Often I find myself trying to fit my daily routines to factors such as those of the external time, e.g. to light levels outside, and those that others around me live by.
However this often seems inconvenient- often having to round up or round down time spent on certain activities to fit them into my day. Sometimes I find myself tired which affects the quality of my work, but I 'know' it is not necessarily time to sleep due to the outside light levels and the timezone given to me, so I must carry on until some 'reasonable' time is reached.
I was wondering, is there a significant (negative) effect to the following process:
Assuming I need to do nothing which involves direct involvement of others, I attempt a task (inside, controlled temperature with lighting if needed) which I want to attempt until either it is complete, where I then move to the next task, or feel like I must postpone to perform a bodily function (eat, sleep etc.) until these themselves have been satisfied. Repeat this indefinitely, irrelevant of outside time conditions/ factors, which we assume to be reasonably 'normal'. (I have an infinite supply of food, water etc. ) Assume work can only be completed with at most minimal tiredness.
I would expect that maybe on average, the times at which humans are to proceed through the tasks match up with the 'normal timings', but I would argue that for myself, this would be caused by quite large fluctuations either side that cancel each other out. (Perhaps at some point I would wake up in the afternoon, another day go to sleep in afternoon).
I would like to know how much of our regular routines is psychologically influenced by others around us compared to how much this is intrinsically in our genetics.
These 'normal' routines seem to make sense for many primates- time of day effects ability to see surroundings, perhaps what food sources are present. But one could argue whether this is as relevant for humans with technology to overcome many of these factors.
I am aware of the Circadian clock, and that it has its own genes, and that it is maintained through certain light stimuli, but I do not know what precise functions it maintains in the body.
What would be the physiological/psychological consequences of ignoring the factors of time when completing tasks?
How much of the common human routine is psychological (from being influenced/ made to by others) compared to intrinsic instinct?
Are there any sources/studies conducted on this before?