When are you at your most productive?

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By nature I am a night owl. I love nothing more than to be working on my tasks and projects when nobody is around to disturb me. I admit to using the late evenings to reflect and unwind when I should be sleeping. As an introvert, I crave the space to hear myself think. I can tell you it is much needed after a long day at work or a hectic day with my children! 

I come alive at night while my husband begins to wind down. I am buzzing around the house while he completely slows down. Once there is quiet in my home I can focus on just about anything late into the night. I use this time to do all house administration and church ministry administration, work on my blog and my make up business. 

During the day, there are far too many distractions and other things that demand my time. Some of which I have little control over – responsibilities in my full-time job, cold callers, children vying for my attention and so on.

Listed below are a number of advantages of working at night;

1. Working in the stillness of the night means you can focus entirely on your project with no distractions. You are more open to creative thinking and innovative thinking.

2. Working in isolation means you are not required to consider and meet the needs of others during this time.  

3. You have set goals which you intend to meet.  You are focused and determined – hence the willingness to lose sleep. 

4. Consistency  – night owls are almost guaranteed to have a greater level of consistency.  Once you have identified that you work best at night, there is very little that can hinder you from doing so.


Listed below are a few disadvantages;

1. Health problems – when we sleep, our brains are at rest.  Reducing your sleeping hours means you may have periods of sleepiness during the day along with low concentration levels.

2. Tiredness. It does catch up with you. By Friday evening I am exhausted but I then follow the exact routine the following week!

To round up, there are many benefits of being a night owl. However, I understand that it may not be easy for some to make such a transition.

When are you most productive?

Have you adjusted anything in your life to accommodate better productivity?

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42 thoughts on “When are you at your most productive?”

  1. My favourite time to work is late at night, when everyone else is asleep and the house is auiet, however that doesn’t leave the day very productive!

    I make sure that the first 2 hours of the day are spent clearing the most important actions on my to do list, and then a lot of the time the evening can be reserved for more productive pursuits.

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  2. Oh, I learned a long time ago that I’m a night owl. I can do mornings if I must, but on a prolonged basis, I do my best work in the afternoon or evening. Impossible to go to bed before midnight, too.

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  3. I’m more productive in the morning and mid afternoon. I can do work at night but my mind wanders more than it would during the day.

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  4. Totally a morning person. Have been for decades. I love the birds–when I can have the windows open–the sun starting to wake up the landscape, the possibilities whirling in my head for a brand new day. Sigh, I love mornings and get started around 5:30. By 9:00 at night, I’m done! Night owls…yeah, I don’t get you. HA!

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  5. Hi Phoenicia,

    Totally can relate to being a night owl. I have been for almost two decades. I love writing at night when everyone else is chilling or asleep. For the past 18 months I’ve had to curb it some, as my schedule is extremely flexible. I work typical hours M-W-F and then am more of a night owl T-Thur. I was doing all night owls back in ’12 and ’13.

    Like you pointed out, it can be tough at times if you don’t get enough sleep. Even then, I know what you mean when you say you perk up during those hours regardless. I do the same thing. 🙂

    They say the early bird gets the worm. That’s fine. I don’t like worms. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your response Matthew. When taking on something new, one should expect an element of sacrifice. Your life cannot stay the same if you want to succeed.

      I too do not like worms so the well known saying makes no difference to me!

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  6. Hi Phoenicia,
    I really liked your discussion of night-owl-hood. Especially the listing of the advantages. I totally agree with them. But I fall asleep about 10:15 PM and have for years. I think it is my internal clock. When I stay up past that time I am no good for anything the next day. I admire your determination to get things done at night!

    Rin

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement Rin. I do pay for late nights the following afternoon as I suddenly feel tired. I am also guaranteed to fall asleep on my evening commute.

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  7. I’m definitely more productive in the early EARLY morning for tasks such as writing, reading and retaining information. But, late at night I’m much more creative.It must have to do with the the different skills required for the type of tasks.

