Some people are naturally more productive and energetic in the mornings while others thrive at night. Unfortunately for night owls a lot of jobs require an early start and a schedule that resembles something close to 9-to-5. If you’re a natural night owl who is struggling to adjust to such an early start time, these 8 tips may be helpful!
1. Night Preparation
From writing down what you need to do the next day so you can go into the office and automatically get to work to layout your clothes and your lunch for the next day, night preparation is essential for anyone who isn’t an early bird. You don’t want to get up any earlier than you need to and that’s understandable! But, if being a night owl is causing you to show up late because you’re slow to start in the mornings, you need to start doing more of your preparation for the next day the night before.
2. Take Some Work Home
You know you hit that productive sweet spot later in the day, either when other people are winding down or even later into the evening and night. Why waste it? If possible, try to take some of your work home so you can do it during your peak productive times. If not, you can at least use some of your most productive hours to learn new skills, brainstorm ideas that you can implement at work, or go out and network with people in your industry.
3. Ease In Through Automatic Tasks
Do you know that old adage that you should swallow the frog (aka your hardest task) first thing in the morning? That doesn’t apply to night owls like you! Start your mornings out with tasks that you find easier or that are automatic.
4. The Harder the Work, The Later in The Day
If you’re doing automatic tasks in the morning then it would make sense that you should save your harder work for later in the day when your problem-solving engines are spinning a little faster and your productivity is naturally boosted by your internal rhythms. While you can’t always schedule your days to perfectly fit your circadian rhythms, you can make this general shift in your schedule and adapt it when necessary.
5. Streamline Your Mornings
Automation is the key to success when it comes to a quick, stress-free morning routine. Prepare as much as you can the night before and wake up at the same time every day, do the same things in the same order, and get out of your house on time. Cutting out as much as possible from your morning routine and adding it to your night routine will help. Moving closer to your job or finding a job that’s closer to your home will help even more. Just make your morning routine as effortless, automated, and concise as possible and you’ll be able to get to work on time and start working despite the early hour.
6. Don’t Forget Sleep
One thing that night owls with early schedules can often forget to do is sleep. You’re so busy being productive during your peak times that you forget to hit the hay at a reasonable hour and get the 7-9 hours most adults require to be at their peak levels of functionality. Prioritize staying hydrated and getting enough sleep and you’ll be amazed at how much more productive you’ll feel in the mornings, even if they aren’t your favorite time of day.
7. Let Your Collaborators Know
Don’t feel like you need to hide your night owl status at work! Let your collaborators know that you’re a little slower in the morning and do your best work later in the day so you can all adapt to each other’s schedules and understand each others’ strengths. Chances are you work with a mix of morning people and night owls so they’ll understand what it’s like to feel more productive at a certain time of day and be more likely to accommodate your shift in schedule if they know why you’re doing it and how it positively affects your performance at work.
8. If All Else Fails to Find Flextime or Telecommuting
Work/life balance improving benefits like flextime and telecommuting is becoming more common and, if you just can’t seem to adjust to an early morning start, you may need to look for a job that offers one or both of these benefits so that you can work later in the day or avoid your lengthy daily commute. While it may seem like an extreme measure to look for a new job simply to accommodate your night owl ways it could improve your life and have a positive impact on the work you put out.
Early birds may catch the worm but night owls can be just as productive if not more so! Follow these 8 tips and you’ll be able to conquer that early morning start time and 9-to-5 schedule and have just as much career success as an early bird would.
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