I started writing this blog post before my children woke up (they were up late last night) so in some sense I’m “using my mornings.” But as I’m cranking out my “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” ebook, I’ve realized that, ironically, I’m doing a lot of the work at night. I’ve started going to a local coffee shop (where no one will interrupt me) for two hours in the evening. It’s a similar idea to using one’s mornings — quiet, no interruptions — but in a completely different part of the clock.
I quite like it. I’m realizing as I look at people’s schedules that I will never be a happy-at-5 a.m. kind of girl. In high school and college I always studied late at night and before I had children I did a lot of my writing at night, too. As I analyze my time logs, I see that I get a burst of productivity in the morning, but all things being equal, I like to buckle down in the evenings.
The problem is that I rarely get the evenings to work. The kids expect to see me then (one reason I suspect they defied their babysitter’s attempts to get them down last night). So I’m an evening person who’s going to have to learn to be a morning person.
When do you do your best work?
6 thoughts on “What the most successful people do…after dinner?”
Perhaps you’ll be a morning/evening person. I work between ~10 PM and midnight, which lets me get up with my kids at 7:30 AM. Of course, I don’t work the same number of hours as you do.
I used to be a night person, but years of having to get up early for school and now for work has changed we to a morning person. I love my quiet morning for doing all kinds of things that are important to me as well as for planning my day.
I often find myself working in the evenings, but if I’m on my computer too late at night, it interferes with my ability to fall asleep, which has been a real problem for me. Perhaps when your kids get a bit older and start doing homework or going to friends’ houses in the evenings, you’ll regain some of those hours!
I break it up. I do things like exercising/reading in the morning, before the kids are up, then I work in the afternoon while they are doing HW. After that we are all free together.
I’ve so often heard that successful people get up early, but I’ve found that even if I get up an hour earlier I just end up puttering around. It takes me longer to put on my makeup, and I leave my apartment without having accomplished anything out of the ordinary. In contrast, even when I’m tired at night I can be quite productive. The problem with evening is I often have classes or networking events or social events. Still, I can accomplish a lot more in an hour at night than I can in an hour in the morning.
@Stephanie: The key is really to know yourself and your energy levels. Some people are just not morning people. If you’re in the middle, you can probably push yourself more toward morning productivity, but if you’re a true night owl you probably can’t. But as you’ve noticed, the world is just not set up to honor evening productivity. People have events, or family obligations or what have you. The fact that successful people get up early may not be cause-effect in quite the order we think.