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  8. Interesting post, Phoenicia. I am definitely NOT a night owl. I do not like working after the sun has gone down. I like it get up (relatively) early and work for an hour before my husband gets up. After breakfast, I do a few chores, and then have my most productive (writing) hours from 10 am until 5 pm.

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  9. I’m a night owl with the unfortunate habit of waking up at 6 am every morning 😉 Since I live alone, I can’t use the excuse of needing late or early hours to get tasks done without interruption (unless my Siamese cat’s mewling counts…) I fight this battle because as much as I would prefer to work at night, I strive to have my evenings free for free time. It’s always a bit of give and take and I’m glad my schedule is flexible, but I’m happier when I don’t do work at night even though it’s when I can be most productive.

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  10. Night owl all the way. Early morning…not even early morning…it takes me forever to wake up but once I’m there I am ready to go. The only time this changes slightly is when I am traveling. Then I am wired all the time.

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  11. My husband and I are both early morning people. By the evening we both are ready to relax and watch some TV before going to bed. However, my oldest son is a night owl and often works late and sometimes calls us for a chat just when we are ready for bed!! I think he got into that pattern at university and finds that he works better at night time. When he visits us – he stays up late and wakes up late so we are usually having lunch when he has his breakfast!!

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  12. Great post! My most productive time to work is first thing in the morning from 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM. And, for some reason, Saturday mornings work great for writing. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I am definitely a night owl, but with small children, I’ve had to make some adjustments. My husband and kids are morning people, so it’s pretty hard to stay up till midnight to get work done, and then be woken up at 6 by the rest of the family!

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  14. No question I am by nature a morning person – I mean EARLY morning. I’m normally up by 4am and if I’m working on a project and facing a deadline it’s not uncommon for me to rise and shine at 2am. Since I work at home and don’t have the external distractions these days it works great for me, but I’ve always been this way so when I traveled on business and worked in ‘corporate America’ it made is extremely difficult to manage the ever changing time zones along with the long days required for my ‘job’.

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  15. I used to be a night owl and I relate to the creativity that can arise in the evening hours. I curbed my ways due to the health repercussions of staying up late and missing sleep. I now usually go to bed by about 10pm. It was an adjustment, but I’ve felt much better ever since I made the change.

    Just some trivia. There actually is a biological reason that night owls will have an energy surge at night. Back before electricity, we were always asleep at night because there wasn’t much else to do. When we are awake past about 11pm, our body becomes stressed because this is against our biological nature. This causes us to secrete cortisol and adrenaline, creating a second wind.

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    1. Wow – thank you for this information Erica. I will need to carry out more research on this. I seriously do feel a surge of energy, completely awake late at night. My husband cannot understand it!

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  16. I’m a morning person Phoenicia. I used to be night time in my early 30s. But that changed for me over time. Now I love getting up before anything is really happening and kick off things with my own kind of power-hour around 5/5:30am. Then I am good to go with mostly total focus until 5/5:30pm.

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    1. So you went from being a night owl to a morning person! I have no problem with waking early – but not to focus on anything more than showering and getting dressed. I am fully in gear once I have done my early morning walk.

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  17. It’s genetic so there’s only so much we can do to adapt to schedules that don’t suit us. What’s odd is that there are more night owls than early birds in the world but still office hours cater to the needs of early birds. Being a night owl I’m glad I don’t live in Washington D.C. and would have to get up at 4.00 AM at the latest. Would ruin my life:-)

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  18. I am like you except in reverse. Mornings are my best time and it is nothing for me to be working away at something at 4am. But I love that quiet time when you are able to think and sort things out and everything just seems to flow so much smoother so I knew exactly what you’re talking. about. But evenings I am totally useless – don’t bother me, go away – kind of useless.

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  19. I am the early bird, for sure. By night my brain is exhausted! I realize it’s different for everyone, though. But mornings are my thing and my moist productive time.

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