This morning I forgot to bring my wallet to work and had to forego good, Caribou coffee in favor of work coffee (blegh). I remember picking up the wallet but it never got into my pocket, and I’ll probably find it at home sitting on a chair or something. I often experience these strange breakdowns in well-entrenched habits (pick up wallet, put wallet in pocket) when I’m deficient in deep sleep. Probably the new diet is to blame. Rather than coming up with something clever, I’ve decided to just call these “executive breakdowns”.
Imagine you’re tying your shoe and your mind wanders for a bit, maybe thinking about where you’re going to go after your shoes are on. Then you look down and realize your hands have begun to unlace the shoes entirely. Completely illogical, seems almost subconsciously maleficent (I have an idea that it is, but I’m still mulling it over). Now imagine these little weird mistakes happening constantly- maybe two or three per hour- and you have a good idea of what is was like back in my “bad times” when I was chronically sleep deprived. Starts to eat into the free time you probably don’t have (if you’re chronically sleep deprived).
I have an idea that this is related to Malcolm Gladwell’s little demon (I think he called it his “imp” or something?) that causes him to constantly steal little things when he’s not paying attention- pens, sticky notes, loose change, etc. He talked about it in Blink. He’s not much of a thinker, but everybody is qualified to make these pedestrian observations. Anyway, a more common one seems to be the tendency to drop things- often things that one would really rather not drop, like a glass pot of hot coffee. It also seems to be related to Tourette’s and the aspieface style of Asperger’s.
This is all fairly speculative, except for the observation that these breakdowns happen, and the observation that they happen much more frequently when one is sleep-deprived.