How I Became a Morning Person

Photo credit: bobchin1941 on Flickr
Once upon a time, I was a night owl. Sort of. I got up at 8AM and went to bed a midnight (which I'm fully aware isn’t late to many people), and repeated the process the next day. I’d get work done in the morning and be really proud of myself when I finished much of my to-do list before noon.

After a while, however, I noticed a few things about myself:

  • I worked really well in the morning. Something about starting the day off with a streak of productivity put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. 

  • As the day went on, I got progressively lazier. Well, maybe lazy isn’t quite the right word, but as my energy levels drained, so did my motivation to do anything. 

  • If I had to go out for any reason, especially for work or school, I absolutely did not want to do anything when I returned. I just didn’t have the energy to even try. So, basically, if I got up at 8AM and went to school at 9, the rest of the day was shot as far as productivity was concerned. 

So while this 8-midnight schedule worked okay for several years, after taking a year off from school and then later gearing up for a back to full-time school schedule, I realized if I really wanted to continue to get writing work done, I was going to need to get up earlier.

I mean, hypothetically I could try to work after classes, but I already knew from past experience that I wouldn’t want to. And trying to write when you’re exhausted and unmotivated? It sucks.

So despite the fact that the mere thought of getting up before dawn made me cringe, I changed my sleep schedule. I started going to bed between 9-10 and getting up between 5-5:30. After a few days of trying out my new schedule, something weird happened.

I realized I liked it.

Getting up between 5 and 5:30 gives me roughly three hours of free time before I have to leave for classes on my earliest days, and gives me plenty of time to get loads of things done before noon on the weekends. It’s now pretty common for me to check off everything I need to get done in a day before 11AM and have the rest of the day to write or edit or whatever else my heart desires. I’ve kept to this schedule during breaks and weekends and I plan do continue it over the summer because quite frankly? I work so much better in the morning than I ever did at 8 or 9 PM.

That being said, not everyone is like me. I have many writer friends who do their best writing between 10-2AM. I’m not going to say being a morning person is the only way to be a productive writer, but I do think that paying attention to yourself and figuring out when is the most productive time for you is important.

Maybe for you that time will be after midnight, or maybe, like me, it’ll be before the sun rises. But whatever it is, I encourage you to listen to your body and figure out what your zone is, because once you start hitting it consistently, you’ll be surprised just how much you can get done.

Do you know what your most productive writing time is?

Twitter-sized bite: 
Do you know what your most productive writing time is? @Ava_Jae discusses how she discovered hers. (Click to tweet


Fida Islaih said...

I'm still discovering mine, I'm leaning towards morning. Thanks for sharing (:

Briana Morgan said...

Thank you so much for writing this post! I've had people ask me if I thought getting up earlier would help them write, and I now have a post to direct them to as evidence that it could. Of course, some people work better at night. It's good to try writing at different times of day to see when you do your best writing. :)

Darth Lolita said...

I love the mornings but always struggle to go to bed at the right time. Even when I'm tired, I end up messing up my own sleeping schedule for no reason.

But I am actively attempting to become a morning person. My favorite time is definitely 5:30 am, because I love how silent it is and I like watching the sunrise as I eat or read. It really helps me relax before the day begins.

And while I can write at any time of the day, I think I am the most creative way in the morning, right as I'm having my coffee :P

Ava Jae said...

You're very welcome! It takes a little experimenting, I think, to really figure it out.

Ava Jae said...

You're so welcome, Briana! Everyone works differently, but I agree it definitely helps to try different times out to see what works for you.

Ava Jae said...

I love the quiet in the morning, too. When I'm home I can sit in my office and watch the sun rise and it's so peaceful and relaxing. :)

Also, I've heard caffeine can be a nice creative boost lol.

S.E Dee said...

Omg this sounds like a nightmare! I've tried the morning thing (I had a baby so there was no choice!) and it was very difficult. I went through bouts of insomnia through the night but tried my hardest to sleep at those times because I knew it was best for me if I had to wake up early. Mostly it just led to being jet lagged throughout the day.

like your mates I enjoy the undisturbed nights. I can relax knowing the only thing I have to do after is sleep! I hate writing and getting into the flow only to have to stop to go work and so on. My best times are 12 to 5am, so it's no surprise I'm a weekend writer! :)

Ava Jae said...

The morning thing definitely doesn't work for everyone, lol. I don't have insomnia issues (thankfully), so that definitely plays a big part in my ability to wake up early. But in your situation, it sounds like night writing is definitely the way to go! :)

S.E Dee said...

Yeah I mean it all depends on your lifestyle to some degree. I work towards making mine as laid back s possible!

Ava Jae said...

Sounds like a good plan. :)

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