Are a night owl? An early bird? Or a permanently exhausted pigeon? Everyone’s seen that meme right? I love it – it is so accurate! I have always felt like I can never get enough sleep, particularly in winter, and I hate early mornings. My family couldn’t quite believe it when I signed up for 6am gym classes, because when I was at school, it wasn’t unusual for me to sleep until after lunchtime on a weekend. So is there ever a time when I am productive?
The Power of When
To be honest, I didn’t think there was. I always felt tired. So when I was sent a quiz called The Power of When, I immediately tried it out. Basically, it asks you a few questions about what time of day you like to do things and it gives you your result – you are either a Bear, a Wolf, a Lion or a Dolphin. Called a chronotype test, it lets you know when you are most productive during the day.
So what does each result mean?
Bears are happiest during daylight hours – they like sunlight and work at their best between 9am and 2pm. They tend to feel more tired in the winter and like napping.
Wolves are happiest at night – they sleep in late and stay up late. You will probably find them at their best between 1pm and 9pm but they might work late into the night.
Lions are early risers – up with the dawn and at their best at the start of the day. They might be up at 4am but start to flag in the afternoon.
Dolphins are probably the unhappiest sleepers, often suffering from insomnia and unable to nap or drop off to sleep easily. They work in spurts of activity during the time and can become more alert in the evening / nighttime.
Why is it helpful to know?
It is no coincidence that the quiz is called The POWER of When – I think that knowing what time you’re at your best during the day can unlock more of your own superpowers. In case you’re wondering, I’m a Bear, and I work best in the mornings.
Since finding this out, I have changed the way I approach my day job. I plan in the tasks that require the most brain power for as soon as I get into work or the morning. For the afternoon, I plan in more menial tasks, like updating project plans, catching up on emails or writing my to do list for the next day. I also block out the last hour of the day in my diary so people don’t put important meetings in. Then I know I will always be at my best for whatever task is in front of me.
Think of it as a productivity hack if you will!
I now also know why I crave daylight more and am happier and more productive in the spring and summer – it’s because I get energy from the light. I also find it easier to get up in the mornings when the sun is up and find myself falling to sleep later. I thought everyone was like that, but since taking The Power of When, I’ve realised they’re probably not.
Managing life as a Bear
Of course, life isn’t so neatly planned that I can always avoid meetings in the afternoon or evening or plan my day around my needs. Sometimes (a lot of the time), you have to be flexible. So how do I manage that better, now I know my chronotype?
Well, as a Bear, I know that I need a lot of sleep. So if I am getting up early to go to the gym, I go to sleep earlier. I also do my best to avoid early mornings at the weekend, so I can wake up naturally without an alarm. If I have a meeting in the afternoon, I put more time aside to prepare for it and I keep well hydrated to make me more alert if it is dark.
I also got Andrew to take the test, so I could see whether we’re in sync or whether I need to be aware of his best time of day. Turns out he is a Bear too, so we can indulge our love of naps and early nights together.
Have you taken The Power of When? Please do (it’s super quick) and tell me what you are below!
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