On Time Management and Being a Night Owl

On Time Management & Being a Night Owl {the ponytail diaries}

I’ve known since I was little that I’m a “night owl,” through and through.

I want to be an early bird. I wish I could jump out of bed before sunrise and love mornings. I wish I could get tired and tuck in before 10:00 every night.

My husband is awesome at this. He has a lengthy commute and has no choice, but he makes it easier on himself by stubbornly going to bed at what I call an “old man” time — usually by 9:00 or 9:30 at the latest every night.

A couple years ago, I was talking to my mom — as he was brushing his teeth — and saying how I was trying to go to bed earlier so I’d have time to go to the gym before work in the morning, but for some reason, it wasn’t the “getting up early” part as much as the “going to bed at a reasonable hour” part that was so. damn. hard.

My mom laughed and said “Allison, you’ve never been good about going to bed!”

And it was like, light bulb. She’s totally right, of course. I was the kid staying up late reading under the covers. Bargaining to watch one more TV show or finish the movie. Or just not falling asleep when I was forced into my room. And it’s still the same. There’s always something else on the DVR, another feed to check, a chapter to finish, some more quick tidying up in the kitchen, another row to knit. I can’t just make myself stop and start getting ready for bed at a time that would make it possible for me to fall asleep early.

And therefore, I can’t wake up early. I mean, I can, but it sure ain’t pleasant. Or easy. Or natural. I set my alarm for 6:30, nowadays, but lately I’m lucky if I drag myself out of bed by 7:30. Then I walk Onyx, make breakfast, putter around, and I’m lucky if I start actually working by 9:00. Most days it’s more like 10:00.

Which should be fine, right? That’s partly why I’m freelancing — so I have control over my schedule and can work according to my own biorhythms or whatever. Who cares, now, when I work, whether it’s at 9:00 in the morning or 11:00 at night?

But here’s the problem, and, I’m now convinced, the crux of my time management struggles: with Husband working a typical 8-5 day, I still feel pressure to keep to those hours, because when he’s home in the evenings, I want to be able to stop working and spend time with him. And if I start working at 10, and take an early-afternoon break to go to yoga and then run a couple errands before the after-work rush and get back to my desk at 5:30…well, I’d have to be the most efficient freelancer on earth to make that work.

Do any other freelancers or work-from-home types experience this? Trying to fit your “freedom” around your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/family? I think if it were just me, I’d have slow, relaxing mornings, do my hardest/most important work around midday, take another break for errands and household chores, a couple hours on admin-type work, dinner, and maybe a couple more hours of whatever else needed to be done, or fiction/creative/personal writing.

Alas, I enjoy spending time with my husband, and he’s only home during that golden hour when I wish I could get a lot of work done. le sigh.

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4 thoughts on “On Time Management and Being a Night Owl

  1. Yes, yes, yes!!! I feel the same way with trying to get everything done before P comes home from work. My days fly by and I try to put down the blog or lesson or whatever when P gets home because I feel bad since I was home all day. I get up around the same time he is up or an hour after too, I’m not sleeping in. It’s hard to get out of that 8-5 mentality/routine.

    • Exactly! It’s like, I swear I haven’t just been goofing off all day — but I went to the dentist and the grocery store and XYZ so I still have some work to finish after 6:00…

  2. I am not a night owl. My husband is, but we have finally figured out a compromise. We both work normal 9-5 jobs but when I want to work on shop stuff I try to do it while he is around.

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