You Can Still Have A Rockin’ Life (Without Being A Morning Person)
“Here’s How To Wake Up By 5AM Each Day”, “Why Being a Morning Person Can Change Your Life”, “Get More Done By Waking Up Early.”
These are just a sample of the type of articles flooding the internet telling women if they want to be successful, they’ve got to become a morning person.
But the problem is, all of these articles are missing one major thing.
They aren’t true.
Well not completely.
Sure, there are successful women who are morning people. They’ve got full and vibrant lives, and the whole morning thing works for them.
Rock on ladies. More power to you. Really.
But remember not all of us work like that.
Now more than ever, society is utterly obsessed with telling women how to become a “morning person” to live a happy and successful life…
… as if the women working 2nd shift are somehow “less than.” Or the women doing ministry into the early morning will be miserable and fail at life.
And while there are countless articles of woman posting about their 4:30am morning runs and daily gratitude exercises at 6:00am, I’m here to reassure my fellow night owls that you can totally rock it at life, without getting up before the sun rises.
To be clear – this doesn’t mean staying in your PJs all day eating junk food and watching TV.
You gotta hustle and work hard, but who says it needs to be in the morning?
So to those of us who work best in the night, here are some tips to make the night thing work for you.
Acknowledge And Accept You Are The Minority
We live in a morning world.
Most businesses operate between 8am-5pm.
And depending on where you live, you might find a few 24-hour stores but most places close overnight.
So the first rule in living as a night owl in a morning world is to accept you are the minority.
Expect to be judged.
And learn to adapt.
Make sure you schedule all your business activities and errands during typical working hours so you can still get stuff done.
And don’t believe the “studies” that tell you by being a night owl you’ll die early and be miserable.
One study reported that morning people apparently “felt” healthier, although the reason wasn’t quite determined.
Live Science reported:
“Morning-type people also tended to say they felt healthier than did night owls. The researchers said this could be because they are getting better sleep since they are naturally morning people. It could not only make them feel more alert, but actually impact their immune system.“We don’t know why this is, but there are a few potential explanations. Evening people may be more prone to social jet lag; this means that their biological clock is out of sync with the social clock,” Biss said. “Society’s expectations are far more organized around a morning-type person’s schedule.”
But if you understand you need to adapt in certain areas, there’s no reason to feel unnecessary pressure.
Find A Routine That Works For You
Here’s the thing.
You’ve got to find what works best for you, then do it.
If you have the freedom and flexibility to make your own schedule, and you’re not a morning person, why force a square peg into a round hole?
There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to life.
We’re different. Our brains are different. Our bodies function better at different times.
Yes, we all need to strive to spend time in our Bibles, work out, eat healthy, work, serve, and have time for family/friends/fellowship.
But who says you have to get up at 4:30am to go running before work to make that a reality?
You might find working out during your lunch break or after the office works best for you.
So then do that.
If you have an early job and you are forced to be a morning person then you may need to adapt, but you can still schedule your extra activities for after work so you can sleep in as late as possible!
Don’t Neglect Self-Care
If you’re a night owl because that’s when you’re most productive, that’s one thing.
But staying up binge-watching Netflix till 3am eating takeout Thai food then sleeping till 10am because you’re too tired from watching movies all night is not what we’re talking about.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
And be careful you don’t binge out on unhealthy foods late at night because you’re bored.
In addition, because most people are morning people, make sure you find time to schedule activities with friends in the early evening so you don’t isolate yourself.
Consistency Is Key
The key to success is developing habits, and sticking to them.
Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Develop a morning routine (regardless of what time your morning is) and stick to it.
My morning routine is the same every day – I get up, read my devotional and Bible, shower, get dressed, check my email, eat breakfast, and make my bed.
This routine gets me into a rhythm.
It’s habit. I do it without thinking.
I then leave the house for work each day.
Since I’m a freelancer, I have a bit more flexibility with my schedule.
Productivity experts recommend scheduling your time in blocks and to group similar activities together.
Here’s a rough sample of my typical schedule:
8:00AM-10:00AM: Morning Routine (Shower, Get Dressed, Bible and Devotional Readings, Check Email, Coffee, Brunch, etc.)
10:00AM-3:00PM: Writing Work Block I
3:00PM-5:00PM: Break (Errands, Chores, Work Out, Phone Calls, Personal Emails, Business Activities, etc.)
6:00PM-9:00PM: Ministry Activity Meetings, Fellowship, Bible Studies, Etc.
9:00PM-12:00AM: Writing Work Block II
12:00AM-1:00AM: Evening Wind Down Routine (Reading, Prayer, Goal Prep For The Next Day, etc).
As you can see, the above schedule still has me working 8 hours per day and sleeping 7 hours per night.
It’s just unconventional.
But it works for me.
Play around with a few different schedules (obviously if you have children or work different hours your schedule will vary).
The key is to find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
We really are creatures of habit.
Stop Shaming Night Owls (And Don’t Shame Our Morning Sisters Either)
So many well-intended women continue to shame women for “sleeping in too late” as they post their YouTube videos of their early morning routine which include vacuuming the house, working out, and completing their devotional, all before 6am.
On the flip side, us night owls can sometimes roll our eyes at those same women, and insist they need to just stay up later and “live a little.”
But ladies let’s support and encourage one another and realize we’re all different.
Whether you are an early riser or nighttime worker, as long as you’re doing your part to serve others and contribute to this world, I hope you lay your head down each night (whatever time that might be) and feel accomplished.
(h/t Better Change Project)