Grayson on All-Nighters

17 Jan

Written by Grayson Scantlebury

OK so here goes,

(First off sorry to Mack it’s taken me this long to actually put together a semi-complete thought process and post something, not that the following will be either 😀 )

So I will not claim to be an expert on All-nighters, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that Dave takes that title, in fact I’ve participated in very few during the year. Last night however, Dave, Chris and myself set off on a late night-early morning excursion. The goal of this post is to reflect on how that went and try to weigh the benefits / downsides to pulling an all-nighter.


  • We’ll start with the positive.
  • All nighters as would be expected allow you a whole slew of extra time to do work.
  • All nighters can provide you with a quieter more focused environment. “Can” being the operative term.
  • For those of whom with a long commute (apx an hour and a bit for myself, each way) all nighters save a lot of time wasted on the skytrain. For some this is a huge benefit for others not so much.
  • All nighters can be lots of fun. .. usually a good thing.


  • All nighters mess with you sleep system for more than one day following. This may have greater or lesser effects depending on the person.
  • All nighters depending on your fortitude can render the quality of the work produced a little under par. (This comes from tiredness.)
  • Multiple people, or as we discovered- 3 was more than enough to keep ourselves distracted, can interfere with productivity.
  • Can lead to burn out *Very bad*
  • Can cause you to not function the following day during classes etc… (see burn out)

The In Between

Now not all the pros and cons are exclusive to their category, some of you that are more proficient at the skill of all nighters may be able to turn that con into a pro, while the rest of you may find some horrible way to do the opposite. The key things you have to keep in mind before attempting an all nighter in my opinion are;

A) How urgent is the work I need done?

Example: its due in the morning I haven’t started it… may be a good reason

Example: its due at the end of the week but everyone else is doing an all nighter… maybe not so much

B) Do I really believe that I will be more productive during the night than I would be given an equal amount of time during the day.

Now this one is a little tricky because it depends on the person, some people function great at night, but then you have to weigh how much your productivity will suffer the follow day(s.)

C) Who else is going to pull an all nighter?

Example: our scripter is and he needs me there to work on bug fixing together…. check good reason

Example: Grayson’s there and he just bought Halo 4…. bad idea… (that and you’ll just get upset losing, j/k)

Now these are not the only factors to consider and they themselves could be broken down further, but before you decide to do a crazy all nighter make sure you ask yourself, will this benefit me or will I end up having less work produced by the end of the week. I’ll let you all decide for yourselves, but please stop and give it some thought.

I may do a follow up on suggestions for how to best conduct yourself on an all nighter, but I think Dave, or Brian would be much better suited to that. Personally I find going home the best for producing work at an efficient rate, but I can’t always bring the whole lab with me 😦

I’m now off to bed cuz wow am I tired, I just hope what I wrote is at least semi-coherent.

Thanks for reading and enjoy burning the midnight oil!


5 Responses to “Grayson on All-Nighters”

  1. nickhalme January 18, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    I used to pull a lot of all nighters until I realized it was affecting my health, and my ability to stand up straight without falling asleep.

    Really, for me, the best way to operate is to buckle down during the day and get things done. This is hard because I really do work well at night, but I try not to push the late night stuff.

    It’s a tentative balancing act that really depends on the person, like you said.

  2. Brian January 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    In my experience, it is about knowing when you do the BEST work. I do my work the best at night, but realize there is a limit. 1 or 2 in the morning and that’s it. In the morning I am easily distracted.

    Note: I am at work right now. I’m on the interwebs. ‘Nuff said.

    People all have their own internal clocks. Some are morning people, some are evening people. The problem is that humans are required to take a nap sometime in the afternoon, but it is usually seen as something babies and old people do. If we were all to take a nap after lunch, we’d be much more productive people. But I digress…

    As we say here at Radical, “work smarter, not longer.”
    Energy drinks only get you so far before your internal organs begin to fight back. 🙂

  3. McElroy Flavelle January 18, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    Many parts of the world do take afternoon naps.

    When I was in Taipei the whole city shut down between 1 and 2 in the afternoon.

    I liked it.

  4. Grayson January 19, 2008 at 5:57 am #

    I find the same thing i can do my best work up to 2-3 maybe a little later if im on a roll but much past that it gets fuzzy (even though i still think im being productive)

    morning.. never been good for me :S

  5. Grayson January 22, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    so im currently at school and its.. 3:30… and im by myself… i probably should have gone through the steps of this article…

    although in my defense i lost track of time and missed my bus

    back to work

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