We constantly hear about the early risers of the world and how uber-successful they are. Even though I now get up early, I will never be a morning person. My peak creative hours – where I’m at my most focused, calm, and energized – will always be from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. I made the switch to mornings because my family couldn’t remember what I looked like, not because of all the studies that say “morning people” are happier and healthier. Of course they’re happier: the world literally revolves around them!
There are many benefits to working at night:
- Since you’re the only one awake, there are no interruptions or distractions. You’re literally free to work in your own time and on your own terms.
- Even when you’re working on an intense project, there’s a calmness to working at night. The outdoors are still, the air is cool, and you don’t have to deal with emails, phone calls and text messages cluttering your mind.
- Because you’re able to completely focus, technically you have more time to work at night since there’s nothing to get in your way. Working in the present moment allows you to not only complete your work faster, but accomplish a higher quality of work.
- It’s a lot easier to feel a sense of accomplishment, even with things that will never truly be “finished,” such as checking your email. You can reply to all of your e-mails before anyone’s awake. An empty inbox equals an empty mind, which then improves the quality of your sleep. Win/win.
If you know you’re more productive at night and want to make the shift over to the dark side (okay, pun intended), here are 6 tips to keep in mind.
1. Test the waters to find your rhythm.
When you know you’re more productive at night, it’s important to figure out exactly when at night. When are you naturally at your most energetic? From there, you’ll be able to create a routine for yourself that suits both you and your loved ones. It’s difficult with a 9-5 job, but not impossible.
2. Maintain a consistent sleep cycle.
No matter when you work, a consistent sleep cycle keeps your circadian rhythm synchronized and prevents you from the physical and mental slumps that happen when you wake up at a roller coaster of different times. Once you know when your peak productivity strikes, choose your sleep cycle and do everything you can to stick to it.
3. Think long-term.
Planning way in advance will be one of your best assets when wanting to be productive at night. There’s nothing worse than needing to make a call or run an errand when nothing’s open. Set long-term goals to make sure you accomplish what you need to during business hours.
4. Set a “morning” routine.
No matter what time you get up to start your day, having a routine in place starts it off right. Even when I was getting up in the afternoon, I didn’t set foot into my office until I completed my “morning” routine. It helps to center your mind and prepare for productive night ahead.
5. Set an “evening” routine.
When you’re productive at night it’s really hard to wind down because of how inspired you feel. Create an evening routine of activities that help you unwind or don’t require a lot of focus, such as minor housework or listening to soothing music. Set a cut off time for your work night and stick to it.
6. Set yourself up for a successful “night’s” sleep.
A consistent sleep pattern’s difficult when those damn morning people make so much noise. Purchase blinds that block out the light where you sleep or bust out an eye mask. Use a white noise machine or a nature sounds app to block out exterior noises. And most importantly: never ever forget to shut off the ringer on your phone. Just trust me.