Whenever I tell people I was up until 3 to 5 a.m. being productive, I’m always met with the same bewildered look.
From a young age, we’re told if we want to be productive and get stuff done, we’d better get up early and get to work. We wake up at eight a.m., get ready, and head to work for a traditional nine to five day.
Simply put, the mornings are for work and the night is for rest. After all, the early bird gets the worm.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. I argue that, especially for university students, we can get our best work done when the rest of the world is sleeping.
Working late into the night offers many advantages, starting with silence. At night, everything is quieter. This silence acts as a natural noise cancellation, enabling faster entry into a hyper-focused state, where it becomes possible to tune out your surroundings and focus on the task at hand.
Reduced stress is another benefit of working at night, which can help you reach a hyper-focused state quickly. The reduced stress is your body’s response to the night— it senses you’re headed for bed, causing Cortisol levels to drop.
Late-night productivity offers flexibility for students who relish the vibrant nightlife scene here in Kingston. Staying out late naturally disturbs the circadian rhythm and begins to leave you restless the following few days until you re-adjust to regular sleeping patterns.
However, by working late at night and adjusting the time you wake up accordingly, it’s possible to maintain a flexible schedule for enjoying nightlife while being productive and on top of tasks.
In short, you can work better and for longer, which was proven by a study that found night owls tended to display better concentration levels compared to their early rising counterparts, especially in the evening.
By this point, you might see yourself as someone who could benefit from working at night, but wonder how to maximize your productivity this way.
While ensuring you’ve minimized distractions, set clear and realistic goals, and take strategic breaks to prevent burnout, minimizing frequent breaks is essential to success.
Working at night might seem unconventional, and even inefficient, but for some, it’s the key to peak productivity and allows a certain flexibility the traditional nine to five mentality doesn’t.
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