Let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this owl!!!
There is absolutely no dearth of material on the internet to tell you the how’s of being an early bird, if that is your deal. Probably the most written and viewed content since eons and still prevalent today.
I have devoured that content like my life depended on it. Thankfully my life doesn’t literally depend on implementing it, else I wouldn’t be witnessing this globally crazy year.
For at least 5 years I have wanted to be an early riser and be an amazing super productive person. You know smash out all my goals with the extra deep focus time I carve out by being an early riser.
If you haven't guessed it yet, I haven’t yet turned into one.
I struggled and struggled some more but this was one habit I was determined to form and I kept at it all these years.
Why you ask?
- Because yes I wanted that extra me-time which I can dedicate to work on my goals
- I strongly believed that this one habit will be the catalyst in achieving those goals
The Struggle is real
- Every morning I woke up disappointed in myself yet again because I was unable to drag myself out of bed at 5:00 am. Imagine waking up disappointed every day!!!
- To meet my daily goals, I needed an extra 2 hrs in addition to my workout, morning ablutions, and daily chores that included travel, packing lunches, and doing my hair!!!
The whole deal seemed ridiculous but I was hellbent on achieving it, until one day a conversation with my brother (who easily wakes up at the ungodly hour of 3:50 am) changed my perspective. He said since the time you were a kid “You preferred staying up late to finish your studying rather than wake up”.
And just like that, I realized those extra 2 hrs were right there in my pocket and I was searching for it everywhere because that is where everyone finds it.
I am sure there are benefits of waking up early, but being an early bird has got such a positive connotation that you can get blinded by it.
I took back my application to the 5:00 am club and am joining the “Night Owl” club.
I googled up NightOwl and realized there aren’t enough articles or videos in comparison to being an early bird. Once I started working on my ideas later in the night I realized, there are not enough articles because there is no need for tips and tricks or strategies to stay up late. It is effortless if you want to be one.
Benefits of being a Night Owl
- The biggest benefit: you look forward to rest and sleep. 2 hrs and then you can snuggle up in the bed.
- No mental arguments with your own self.
- No alarm, no snoozing.
- Much less struggle staying up than waking up.
- It does not have to be an ungodly hour. Carve out 9pm -11pm or 10pm-12pm. You can still wake up at a reasonable hour in the morning.
- Depending on how much you are in the flow of work, there need not be an end time, because other than your own bed you do not have anywhere to go.
- In fact, the only effort you will have to make is making sure you go to bed at a decent time.
- Similar to the struggle of waking up, keeping your eyes open at night might not come easily if you are not used to it. Add half an hour each night.
- Whether you want to stay up late or wake up early morning, be clear about what you want to work on during that time.
- Set up a pre-focus ritual for eg brushing your teeth or freshening up so that you can train your brain to slip into the zone.
- You will need to turn off all forms of entertainment at a certain time. Mornings don't come with this challenge. The inclination to turn on Netflix might be quite low in the morning. But the effort to turn it off at night might be difficult.
- If coffee doesn't interfere with your sleep, this is the best time to have one (I know, a lot of people won’t agree)
We all have our own inclinations and understanding our preferences is the key in whatever it is that we want to accomplish. Books and inspiration from others is great, but before you want to build a habit or if you are struggling and berating yourself, ask yourself why? What is your end goal with whichever habit you are trying to form?
My goal was to carve out 2 hrs for myself. Even as I write this I am amazed at how simple it was but I didn't see it that way.
You can be a split between a morning person and a night person, you might want to use your lunch hour, you can be an evening person (if your kids don't insist on playing with you).
This applies to any habit you are trying to establish in life. Just because your best friend or your neighbor or an author can, doesn't mean you have to. If you can answer your why for the desire to form a habit, you will find a solution that fits your personality.
Habits take consistency and effort, true that. Feeling miserable because you can’t form one isn't the deal. Explore options, think out of the box, make marginal changes and see if that sticks.
There are a lot of set patterns and templates about being successful, smashing goals and sometimes they work for you. If it works great, if it makes you miserable take stock and look inside yourself. You can make your own template, you can take the road less traveled.