Are You An Efficient Early Riser or Energetic Night Owl?


Some would say getting an early start on the day is the best way to go.  You have the opportunity to get focused early on and tackle the day’s tasks and projects with little to no distractions.  Then, when the rest of the world wakes up, you’re already a few hours ahead of the game.

Others profess that tackling the “have to’s” early on in the day allows you to do the “get-to’s” as the day draws to a close.  Many people have had the day to allow ideas and strategies to percolate throughout the day and spend the wee hours making those ideas happen.  In essence, they’re getting a head start as well – just really late the night (or early morning) beforehand.

Then there’s the ever-present question of when you need to be available to others, such as family, friends and colleagues.  That plays into how you tackle your day just as much as anything else.

So, WorkAwesome readers, are you an efficient early riser or do you find you work better as a night owl?  We’d love to hear from you!


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Mike Vardy an editor on Work Awesome. We could tell you where his personal productivity parody site, Eventualism and all of his other projects reside on the web, but you'd be best served going to Vardy.me and following the trail of virtual bread crumbs from there.

Discussion

  1. Lorenzo on the 24th May

    Work from home designer. At my desk at 9:30am till about 6pm, then cook dinner and hang with the wife for when she gets back till about 10pm and then back to the desk from about 10pm till 2am. Weekends at the desk Saturday and Sunday for a 2 or 3 hours and each night back to the 10pm – 2am.

  2. James Macfie on the 24th May

    Waking up early and getting things done is a great feeling – I love it when you look at your watch about mid-afternoon and think ‘this has been a good, long, productive day’, or even just a long day. The more time I have in the sun the better too.

  3. Michael on the 24th May

    I use to be an amazingly productive night owl. But since I took a web developer office job, now Im more lazy then ever since I have to get up early for my job and it just does no cope with me. I lose a lot of sleep because of this.

  4. Amber Cleveland on the 24th May

    I am much more efficient at night. I am able to tackle the more time consuming and difficult tasks because I know the minor stuff was taken care of during the day.

  5. Claude on the 24th May

    I am more productive at night, as in over night. But because of a long commute I’ve switched it up and now get to work before 6AM and get a ton of work done before the rest of the team arrives.

    This early schedule allows me to head home earlier than most, beat the traffic and have dinner with my wife and daughters almost every day. I think the time with them will be more valuable over time.

  6. Jeff Geerling on the 24th May

    I’m much more of a night owl; half of my best work (in my estimation) has been done between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

    Unfortunately, my job is very strict about the 9-5 hours, so most mornings, I’m dragging (even if I get a full 8 hours of sleep—which I rarely get), and I don’t really get in any kind of rhythm until about 10:30 or 11 a.m.

    I can crush through a task list (even without caffeine or other enhancements) if I work after dinner/evening.

  7. Ivan Cosic on the 24th May

    I WAS a night owl, moving to become effective riser, it works, but point is, it seams to actually sleep exact 7 hours, that’s best amount due one of the biggest REM phase is ending approx @ 7 hour mark, when I get up in estimated mark I’m full of energy for following day.

    People who claim that they can finish more during the night are actually fooling themselves. I know simply because I belonged in both teams.

    Hopefully I can get to bed once before 00:00 so I can get up earlier but that wont happen anytime soon. I will work on it tho.

  8. Glenn on the 24th May

    My creativity level is far superior at night.

    Growing up I was the one always staying up late to watch I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, and other great black and white re-runs.

    However, as I am aging I hate sleeping in because it seems there is a lot to be missed by sleeping. Then again I still have the night owl in me.

    I would say although my creativity and ability to process work in a more efficient manner through the wee hours, I find it harder to sleep as my mind is constantly racing with ideas. This is why I try my best to brainstorm and be creative no later than 8 o’clock in the evening, so I can allow my mind to rest before laying down to sleep.

  9. Mike Grace on the 24th May

    I have found that I tend to get more done in the evening. It might not be that I am more effective in the evening, but rather that I have gotten through many of the distractions of the morning. I might do better if I got up earlier and got through all the cruft of the morning and started working before the distractions started coming in.

  10. Helena on the 24th May

    aaaahhh

    the eternal question I ask myself…

    It changes every semester… sometimes even more!

    Routine doesn’t work here… :)

  11. Chris Young on the 24th May

    I’ve always been a late owl – in fact my most creative and productive times are often after 9pm. Running my own business and having a young family has allowed me the flexibility to work with my natural flow. I tend to schedule meetings for the morning, admin for early afternoon and then get into the bigger stuff later in the day; this works for me and my business.

  12. suhail on the 24th May

    I am an earlier riser, and love getting up with the early sunrise. used to be a night owl before but not now, i am a web developer, i am at my office at 8:00 am till 6:00 or 7:00 pm depending upon the tasks todo, then get back home, have food, wash clothes and prepare for the next day.

  13. Arun Gahlot on the 24th May

    I am a software engineer turned to project manager recently…and I am trying to become an early riser (4-5ish) but i am still not a regular at it…but 3 out of 5 days i try to get up early…hopefully one day it will become a part of my habit.

    I really like your blog…

  14. Aurora on the 24th May

    I would have to say, I’ve always been an early riser, even when I did freelance work. Now that I’ve got a job in publishing, I have to get up at 5:30 and be on the road 6:30 to be on time for work… I do drive a bit of a distance, but I’m loving my job, and rising early makes it worth it!

