Early in life, I noticed something different about myself – I was more productive at night. There was no social network, I don’t watch TV, movies or engage in any of the things that keep young people awake at night. Instead, I read better at night. I do most assignments in the midnight. I remember my University classmate, Kayode-Alli Abiodun envied me for being able to stay awake at night and still make early morning lectures without dosing or feeling tired throughout the day.
For me, it’s an internal energy. I can’t explain it. I have never read a book or studied any technique about being able to work at night. I don’t need coffee to stay awake all night. In fact, coffee makes my eyes heavy and drowsy, so I avoid it most times. Two months ago was my first time of buying a coffee tin and it was in response to my friends who visit and request for coffee. My parents have only one issue with me and it’s the fact that I don’t sleep at night. As loving parents, their concerns are valid.
It just feels natural for me to be awake at night, in front of my PC doing work that matters.
I thought I was living a normal life until recently when I started noticing the “attack” on night owls. Maybe I have been clouded by my own bias? So, I started comparing the results from both lifestyles personally. For creative work, the difference is huge for me.
I have never felt more horrible than the period I was “forced” to work compulsorily from 8 – 5 early this year. I accepted it and used it as a testing period for me. My productivity was terrible. I could barely get anything done in an entire day. Some days, I would get to the office, lock the door behind me, fired up to conquer the world. Then, within the 30 minutes, the entire passion I felt was gone. End of day.
Frankly, the most important advice you should take about productivity is “do what works for you”. That includes recognizing your golden hours, golden place (I’ll write about this later) and the likes. I don’t conform, simply because something is popular. It’s okay if I’m a bad fit for the organization who will not respect my golden hours for several reasons (especially if it affects their bottomline). Success for us may mean finding (err, or even starting) that company that tolerate horrible people like us. Life’s good :).
Today, I’m liberated. I am not inferior to early risers, neither do I feel superior simply because I work at night. At the end of the day, we will all be judged for our productivity.
Because the world is not flat, the onus is on me to find the balance somewhere somehow. So, I can do creative work in the night (golden hour) and do routine (or less demanding) works like attending meetings, teaching, etc. during the day. It means dividing my day into two halves and clearly defining what gets done, when.
If you can’t work at night like night owls do, you’re fine, but never make your own personal choice, or default lifestyle a rule for everyone.
Whether you’re a night owl or an early rise, you’re not inferior, neither are you superior simply because. Your productivity will determine that.
Peace to the world.