Freelancing Survival Tip: Work With Your Body Clock

internal clockJust a few more hours until the start of summer vacation, and I’m as excited as the kids. Not because I will get 11 weeks off (I won’t) or because I love having my kids underfoot 24-7 (I actually enjoy some peace and quiet). My favorite thing about summer vacation? Sleeping in! I’m not a morning person, so having to rise before the crack of dawn to drag my son (also not a morning person) out of bed and off to school is not my idea of a great morning, and probably the reason my caffeine intake has skyrocketed.

It seems as if every day I hear someone touting the wonderful benefits of waking early — numerous productivity gurus swear it’s the secret to getting more done. Truth be told, I wish I was a morning person. I love the idea of getting up early and getting down to work while everyone else is still sleeping. But the truth of the matter is that I’m not a morning person. I’m not more productive when I wake up early. I’m actually less productive!

Work With Your Body Clock

Everyone has their own rhythm —  the circadian rhythm. While some are at their best when they turn in early and wake up early, others function better when they stay up late and sleep in until the early afternoon. And most, like me, are somewhere in-between the two. No matter what your rhythm is, you will function better — in all areas of your life — if you follow your internal clock, not someone else’s notion of the “correct” way.

Your internal body clock encompasses more than just your sleep/wake cycle, it also determines your energy cycle. Everyone has a certain time of day when they are at their creative best; this is the time to tackle the big projects — the tasks that require heavy thinking, creative ability, and laser focus. Save this time — whatever time of day it is — for your most important work, and schedule the more mundane tasks around it.

The greatest perk of being a freelancer, in my opinion, is the ability to set your own work schedule. We may still have certain parameters forced upon our time, but we do have more flexibility to work around them. Working with your body clock — or as close to it as possible — will enable you to become more productive and efficient.

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