In a world designed for the 9-5 crowd, it is challenging to be productive when you are not a morning person.
However, that is not to say that it can't be done. There are systems and hacks that you can put in place to become productive even if you are not a morning person.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the tools and tactics you can use to start seeing results faster. Let's jump in.
Figure out your chronotype
The first step in creating a strategy for becoming productive is to assess what you are dealing with, and one of the ways to do that is by determining your chronotype.
Chronotypes are nothing but the natural inclination of your body to sleep at a specific time. It is also known as being an early bird or a night owl.
You can take this quick and short quiz to find out. Once you've figured it out, there are specific systems and routines recommended for each chronotype that you can follow.
There is also Daniel Pink's 3-question test that you can use to determine what type of rhythm you usually follow.
Track energy levels
There is a popular productivity method or system called the biological prime time, which refers to periods when you have the most energy or feel you are most productive in accomplishing your tasks.
By identifying and tracking your biological prime time or energy levels, you can allocate your most essential tasks to the time blocks with the most energy.
And for times when you don't have a lot of energy, you can pursue mundane and easy tasks that don't have a heavy cognitive load.
Build habits and stay consistent
When you have your chronotype figured out, the next step would be to create appropriate activities that you can turn into habits.
For example, if your chronotype demands that you go to sleep at 11 PM every day, then you should schedule all your meetings far from that deadline so that you are not stressed or doing some high cognition tasks close to bedtime.
Instead, you can build a habit of reading a book at 10:30 PM so that you condition yourself to ease into sleeping.
Experiment with your schedule
While there are four significant chronotypes, there are 7.2 billion of us. So it is likely that the prescribed schedules don't fit you perfectly, and that's ok.
Start experimenting with your schedules and track how your body responds to the change. I was initially advised to go to bed at 10:30 PM, but I had to experiment between 10:30 PM and 9:30 PM to figure out that my sweet spot is at 9:30 PM.
I started my work days from 4:00 AM and finally settled on 6:00 AM after I found success there. This process is time-consuming, but you'll have to figure out what works for you only once, and you can use that schedule for a long time.
Time block based on energy levels
One of the most popular productivity methods used by executives worldwide, time blocking can help you irrespective of whether you are a morning person or not.
The idea is simple where you pick a time in your calendar and block it to pursue a single/single type of task. You can use an app like Routine to block time, which is as simple as dragging and dropping your tasks onto your calendar.
Sign up for Routine below if you haven't done so already.
Blocking time based on your energy levels can help you improve your productivity and output quality.
Avoid non-complementing foods
A lot of times, your day is what your gut feels like. Identifying foods that drain your energy levels is essential to avoid them.
Heavy food items like desserts can give you a sugar rush that will quickly give you the eventual slump that can stop your productive streak.
It is also worth noting that even the right food/item at the wrong time might disturb your daily routine and throw you off the productive road.
For example, caffeine right before bed is unsuitable for your sleep schedule.
Set up an optimal working desk
If you need to push yourself to get to work every day, then setting up your desk the night before is the best way to ensure that you get started without delay.
This simply means that before you end your day, you figure out what you need to work on tomorrow so that you can set up your workspace optimally for it.
Something that I do is open tabs that I'll need to complete tomorrow's task in my work browser before I end my day. This practice helps me get to work immediately as I get to my desk, and it is beneficial if your motivation levels are low at the beginning of your work day.
You don't have to be limited by natural schedules
You have to work with your ideal schedule and not against it to become more productive. The idea is to have a strategy to tackle hurdles that might come your way just because your rhythm doesn't fit with the 9-5 schedule.
Thanks for reading. Do let us know your thoughts on this piece on our Twitter at @RoutineHQ.