The Night Owl’s Guide to Navigating a Morning Person’s World

I have never been a morning person. I used to think it would come with adulthood – I kept waiting for the day when I would suddenly be able to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn. After all, my dad “can’t sleep past 6am, even on weekends” and I’ve heard similar claims from plenty of other respectable adults. I think I have finally accepted, however, that I will never qualify for the exclusive society of Morning People. I am a Night Owl through and through. I love staying up late – it’s when I feel most inspired and awake. Unfortunately, the world isn’t exactly arranged in a way that caters to those who come alive after dark. Most of us have to get up before 8am and go to work. So here are a few ways I’ve learned to adapt to a morning person’s world, without fully joining their ranks.

  1. Use mornings for organization, catching up on emails, scheduling, and other routine duties.

These tasks are methodical and take minimal brain power, but they still need to get done and will set you up for success throughout the rest of your day and week.

  1. Schedule important meetings for the afternoon or late morning if possible.

If you know you’ll be more on top of your game later in the day, it makes sense to arrange your schedule accordingly.

  1. When you don’t have afternoon meetings, utilize that time for focused work.

Other people tend to fall into a post-lunch slump or slack off more as the day goes on, but if you book a conference room or find a quiet area of the office to avoid distractions, you can use your more productive hours efficiently.

  1. Bring your work home with you.

Yes, this is typically discouraged in the name of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. But if you really work best at night, it won’t feel like a big deal to set aside an hour or so at home to work on a project that had you stumped in the morning. Try not to do this every day, but use it instead as a method of getting unstuck, or of finishing something you just couldn’t focus on in your free hours at the office.

  1. Prepare for the morning the night before.

Prep your meals, get in your workout, shower, and lay out your complete outfit before you go to bed, and you’ll be surprised how many more precious minutes of sleep you can fit into your morning.

  1. Change your habits when it makes sense.

Get to bed at a reasonable enough hour to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. You really do need that rest to function the next day. Fit it in when you can, but don’t blow off sleep or you’ll feel the effects!

  1. Indulge a bit on the weekends.

Don’t go overboard and become nocturnal on Friday and Saturday, but do allow yourself to adjust to a more preferable sleep schedule when you can. It will give you something to look forward to during the week when your schedule isn’t as flexible.


After earning my Bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in 2012, I returned to my New England roots to start my career at a digital advertising start-up in Boston. I recently completed a two-month road trip around the US, and have since begun an exciting new role as an Account Development Manager at Forrester Research in Cambridge, MA. In my free time, I enjoy singing, going to concerts, traveling, and outdoor activities. By contributing to Women’s iLab, I hope to share some insight into balancing personal and professional goals, and reflect on my own challenges in these overlapping areas.

Originally posted 2015-09-09 12:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter