December 09, 2020 05:40 PM | by Farida Abdel Malek
5 Tips for Night Owls to Have Regular 9-5 Working Days
I'm writing this now as a night owl, at night, not being able to have regular 9-5 working days. And I know what you might be thinking. Why the hell should I take advice from you, when you still clearly haven't it figured out. But beleive me the fact that I currently in this upsetting situation is exactly the motivation, determination and push I need to find a solution for how to function as a night owl. Also I'm drinking like 2 concentrated packets of lavender tea, so let's hope this works.
It took me a while to admit that I'm a night owl and that mornings are just miserable and not at all productive. It's hard because I want to have a normal working day with normal working hours and not have to say goodbye to my personal and social life. There must be a solution other than just giving into the fact that most of my best work will be done between the span of 9 pm and 1 am.
So I did some research and although being a night owl is a psychological characteristic and not something you choose, it's just how your are, there are some things and tips for night owls to help them better succeed as a night owl and normalize their days.
How to function as a night owl:
What if I don't want to have normal working hours?
We know that technically this doesn't reference to the title of this article, but we had to include something for those who want to embrace the night owl life and work in the evenings. You have 2 options. Either find a job that already has the schedule switched around, or approach your boss to move things around. Kindly ask your boss to be more flexible with your working hours and that this is better for your productivity. You can also persuade her or him that it won't affect your work or leave waiting for you to finish something. In order to make sure that doesn't happen you can work at night and finish tomorrow morning's work in advance so that everything's ready for other to proceed with int the morning.
Plan the next day before you go to bed
In order to maximize your time in bed next morning and avoid having to do things when you wake up, try to finish up everything you need before you head out or start work the next day. Switch up your routine. Meaning, for example, take a shower at night (a personal favorite of mine), get your clothes ready and breakfast prepped. Also make a to do list before bed, for your day so you don't have to spend half your morning working hours trying to energy-lessly plan your day. You can save time and start work right away.
Arrange your work this way...
A lot of articles suggest you gradually start first with easy robotic and mindless tasks to get you in the mood before you get into the harder work. That way you've given your mind time to energize. Also there was tip on how even though you might not have energy in the morning, even as a night owl, creativity is better done then, than analytical work. So try doing more creative tasks in the morning before you get into heavy duty analytical and technical work. If your energy and social skills are non existent in the morning, you can try postponing things that don't need to happen be done asap, like emails and calls, leaving them to be done in the evening when your communication is better.
Yes, sleep can make a difference...
Sleep is a problem for many night owls, especially if they go to bed really late. I've been personally struggling with this for a while now and I'm on the brink of losing hope. There are 2 options here. It is suggested by The Muse that night owls count around 7.5 hours from the time they usually go to bed to see their wake up time and then start adjusting it every day with around a 15 minute difference. Do that until you eventually reach your wake up time goal. It could be hard in the beginning but with patience and will, you could eventually get there.
There's also another tip that is usually given to morning people, but maybe we can try it as well, which is to see when you'd naturally wake up without an alarm. Then check when you need to go to bed to get 7.5 hours of sleep. If you find yourself waking up without or before your alarm at that time everyday then you can start setting that as your sleep routine.
I think having a set and consistent wake up time and bedtime is really important for your body to adjust, stick to a routine and energize, which are all things night owls desperately need. Sleep might not completely shift you to a morning person, but I don't think any of us can deny that it could definitely help.
Do things to wake you up and brighten your mood
I don't know if we're all like this, but I've personally seen a difference when my mood is better and I feel motivated, because I usually have a really horrible mood for the first half of the day. So I need a kick of dopamine. So, we can try doing things like showering in morning or putting a cold towel over our face to help wake us up. Also, have a morning routine that makes you excited to wake up, like working out, for example, that's if you like to exercise. If a morning shower and workout sounds horrendous to you, like it does to me, maybe your motivation could be making breakfast, watching an episode of your favorite show, dressing up or putting on makeup. Just anything that gets you excited and motivated.
Main Image Credits: Instagram @emrata
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