Over the years, I’ve decided I’m a solar-powered creature. As the days shorten and darkness descends by 5 pm, a familiar pattern returns: I am ambitious in the morning, when the sun shines bright, but my productivity declines in late afternoon, as daylight wanes.

As a young and foolish grad student, I regularly burnt the candle at both ends, relying on caffeine and sugar to fuel late-night into early-morning grading sessions. But as I’ve slouched into middle age, my body no longer tolerates late-nighters. For good or ill, my lamp doesn’t burn midnight oil.

After-dark hours are best spent on monotonous pursuits like folding laundry or cleaning litter boxes: tasks that rely more on muscle-memory and repetition than intellectual rigor. Rather than working late into the night like a Hop-To-It Hare, I’ve learned to leave for tomorrow the daylight tasks my Inner Tortoise couldn’t finish today.