Are early risers more productive than the night owl? Possibly. However, a lot can be said of those that tend to stay up late into the night like owls do. There is something about working late at night after everyone else has gone to sleep; there’s so much less distraction and the peace is so divine! Quite often, night owls get a bad rap for being lazy slackers, but those late-night hours can be some of the best for getting meaningful work done.
“Night is purer than day; it is better for thinking and loving and dreaming. At night everything is more intense, more true. The echo of words that have been spoken during the day takes on a new and deeper meaning. The tragedy of man is that he doesn’t know how to distinguish between day and night. He says things at night that should only be said by day.”
― Elie Wiesel
Become a more productive night owl, by using the night hours to your advantage:
- Ensure you get seven to eight hours of sleep.
The fact that you went to bed at 2:00 a.m. does not imply that you can sleep until noon. Not only will this mess up your meal times but sleeping too much will make you woozy almost for the rest of the day, thereby rendering you much less productive.
- Getting too little sleep can also be damaging. It is a well-known fact that we human are more productive when we have our daily seven hours of sleep than when we only get six or less hours of sleep.
- Try and have a nap.
Regardless of when you go to bed, you’ll notice that at a point during the day your attentiveness plummets. For those that work a typical 9 to 5 job, that low point tends to be around 2:00 p.m. Depending on the time that you go to sleep and wake up, your low point will vary. Where and when it is possible, this is the perfect time to take a 30 to 60 minutes’ nap to boost your alertness.
- Develop a morning routine.
As a late riser, you need a morning routine to help you get your day off on the right foot. Establish a routine that gets you in full swing and puts you in the right setting for a productive evening.
- Consider the morning.
As night owl and late riser, when the tendency to want to sleep for a few more hours arises, remember the rest of the world is getting busy. Cars are driving up and down the street. Your spouse or roommates are making noise. The phone starts ringing. Not to mention that blasted sun starts lighting up the world.
- Be geared up for these things. Turn your phone ringer off. Close your window blinds and curtains. Think about using ear plugs to reduce the effect of noises when you’re sleeping.
- Manage your time tactfully.
Staying up late and doing nothing productive is unwise. The early hours in the morning and late night hours are best when it comes the least distractions. As a night owl, use the later hours for your creative work and enjoy the peace and quiet.
- Use the early parts of your day to do those monotonous work, such as returning phone calls and answering emails.
- Have a hard cut-off time.
You need to be self-disciplined as it can be quite difficult to stop working when it’s 4:00 a.m., and the productive and creative juices are still flowing. Reflect on what happens to the following day if you stay up too late. Your sleep and meal cycles are disturbed, and your day will be off-schedule. Have a set time where you call it a night and go to bed.
- Have a set wake-up time, too. Night owls can be long and undisciplined sleepers. This is a mistake and lowers your effectiveness.
- You can also have an evening routine. It can be challenging trying to unwind and go to sleep after working furiously for a few hours and into the early hours of the morning. Ensure work is not the last thing you do before going to bed. Spend at least 30 minutes unwinding, such as listening to calming music, reading, or watching a little of an inspiring DVD or television program.
Not everyone is cut-out to be an early riser. Some of the most amazing people in history were night owls. Winston Churchill, Bob Dylan, Barack Obama, and Voltaire are just a few examples. Productive night owls are rarer than productive early birds. However, some people do their best work later in the evening and so can you too.