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November 19, 2015

When You’re Your Best

I remember days in college when my roommates would get up, make coffee, and take showers to get ready for their 8 a.m. class and I would still be awake in my bedroom working on an advertising project from the...

When You’re Your Best

I remember days in college when my roommates would get up, make coffee, and take showers to get ready for their 8 a.m. class and I would still be awake in my bedroom working on an advertising project from the night before, having never gone to sleep. They would think I was crazy, of course. And sure, it was partially due to the fact that I’m a terrible procrastinator. But the truth is, working all night is when I worked best.

And over time, not much has changed.

When my husband I moved to our new house a few years ago, I took a week off of work to work on the house before we moved in. Sometimes I’d paint until 2 or 3 in the morning.

I love the nighttime. When I’m working on something at night, I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing daylight when I’d love to be outside or family time when my son and husband are awake. I love the fact that at night, I don’t have a time limit looming overhead. I get a little caffeine, play some good background music, and get my work done without any pressure to be somewhere or to do something. In fact, most of my blogs are written at night after my husband and son are asleep—including this one right now!

I don’t think the nighttime is the right time for everyone. I think it’s the right time for me to work on things.

And that is really the key to being successful. If you want to be your best, then you need to know what makes you your best.

So many people get caught up in the “right way” to accomplish something. There are countless articles on the benefits to waking up earlier to get things done, work out, or “be your best.” So people read that and think that that is the only way to be successful or reach your goals.

Have you met yourself? Maybe that’s right for you—but maybe not.

Here’s what I need: I need to be rested. I need a clean working area so I don’t get distracted. I need clear objectives of what I want to accomplish. I need to be alone. I need to have some caffeine and an open night.

So what do you need? What days or times of day are you your best? When are you the least distracted? When do you have the most creative energy? When do you want to work on something? What environment do you work best in? Do you like working with people or alone? What types of things help you stay accountable?

If you can identify the situations in which you are your best, then you can create your schedule to reflect that. Instead of comparing yourself to everyone else and how they do what they do or reading books telling you exactly how you should do what you do, instead ask yourself, What do I need to be my best?

Once you know what it is, you can actually start to do it.

Then you can quit setting your alarm for 4 a.m. and hitting snooze every 10 minutes until your normal wake-up time at 6, having never gotten your work done and annoyed your spouse in the process! (Not that I know anything about that.)

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Leave a Comment

  1. Jonathan Swegles says:

    Wonderful! We get so wrapped up in the how it’s being done by others when the main point is why something is being done. Knowing your strengths, and your why, is an element of success in and of itself.

  2. Dot says:

    You just reminded me of a project that i have put on pause because I could not get to writing it without feeling like I should be listening to my last of my 5, who is living at home (16). I need to write that project up in the early hours 3:30, that work so well with me.

    Thank you for sharing and reminding me.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Love reading your posts Christy! 🙂 They are always fun, full of inspiration and motivate me to do things or try something new for my blog or my husband and my photography business 🙂

  4. Kari says:

    ??I totally “get” this…I work best at night, as well…my time to shine! Thank you for putting your thoughts in this blog. Perfect!!?

  5. Rachel says:

    I am a night-owl by nature too, and I get very productive at night. But then it is extremely hard to get up with my kids in the morning, and I never feel rested. How do you manage this? You said that you need to feel rested, but it sounds like you stay up late. Do you sleep in later? Do you need less sleep than most? Do you nap? I would love some practical ideas of how to work with my natural tendencies instead of fighting against them.

  6. Travis says:

    It is refreshing to hear that I’m not alone in being a night owl. Right now I’m trying to build a small business on the side and when I get home late at night from working a retail job my creative juices are flowing. I keep trying to “force” myself to be up at 5am. Sometimes it works. Often it doesn’t. Thank you for your article. Can I ask a question? What music do you listen to in the background while you work?

    Thanks,
    “Sparky” (Travis)

  7. T says:

    I believe that night is the best time for me until 2 am because running in the morning before I go to work is so a good time to spend with Jesus.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    May God add a blessing to your family and to your business this year Christy!

    -T