June 16

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Be an early bird and you’ll get more done in the day

By Ralph Varcoe

June 16, 2020

productivity hacks

6.2   The Early Bird

Productivity hack no.54 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.


Are you a morning person? Or do you take forever to get going, preferring instead to work late? Do you both hate mornings and working late? That’s allowed. I’m not that keen on either.

There’s a debate that rages between the Larks and Night Owls about which approach is best.

Those who rise early advocate that this is the best way to get stuff done. They’ll crow that they’ve done a full day’s work before lunch time, and that the rest of the day is then a bonus to be even more productive. They just can’t understand why the lazy, work-shy night owls can’t see that this is so much better a way to live.

The late risers think the early birds are way too uptight. And so smug. And boring. After all, they go to bed so early, just when the world is really starting to wake up. They’ll say they can have peace and quiet to focus when it’s quieter at night.

Who’s right? It really depends on your biological pre-disposition.

However, here are some interesting facts from a 2019 survey in the US.

Early birds get 7 hours of sleep a night on average and have sex three times a week. They earn more money and get a better quality of sleep. They tend to be happy, friendly and confident.

Night owls get around 6 hours of sleep a night which is generally of less good quality. They earn less and are shy, tending towards perfectionism. They have sex an average of twice a week.

I have to say that based on this analysis I’m opting for being an early bird. More sleep, more sex and more money! Not necessarily in that order.

Is it possible to change from night owl to early bird? The answer is yes. While it’s unlikely that a night owl will suddenly become someone who voluntarily leaps out of bed to go for a run at 4.30am it is possible to shift the time window.

The important thing is to do it bit by bit. Set your alarm to wake 15 minutes earlier and set a bed time 15 minutes earlier. Then repeat. And repeat again.

“Rubbish”, a night owl may cry. But think about it. If you fly to another time zone, you’re able to adapt through the jet lag to the new time paradigm. So, it IS possible to adapt. The question is how to do it in a way that will be straight forward to achieve.

Research says that those who get up earlier and seize the day get more done. If you’re serious about accelerating towards you goals then you might want to consider adapting to be an early bird, if you’re not lucky enough to be one already.

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Ralph Varcoe

About the author

For over 20 years, Ralph has run sales and marketing teams across large enterprises and smaller start-ups, at companies such as Orange, Tata Communications, Virgin Media, Spirit Ai and others. He brings a wealth of experience in personal and professional development with a laser focus on enabling people to achieve more than they thought possible. He's a published author and musician with a passion for creating - be that change, the right solution, exciting campaigns, the right environment for customers to succeed, or podcasts, videos and written content.

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