Sean Peek, COO and marketing director and Nicole Fallon, and CEO and editorial director, of Lightning Media Partners experienced a rough transition from their old routine to their new one.
Initially, they both commuted about an hour to New York City, waking up at 6 a.m. and getting home around 6:45 p.m. on a good day. Issues like train delays, late meetings and other inconveniences could lengthen their day by hours.
“We were exhausted and miserable every day, and it was taking a serious toll on our physical and mental health,” they said.
When they started their own business full-time from home, despite not being morning people, they attempted to follow their old routine of waking at 6 a.m. to get an early start on the day. However, after hitting “snooze” most mornings, they began to realize that if they wanted to be more productive and efficient, this was not a feasible option for them.
“We decided to allow ourselves to ‘sleep in’ every day until we figured out our natural sleep patterns,” they said. “Turns out we’re both most alert and productive when we wake up at 8/8:30 a.m. and start the workday at 9:30/10.”
But this arrangement bred overwhelming guilt and discomfort.
“At first, it felt strange that we weren’t getting out of bed until most people are already at their desks,” said Peek and Fallon. “Over time, we realized that this is what works for us. We work hard, meet our deadlines and go above and beyond for our clients, so why should we hold ourselves to old corporate habits?”
To combat any negative emotions toward this more lax schedule, they created a shared task board to hold each other accountable. Reviewing it at the end of every day reassured them that they accomplished all they needed, despite waking up a few hours later than they used to.
“Instead of rushing out the door without coffee or breakfast, we now have time to share a meal, discuss our plans for the day and find out what's happening in the world, before we even sit down at our desks,” Peek and Fallon said.
Prioritizing both your physical and mental health will help you become more alert, focused, passionate and driven, positively impacting your work.
“Since adopting this mindset and schedule, we are more productive and more efficient than we ever were before,” they added. “We're operating on our natural sleep schedule and starting the day with our minds primed and ready for the tasks ahead. We stress less because we're not fighting ourselves and struggling with unnecessary guilt. It turns out, it's okay to not be a morning person.”