was published, I forget where, about how top performers work late into the night after having taken a 'break' to be with the family. Ever heard that saying, work-hard, play-hard, crash? Notice that bored is not in there. If it is in your power to control what you do and when you do it be very aware of ever feeling bored it will permeate most aspects of your life and drain you of energy.

Activity begets activity. The timings and cycles will change over the years but the rule will always remain.

Have fun.

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"The true enemy is not over-work, it is being bored." True. But there is also another enemy: sleep deprivation. It harms performance and memory. So working into night once at a time is okay, but doing it regularly and accumulating sleep deficit could be harmful in long term. –  Viliam Búr Oct 23 '13 at 13:26
    
@Viliam: I don't agree. I think it is different for each individual (based on physical and mental shape, metabolism,...). After my 9-5 job I also work on my projects late in the evening and night (let say 22p.m. - 02a.m.) and it works... So on average, I sleep 4h/day and I still feel productive. –  DataSmarter Oct 25 '13 at 9:41

Certainly it will affect productivity during the day in the form of dizziness. Its always not good to do more work beyond the work hours, you need to be honest to yourself and determine whether does it require extended work hours are not. You need to plan your work ahead and see how you can complete on time. Exceptions are always ok.

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