Choosers Keepers, Losers Sleepers
All good things come to an end; this, too. Come down gradually.
Expect to wind down sooner or later. You might be able to do this for a few weeks or six months, but, I think, not forever. Go back to your ordinary hours gradually, in response to your body’s preferences. It might take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get back to a fully normal schedule.
Don’t brag. Maybe you can do this, but most of your colleagues can’t. Don’t be condescending about their living on normal schedules. You don’t have to hide your oddness, but anything that could be interpreted, even between the lines, as your looking down on anyone else for failing to be dedicated could get pie in your face. Or, could get your work sabotaged and you fired.
Why Not Those Other People
Don’t kill’em. You should not assemble a crew and have them do this. Do not pay people to stay awake for extraordinary hours. You don’t want the liability for sickness or shoddy work or collapse or flowers.
What you do to yourself and what you expect of others are quite different. You know yourself well; other people know themselves better. This is from my individual experience (except I’ve never been locked up or put close to it). I think one chief executive advised her staff not to ask me to stay late but that, if I did, it was okay. I usually did.
Winding Down with Insomnia
During your winding-down days, when you’re heading back to being more or less regular for the long haul, you could have difficulty sleeping. Insomnia is no big deal. You’re used to being up. Get up and do something that you can put down anytime. For instance, read a book that’s not yet due. Practice dancing. Write letters. Exercise. Garden at midnight. But don’t start cooking, because you might forget to turn the stove off. And maybe all the rest is dangerous, too, in your condition. Be aware. Be self-aware. Be very.
Don’t use medication to come down. Eat healthy food, eat when you feel like it, and don’t eat when you don’t feel like it.
Being flaky during recovery is okay, as long as you’re aware and making sound decisions. Decisions to do nothing can be sound decisions. Relax. Rest. Hopefully, you can start your Ph.D. studies a few weeks from now.
Other folks hanging around while you recover may be a good or bad idea. Choose for your self-benefit. If folks are absent, don’t chase them. You’ll do fine.
Staying in Recovery Awhile
After you’ve descended to more comfortable schedules, stay there for some months before you try this again. Your body is rebuilding itself. Don’t expect to soar into mania for years on end, and don’t let anyone else expect you to. Take it one period at a time.
Even so, you may pick up serious work whenever you’re ready for it. Just the round-the-clock stopless scheduling should wait until you’re fully recovered from the last time.
The foregoing procedure may not be complete, but it’s pretty close. If you understand your own needs well and have enough freedom, adapt these methods to fit. If you mostly do what other people do, skip all this and stay with the 8–12-hour day.
But it’s sure fun while it lasts.