How do you choose to spend your time? Why being an Early Bird or Night Owl Matters
Updated: Feb 8
A huge reason I decided to became my own Boss was the ability to choose how, and in which way, I spent my time. Bare with me Boss as I begin to ask some tough questions. In this post we are going to turn up the heat and get a little deep on one of my favorite topics...
Let me start by saying that I love my early mornings, but when I am forced to wake up early I am not always a happy camper. 😭
If I am being honest, I feel like I have wasted so much time feeling guilty about wanting to sleep in. You know that feeling where you would give anything to snuggle up and stay in the warm cocoon of blankets, just a wee bit longer?
I know you know what I am talking about. 😉
The thing is.... we are all different.
We have our early birds 🐦 and we have our night owls. Whose to say one is better than the other?
Before I started Branding Addicts, I worked at a corporate ad agency for a brief period. I had to commute early in the morning 45 mins to work (in rush hour traffic) and 45-50 minutes home (also, in rush hour traffic). I would leave my house in the morning when it was still nighttime and I would get home when the sun was starting to go down.
As the quality of my days began to shrink, I began to war within myself and started thinking "What kind of life is this?"
This was when I took on a slightly antagonistic viewpoint of the corporate workspace and began to really questions how we as a society choose to spend out precious time at work.
I began to realize that there are different feelings that come from waking up early because you have to vs. waking up early because you want to.
For me, waking up early for my corporate job was like nails to a chalkboard. In contrast, waking up early for activities I delight in like travel, fishing, hunting with my husband, designing, taking my pup for a walk, reading my Bible with coffee on the back patio... I realized these are the things that feed my soul rather than take from it.
Maybe it has to do with the ability to choose what I give my time to?
You see our time is precious. Time is so short and I know you know this just as much as I do. I also know that so many of us share similar experiences with the struggle of how we choose to spend our precious time in regards to work-life balance.
When I was finally ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship, instead of forcing myself to fit the mold of society's 9-5 standards, I vowed to listen to my body and construct a schedule that worked best for me. A schedule that would make me feel at my best and a schedule that would make me be the most productive with my time.
We each have the same amount of hours in a day, right? Well, my personal journey into business has taught me that knowing thy self, prioritizing, and time allocation is the key to productivity.
So let’s dive into this a bit deeper!
In the past during grade school, college, and corporate work life, I would force myself to wake up around 6am everyday to get ready (shower, dress, makeup, hair) and then get going.
Throughout the days I would feel so exhausted around noon every single day.
On top of that lingering tiredness I had learned to cope with, I spent the majority of my day feel stressed, anxious, and moody. I would nod off in classes, slack on projects, and find myself spacing out more often than I would like to admit.
Fast forward to now. Owning my business and constructing a customized routine that works for MY BODY. I wake up at 8:30-9am naturally, almost every morning. Not only do I have the luxury of waking up naturally, I get to wake up and do tasks that set my soul on fire. I no longer have to set 15 separate alarms (all 5 minutes apart).... I no longer get tired throughout the day. In fact this is what helps me to work the crazy hours I do. Sometimes I start at 10am and work til 5pm, take a break with my hubby for dinner and quality time, then get back to work from 10pm-2am.
In each season of life, time is such a balancing act. (Moms, I can feel your eye rolls from here! I would love to hear all about your schedules and how you balance your time in the comments.) I can only imagine how different my schedule will look when little ones become the priority and time is not just my own. Don't worry, I will be sure to blog about that as I enter into that particular season.
But for now, in my current season, this is what works for me.
My energy is consistent. My mood is happy, refreshed, and stable. I no longer get over stressed or anxious, at least to the severity that I experienced in the past. Things flow more naturally now than they ever have before. I can't help but think this has something to do with being in alignment with the way we are meant to live our lives in our current seasons. Life is not one size fits all. It is not just one season but many seasons.
We are all wired different, regardless of what mold society tries to shove us through.
I can't even tell you how many times I would spend dwelling on that saying “the early bird gets the worm,” thinking that I was failing by not waking up at the crack of dawn to get my hustle on.
That way of life is not the most productive for me.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, my husband could not sleep in to save his life. His natural alarm clock sings at around 6-7am. Yes, it drives me nuts sometimes, but that is what works best for him.
I think rather than getting caught up with comparing ourselves to each other, day in and day out, we need to refocus on what our bodies are telling us.
Your "normal" does not have to look like someone else’s.
No matter what projects, tasks, goals, and demands you have to complete, if you don’t feel good and healthy at the end of the day, was it all worth it? What are you sacrificing? Are you swimming up stream or down stream and why?
Some fish in the sea of life (cough cough, like my hubby) are just wired differently. Like salmon! They are built to swim upstream. Others, like my self, need to do what feels right.
What feels natural.
Whether it's birds, fishes, upstream, downstream, early mornings, and late nights... Instead of focusing on the quantity of demands asking for our time, let's re-shift our mindsets and focus on the quality of that time we are willing to give out.
So whether you are a night owl or an early bird, a salmon or a goldfish, (lolz) I would love to hear which schedule comes naturally to you and which yields the most productivity through out your day. Comment below and let me know!
The brand Gal