Let's be perfectly honest with each other. Knitting and crocheting consist of a relatively few stitches. For knitting, it's knit or purl with an increase or decrease occasionally thrown in for interest or shaping. For crocheting, it's almost nothing more than how many times you wrap yarn around the hook before putting it into the fabric you are creating. Yes, this boils it down to beyond simple. But it is essentially true. Does your mind drift from what you are doing? Does the rhythm of what you are doing lull you into a hypnotic state just before your hands still and your eyes fall closed? Mine do. It's one of the reasons I love complicated patterns. They keep me active and involved in what I'm doing. However, I keep a garter stitch dishcloth handy to bedside for the times I can't quiet my mind to sleep.
This post though is how do you keep alert and active in what you are doing when you are working on either a deadline with some really simple work or are trying to get a large project done "because I'm so close". I tried to watch some television, but that either engrosses me in the plot and I forget my work in my hands. Or it bores me to sleep. I have tried music. I have tried podcasts. I have tried audio books. I have tried caffeine in various forms. I have tried some adult beverages. If there is a person who wants to talk nearby, I talk. This last doesn't always work. Either no one is home except the dog or cat or the other person doesn't want to talk because they are doing something.
So I ask, what do you use to keep alert? Music, podcasts, and audio books do help. I like the big band from the 30's sound, country, early rock. I like history, gardening or knitting/crocheting podcasts and audio books. I've been listening to the History Chicks back catalog recently. They run the gamut of time and have included a few imaginary women in their line up. I like the Gardeners Question Time podcast from BBC Radio 4. Their question and answer style from various locations in the UK appeal to me. I find that even if I know the plant suggestions won't work for my location, I do learn new things. You can see by the side bar that my favorite knitting and crocheting podcasts are listed.