Productivity and GTD
How to Stay Productive At Night: Simple Guide
Some individuals think that being a night owl is wrong. Such people find themselves more productive at night and think that something is wrong with them. However, studies have demonstrated that being a morning individual or a night owl is genetic. Hence, there is nothing wrong with you if you find that you are more productive at night. You are just being yourself, and you do not need to change!
When you work better during the night, waking up early in the morning becomes a challenge. Jumping out of the bed to begin the day’s activities will be gruesome for you. Given that you are not a morning person, you will struggle since you have to wake up anyway. You may end up being frustrated during the entire day and become less productive.
The best way of being productive is not about changing who you are. Instead, it is all about doing what works for you. You do not need to struggle to work during the day when you can indeed work during the night and still be more productive. Here’s a simple guide to help you to become more productive while working during the night.
Find your Rhythm
Before deciding if you will be working during the night, you need to be sure that this is the right thing for you. Sleep rhythm is the first thing you should learn if you want to remain fruitful. You need to ask yourself, “Do I work better at night or during the day? While this may appear obvious, it is very important to know yourself.
Do not attempt to go against nature. If you operate better during the day, do not try working during the night. At the same time, if night works better for you, then do not compare yourself with the individuals who work during the day. The idea here is that you should find the natural thing for you to do.
Most of the work schedules today are designed to cater to the needs of the early birds. Working from 9 am to 5 pm has become a routine for most people. The challenge with this approach is that not all individuals fit into this category. Just because most work schedules do not favor you, this does not mean that you should work when it is not comfortable for you. You have the freedom to choose the time that is most appropriate for you.
It is not enough to know that you can work better during the night. It is important to take an extra step to identify the specific time during the night that you are most productive. There is a need to establish the time that you are most energetic. Once you identify this time, then it will be easier for you to create a routine around this time. You will also be in a position to identify a time that is suitable both for yourself and your loved ones.
Nothing succeeds without proper planning. In everything, it is important to establish a set of activities that need to be accomplished to attain a goal. When deciding beforehand what needs to be established, you need to take time and think. You do not want to start a routine if it does not work.
Think about the long-term implications of your decision. The aim is to ensure that your plan allows you to accomplish your goal, which in this case is becoming more productive. In such a case, considering the long-term implications of the decision is crucial. Take time to determine how working at night would have implications for other activities.
There is no doubt that shifting your work into the night will affect other daily routines. You will notice that working during this time will mean that you may spend a significant part of the day resting. This brings the need to think about how to organize your activities. For instance, it is not possible to make most calls during the night given that a majority of individuals are already asleep.
Since you will not be able to run most of the errands as usual, you need to strategize how to do them during the day. Set long-term plans so that you do what you need during the business hours. This will ensure that you can settle down during the night and focus on your work without distractions.
Whereas thinking long-term is important, you also need to be realistic. Start small and work slowly towards your major goal. Where the goal is too big, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Figure out how your night is and then plan how you want your routine to be. Once you start, you can continue setting up bigger goals.
Rely on Reminders and Alarms
Establishing a habit takes time. It is not a guarantee that you will start being effective on the first day of working at night. In fact, you may struggle at first because you are not used to working during the night. You may find that it is difficult to wake up and work during the time you have identified.
At the start, relying entirely on your willpower may not work. Remember that while you are a night owl, you have been working during the normal working hours during the day. Shifting to where you belong will come with various challenges that you need to anticipate. For instance, keeping time may not be easy.
Since your willpower will fail you, take advantage of reminders and alarms to organize your night. An alarm and a reminder will assist you to identify the things you need to accomplish before you go to bed. It will be easier to operate since you are aware of what you need to establish with your time.
In case you struggle with alarms and reminders, you can become creative about it. For instance, if you like listening to music before you go to bed, you can set up an alarm to prompt you to listen to music 30 minutes before bedtime. Once you do it for some time, music can serve as a good reminder to starting or finishing tasks.
Before you begin your work, begin by identifying the tasks that you need to accomplish. List the tasks down so that you do not omit any of them. Go ahead and establish the amount of time it would require you to do all the tasks you have planned. The alarm and the reminder should be based on the time you have allocated each task.
You need to note that at first, you may struggle with the alarm and reminder. The alarm may ring and you do not want to switch to another activity as you had planned. Do not be discouraged since this happens to everyone. Instead, do your best as soon you will find it easy to obey the alarm and reminder as time goes by.
You Need a “Night’s” Sleep
Every individual needs enough sleep. The problem is that the activities demanding people’s attention are so many that waking up becomes compulsory. Working during the night does not mean that you do not value sleep. In fact, you require sleep like any other person. The only difference is that you have chosen to do it during the day!
Getting enough sleep is critical to you as a night person. You do not want to spend the day moving up and down and expect that you will be productive during your normal working hours at night. If you do not have enough sleep, you will find yourself shutting your eyes and rolling back over.
The secret to avoiding struggling during the night is having adequate sleep during the day. The problem is that it may be challenging to have a consistent sleep pattern as you would wish. Since a majority of the individuals around you may be morning persons, they make it challenging for you to sleep. They may be making noise and opening the windows hence interrupting your sleep.
Purchase blinds that you can use to block out the light while you sleep. This will ensure that the lighting during the day does not make you uncomfortable. Regarding the noise, get a white noise machine. If this is not possible, you can have nature sounds apps to assist in blocking out the exterior noises. When you manage to control both light and noise, you will be in a position to enjoy sleep during the day as any other morning person.
Most importantly, you do not want to be disturbed when sleeping. While you could have controlled the lighting and noise, your phone is a source of disruption. Before you sleep, you need to put your phone in silent mode. This will ensure that you can sleep peacefully without waking up to receive calls. Once you wake up, you will attend to the calls and messages that you missed while you were asleep.
Essentially, you could have asked yourself, “Why am I only productive at night?” Now you have the answer. You do not need to struggle to work during the day like the morning persons while you know that you are a night owl. Working during the night will allow you to become more productive since you will be operating in your natural settings. The challenge is that since you have been working during the day, adjusting to the new schedule may prove to be difficult. That is why you need to prepare in advance.
At the start, you need to identify the hours during the night that you are most productive. You can then channel your energy on these hours. As you plan for your schedule, you need to think about the long-term implications of your decision. Plan in advance to ensure that you can attend to other activities and have time to work during the night. Furthermore, plan for the individual activities you will be doing using an alarm and a reminder. In the end, remember that you need adequate sleep.