My job is mentally tiring. I find that I often have to study on it a little when I get home to keep up with the current technology, but by then, I'm often too exhausted to focus on anything.
My personal projects often involve a lot of creativity - writing, game design, business plans, etc. Unfortunately, being mentally exhausted makes it very difficult be creative, much less do any research or learning necessary.
Trying to force myself to slog through it does work, but by the time I get inspiration, it's 1 AM, and by the time I get something useful out of it, it could well be up to 4 AM. The lack of sleep hurts learning and productivity for the rest of the week, even if I get something done that night.
On the other hand, when I tell myself to take a break and watch TV or play a game, I find that I could spend all weekend on it and achieve nothing.
So, are there any recommended approaches to get enough rest and still be creative or learn something?