Productivity Birds: Are You an Early Bird or Night Owl?

There is only so much time in the day.

If you want to get more done, you really have two choices…

Stay up late. Or get up early.

Which are you… anย Early Bird or the Night Owl?

Productive Birds of a Feather

You have the same amount of time each day as everyone else.

If you want to reach your goals and dreams you have to be willing to pay the price.

That sacrifice often involves giving up something.

Sometimes it is your time. Sometimes it is money.ย And sometimes it is sleep.

One of the best times to get ahead and be “in the zone” is when everyone else is sleeping.

Successful people know that you have to be willing to give up sleep to reach your dreams.

Get up early. Or stay up late. Those are your choices.

I posed this question on Twitter the other day and got many different answers…

It seems that we are all pretty well split when it comes to early birds and night owls.

Early Birds: Working Before Others Get Up

I am an early bird.ย I often get asked when I get my writing and TMN work done.

The simplest answer is that I do it before everyone else gets up.

I usually get up at 4AM and work until the rest of the house wakes up.

I find that working first thing in the morning gets my day going.

Getting a head start on the rest of the world, just feels good.

Many people use the excuse that they can’t get up early. (Here are 17 ways you can be the early bird…)

Maybe they are night owls…

Night Owls: Working With the Moon

Other people prefer to stay up long after the rest of the world has crashed out.

They work by the moonlight.

They may be more productive at midnight than they are at noon.

Just make sure that if you stay up late that you are being productive. (Not watching mindless TV or endlessly surfing the Net.)

Work While Others Are Sleeping

It doesn’t matter which productivity bird represents your work style.

They both can work. It depends on your environment and energy levels.

Do you have the drive to get up early or stay up late?

While others are dreaming, make your dreams real.

Ask yourself, “What do you want more than a little extra sleep?”

Question: Are you a night owl or an early bird?

24 thoughts on “Productivity Birds: Are You an Early Bird or Night Owl?

  1. I have always been a night owl but currently changing over to be an early bird. The main reason for doing so is having a newborn son recently. I’m still adjusting to the change and it has been a little harder than I would’ve liked but I can see the benefits.

    1. Shane, interesting… many people have reported switching to the early bird schedule after having kids.

      I think it is easier to start the day while everyone is still asleep. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Put me in that category too Shane! My first is 4 months old. It’s 6am, and I’ve been working for an hour in the quiet. Just started this schedule recently, and it’s working really well!

  2. I’m an early bird, but I’ve been playing the part of a night owl, too. Sacrifices have to be made at times, especially when you’re trying to build or create something.

  3. I’m a night owl myself. I have some of my best ideas at night. I have to be careful though because I can find myself in a zone and working on my blog till morning which starts to blur the line between an early bird and night owl lol.

  4. TMJ: I’m in awe of your 4am start. What time do you go to bed? How much sleep do you get each night? How does this work with your spouse/kids? I’m an early bird, but I find that I’m also sleep deprived sometimes after later nights with the family–which lowers productivity and decreases creative thought (except thinking about how I might sneak in a nap).

    1. I get about 6-7 hours sleep each day. With the arrival of our newborn, I have been getting to bed earlier.

      I admit that not everyone can function on 6 hours of sleep. I think it goes back to my Navy days… after all, as someone once told me, the military is really just a big government experiment in sleep deprivation. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      But, yes… if you don’t get enough sleep, your whole day can be non-productive. Happens to all of us… once in a while.

  5. I also find the early morning hours to be useful! I am even an early-morning exerciser. Even if it’s just 20 minutes, it certainly has a positive effect on my productivity for the day!

  6. While I have a harder time falling asleep earlier, I find that I’m too mentally drained to get a lot of work done a the end of the day, so I’ve been steadily waking up earlier and earlier to work on stuff. I just find it psychically easier to work on things before the crap of the day happens:-)

  7. Whether you are one or the other will depend on things like age (teenagers are never early birds) and where you live in a time zone (eastern limits of zones are lighter in the morning) as well as your natural inclinations. I’m a night owl so optimizing evenings is important. I’ve found that being a late starter at the office and using the slot where the early birds have departed and it’s quiet to be really productive.

  8. I used to be a night owl, regularly working until 2-3a most nights which is when I would get writing and planning done. Since I moved to the West coast I used it as a chance to start getting up earlier so now I’m up by 5a to hit the gym, though I’m still usually up until around 11:30p-midnight each night.

  9. Early birds wake up with charged batteries….it s a matter of common sense….night owls have the risk of being tired at the end of the day…..if u sleep the necessary hours that is impossible for early birds…

  10. I’ve always been a night-owl, but I’m finding it more & more difficult lately (young kids!). I want to be an early bird, as I love the idea of starting before the rest of the house is awake. My problem is in making the switch… now I’m off to read “17 Ways to Be the Early Bird” =)

  11. I feel like I’m happier and more alert in the mornings as long as I got to bed at a decent time. With high school and everything, it forces me to wake up early and get my homework done late. This process is so draining because at the end of the day, I just want to turn my mind off.

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