Forget what you’ve been told your whole life — the early bird doesn’t always get the worm.
There are plenty of night-owl entrepreneurs who are highly successful, even if their habits aren’t all that orthodox. If you’re naturally a night owl, it’s time to capitalize on your body’s natural rhythms and peaks of productivity.
However, there’s a big difference between a natural night owl and someone whose schedule or life dictates night owl habits. If you think the only time you have to work on your business is the middle of the night because that’s when the kids are sleeping, the house is quiet and you have some time to yourself, you’re going to struggle.
Your body has pre-existing “set times” when you’re most alert, productive, creative and innovative. Pinpoint those hours, and do everything possible to work on your entrepreneurial pursuits during them.
Are you a night owl through and through? If so, here are a few tricks to matching that characteristic with entrepreneurial success…
1. Embrace your innate schedule
Just because everyone tells you that waking up at 6 a.m. and getting to work right away is “best” doesn’t mean it’s best for you. Stop fighting your body and what society (or even your mentor) tells you to do with scheduling. There’s a reason you prefer to sleep in the mornings or afternoons and work at night. Accept it, embrace it, and make it work for you.
2. Create a night work space
This can be easy or a huge challenge depending on your circumstances. If your entrepreneurial project is somewhat loud (such as creating woodworked pieces) or you share a small space with someone, compromises need to be made. This might mean renting a small work space where you can innovate to your heart’s content. However, the same needs to be true of others respecting your sleeping hours.
3. Don’t let “Sorry, we’re closed” deter you from success
You prefer the graveyard shift, but the gym and Whole Foods may not. Night owls can’t use banker’s hours as an excuse to stop caring about their overall well-being. It’s important to eat healthy, exercise and take care of your entire self while flexing your entrepreneurial muscles. Taking a break at work to hit the gym and eating wholesome meals on a regular basis is crucial. Seek out others like you who operate businesses around the clock — even if it means adjusting your schedule slightly so you can end your work day with that 5:45 a.m. spin class.
4. Load up on Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential to keep a sharp mind. You can get it two ways: sunshine or from foods (preferably whole foods). There are also supplements you can take to fill in the gaps. Get your vitamin levels checked annually, and if you’re lacking in Vitamin D it’s time to shake up your eating habits or maybe invest in a sun lamp. Night owls have a tendency toward lower D levels.
No matter when you work or what your project, don’t let what’s “normal” dictate your office hours. If everyone did what was normal, there wouldn’t be any entrepreneurs. Night owls can get all the benefits the early birds chirp about, too.