    And yes, that feeling of knowing that you did a full day’s work is very satisfying.

  15. Luce on the 25th May

    I produce well at night. But too well… I don’t see the hours pass and it screws my day “after”.

    Morning’s good for the concentration of the brain and the motivation (with the sun, the quiet and all) but it’s harder to focuss because there’s so much more you’d like to do while you’re up…

    :)

  16. Simon MacDonald on the 25th May

    I am a night owl who is forced to be a morning person because of my job. Sadly my brain doesn’t get going until 10am most days. That’s why I schedule dumb tasks in the morning that don’t require much brain power.

  17. Paul Letourneau on the 25th May

    I used to be a night owl and would be up until 2-3am working on projects. Since then I have moved my office hours to 7:30am – 3:30pm and have found a significant improvement in my work and ability to get projects done on time. I work as a website project manager so that extra hour in the morning to prepare before IT, Designers and clients get into their offices and start emailing me is crucial!

    In addition to that, I love the sun and being outdoors so wrapping everything up and heading outside for an extra hour of sunshine gives me a great amount of energy.

    The only thing I’m trying to figure out now is how I get around the 1:30 – 3:30 slump where I seem to tapper off and not get anything done…

  18. Jeff on the 25th May

    I think I do my best work between 10 AM and about 3 PM, then I have another productive period between 10 PM and about 2:30 AM.
    It’s just hard to find a job that will work with those hours.

  19. Early Night Owl on the 26th May

    For all of you who find that a day hasn’t enough hours to enjoy everything, I may have a solution for you.

    I’m a student and I also like coding so to have enough time to do everything, I use a special sleeping schedule that let’s me be a night owl AND early riser at the same time ! The schedule is called Polyphasic Sleep (check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphasic_sleep for more info).

    I’m presently using the “Everyman” schedule meaning 3 naps of 20-30 min per day(morning, midday and evening) and a core sleep at night of only 3 hours [so a total of approx. 4h/day of sleep]. The adjustment to this rhythm takes a couple of weeks but once you’re accustomed to it, it’s a real blast !

    So my answer to this article’s question is… why bother asking such questions when you can have BOTH and, as we say in France, « Vouloir le beurre et l’argent du beurre » is sometimes possible 😉

    Have a nice night 😉

  20. Philo on the 27th May

    I’m a night owl and for ten years I held down a 9 to 5 job and I was a zombie. Even when they moved my schedule to 10 to 6 because I was always late (I’m a great worker once I’m there) I was still dragging my ass behind me. It’s like having jet lag every single day and then losing your weekend because you’re too busy sleeping to catch up for all the sleep you missed. I finally put a cork in it, realizing I needed to change my life to suit my sleep schedule. It just wasn’t that important compared to my mental and emotional well being. I have a couple web businesses and drove a cab at night while they were growing up. Recently I started NightOwlNation.com though too simply because we can always use more night owl friends in our lives who not only get it, but don’t mind grabbing a bite to eat at 11.

  21. Ben on the 29th May

    I was convinced I was a night owl for a long long time. But in truth, I just dicked around a lot until it was so late I had to finish stuff and go to bed.

    I was sick of being a zombie all the time, showing up late for work and always picking up steam for deadlines at the 11th hour. I was stressed out, and for the longest time I blamed countless outside factors. I called myself a “night owl” and didn’t want to be a “corporate conformist” who got to work at 8:00am every day. But really it was all just a bunch of BS to justify my time wasting lifestyle.

    It took some hard work but I was finally able to adjust my schedule to getting up 6:30am, biking to work to get their by 8:00am and leaving at 5pm, or soon after. I now have my most productive time right when I get in in, in the morning (a bike ride will really jumpstart your brain). I usually get in another workout at lunch or in the afternoon. With that, I sleep like a baby at night and have no problem falling asleep by 10:30 or 11. Also, my overall productivity is about double what it used to be.

  22. Andrew Pupols on the 31st May

    I can sure say i’m an night owl. Durring the day i want to get started to do the things i need, but i always end up doing something else, finding distractions so i’m not really productive durring that time.

    Well, when the night is starting i’m getting more energy and i feel more confident. I can get done a lot more then i can do during the day. The thing is i look on the time and its like 2am, i want to do a lot of stuff, but have to go to sleep, since i still have my dayjob :(.

    I wonder how i could change my productive hours to start at evenings not in the middle of the night lol.

  23. I am a night owl.

    I mean i start to get real productive from the evening onwards (after 6:45 PM)…

    I don’t know why, but it just happens. I start working late morning (after 11 AM), but I am not that productive.

    But when it’s evening and night, I can get a lot of work done.

    -Nabeel

  24. Clint Cora, Speaker/Author on the 18th June

    I haven’t been an early morning riser except on ski days. But now I’m starting to see benefits of getting up early for non-ski days as well. I’ve favoured being a night worker for years but it’s crazy to keep shifting back and forth. So I think I’m going to try the early morning schedule instead.

  25. daysleeper on the 28th August

    I cannot sleep at night.I feel much more alert.I don’t know how to change this.But I want to drop this habit because there’s no night job available that can get me money.

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