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6 Essential Work Strategies for Night Owls & Early Birds

6 Essential Work Strategies for Night Owls & Early Birds

Megan Malugani | Monster Contributing Writer

4. Get Recognized

Overcoming the perception that you’re not dedicated or productive is one of the biggest obstacles to working different hours, Moore says. “The challenge is making it evident that you are contributing your full weight,” she says. In the best-case scenario, your night-owl or early-bird tendencies will mirror your boss’s. If they don’t, however, you may have to take extra steps to be visible.

For example, use email or voice mail with time and date stamps that document when you completed your early-morning or late-night work. Hand-deliver projects to your boss’s desk to make it evident when you were at the office. If you come in early, park close to where your boss usually parks so he will notice your early arrival.

5. Make Exceptions

If you come to work late or leave early, don’t consider your schedule set in stone. Be flexible enough to attend the occasional 8 a.m. meeting or after-hours brainstorming session. Although the time of day may not be optimal for you, with advance warning you can rise to the occasion. “The night owl needs to prepare the night before what he is going to say or contribute at the morning meeting, and the early bird needs to prepare that morning for a late-afternoon meeting,” Schur says. “You need to put your very best work on paper at your best time of day.”

6. Find the Right Industry

Flexible scheduling is simply not an option at many companies and in many industries. If the issue is paramount to your happiness or even your health, find work that’s a better fit, Schur says. Early birds generally function better than night owls in 8-to-5 jobs but would suffer working evening or night shifts, she notes. Night owls are drawn to late-afternoon, evening and overnight jobs in the service and entertainment sectors.