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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Early bird vs. night owl: Finding your perfect productivity balance

Early+bird+vs.+night+owl%3A+Finding+your+perfect+productivity+balance
Shavonne Chin

In the debate between early birds and night owls, the battle of the ideal daily schedule rages on. Some greet the early morning sun with open arms while others thrive under the moon and stars.

Both of these lifestyle choices come with benefits, but when is the best time to seize the day? Ultimately, you decide.

It’s sometimes difficult to get up to your alarm, even after a full eight hours. Other times, it’s hard to drift off to sleep when your mind is still moving.

EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM

I love to start my day with an early morning gym session, listening to my favorite music as I conquer my first task. It’s almost the same concept as making your bed first thing in the morning — once you’ve completed the day’s first task, you’ll be motivated to do the rest. With this mindset, you can accomplish more than you think in the early hours and have more free time later on.

Having the chance to get a kick-start in the mornings sets the mood and determines your attitude for the day. Whether it’s getting a good workout in or doing those chores you’ve been pushing off, it feels great to get up and moving.

An added bonus to waking up early is time to eat a fulfilling and healthy breakfast. Lack of time is the biggest contributor to skipping the most important meal of the day. Consistently doing so can lead to feeling fatigued and irritated — the opposite of what we want.

Not having breakfast makes it more difficult to concentrate and has a significant impact on attention span. This is due to lack of glucose in the brain which is an essential metabolic power source used to fuel cognitive functions, according to the Better Health Channel.

The solitude of mornings gives you time and space to collect your thoughts before moving into the busy schedule ahead of you. This gradual start is important for a sound mind because it allows for a stress-free morning routine that doesn’t feel rushed or overwhelming.

I prefer being an early bird because at the end of the day, I have more time to myself. Being able to go to bed knowing that I hit all of my goals allows me to sleep better and makes me excited for what I can accomplish tomorrow. It’s an essential part of my life being a go-getter. Using mornings as a head start gives me the opportunity to make the most of each day and push myself to achieve as much as I can.

NIGHT OWL CATCHES THE MOUSE

For night owls, the opposite applies. Using the daytime to get obligations out of the way leaves optimal time at night to be productive.

Nighttime has a certain type of energy perfect for working on projects and assignments because there are minimal distractions, allowing individuals to focus on their thoughts. Some people find that their minds are more open during late hours which encourages a free flow of ideas, according to Psychology Today. This mental state also allows for better problem solving skills.

Typical demands of the average day obstruct setting aside periods of time for work and hobbies. Nighttime offers stress-free isolation that many people can’t find during the day. This uninterrupted time is when you can finally hit the books and focus or just relax and let your mind wander.

As the sun sets, early birds begin to wind down but this is where night owls are just getting started.

The ability to function at night gives night owls a one-up on early birds, especially when it comes to meeting deadlines. People who work at night are often better at meeting deadlines because they keep the grind going well beyond the hours of a normal work day. The adrenaline rush of trying to submit that assignment before 11:59 p.m. can produce a burst of productivity and enhance work performance.

However, the night owl lifestyle simply isn’t something I can get behind. If I pushed off everything until later on, I would feel as though I don’t have time to relax and regret not using the day to its fullest potential. Besides, after I’ve finished my classes, the last thing I want to be doing is staring at my computer screen when I can be doing something I genuinely enjoy. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Taking care of your mind and body is equally important. Take a moment for yourself, even if it means just settling down with your favorite hot beverage.

No matter which side you take, you’ll have time to decompress before bed, maybe even well before then. Early birds may finish first, but night owls still utilize those late hours. It’s rewarding to cozy up with a good book or tune into your favorite Netflix show after a productive day. After all, you deserve the time to yourself.

Early birds and night owls both thrive in their own ways, but in reality, it all comes down to time management. Neither side has the upper hand because there are perks to both. Your success relies on aligning your schedule with your individual preferences and strengths. 

Whether you find inspiration at the break of day or flourish with the man in the moon, use your peak hours to your advantage to live a satisfying, fulfilling and balanced lifestyle.

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About the Contributors
Gina Lorusso, Associate Arts & Life Editor

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