How to be a Productive Night Owl in an Early Bird's World

Monday 7 April, 2014


You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking the world revolves around morning people. It’s something that dates back to our high school days – classes start early so students who do their best early in the day receive better grades, get into better universities and colleges, get better jobs and then have the freedom to run business to suit their schedule later in life.


But that doesn’t have to mean that you’re doomed only because your body clock is a little bit different. If you consider yourself more of a night owl you can still take advantage of your more productive hours. Even if the rest of the world lives by a different set of hours, here are four ways you can reap the rewards: 


Create a realistic schedule

Consider how many hours of sleep you need and which hours you’d like to have available for your creative or career pursuits. Night owls like to stay up late, not stay up all night. So it’s certainly not impossible to figure out an appropriate routine around the times that you work best, say you go to bed at midnight and wake up at 7:30am- you’ll have a few hours after most others have gone to bed and you should be up early enough to get to work and get on with your day.


Shorten the commute

In most offices it’s usually quite normal to arrive at work by 8:30-9 a.m. And that’s ok for night owls. The long drive/commute is what forces people out of bed so early. If it’s possible, move closer to work so you can cut out the need to be awake in those few hours before work. If a move isn’t an option, ask your boss if you can work from home one or two days per week so you can have some more sleep during the week.


Request some flexibility

Some people are lifelong night owls. These employees may have trouble getting to an early job on time but prove their true value in the late hours of the day - which is usually towards the end of the day for most people. Ask your boss if it would be possible to shift your hours back so that the business can make the most out of your productive periods, as opposed to seeing the best of you for only a couple of hours. It’s a win-win. 


Arrange a time schedule with your partner/spouse

It’s one thing asking for flexibility at work. The home front can be just as demanding for night owls, especially if they have children. The need to get the kids on the bus at 7:30 a.m. pulls many a night owl out of bed far earlier than they would like. One solution? Try volunteering to do the bedtime routine if your spouse does the morning run.


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