Home Business Owner: What to Do If You Aren’t an Early Riser

We hear a lot about how a successful home business owner needs to get up bright and early. But what if you aren’t a morning person?

I’m an early riser. No matter how hard I try, I can’t sleep past 8 a.m. Sometimes on weekends, after a long week, and after I’ve stayed up late watching movies with my husband, I can make it until 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m.

It’s just not in my genes to sleep in. And there are days that I wish I could. There are even days that I’m groggy first thing in the morning, and I want to go back to bed. But I. Just. Can’t.

For me, this means that I have to get the bulk of my important work for the home business done first thing in the morning. I guess I should take comfort from the fact that, apparently, all the greats are early risers. But I don’t. I kind of wish that I could sleep in a little, have time to exercise, and then get some stuff done.

Sunshine in Greece

But, no matter how I try to get stuff done in the afternoon, it’s a struggle. My peak productivity is early in the morning, and if I do things first that interrupt the flow of work, it just doesn’t get done.

But do?you have to get up early to be successful? Are you doomed to home business failure if you sleep in? The good news is that you don’t have to be.

Tips for Home Business Success While Sleeping In

I’m not going to do as well when I sleep in. It’s the unfortunate reality of my situation. I’ve tried a number of work and productivity experiments, and what works for me is getting up, getting the work done, and then taking care of other things like exercise and eating and errands.

But that’s not how you have to work if that’s not your ideal. Entrepreneur’s Meredith Fineman has a few strategies you can use?to help get the most out of your home business, even if you’re not up at the crack of dawn:

  • Don’t get caught up in the early rise hype: It’s hard to ignore the early riser hype, especially with all the early bird worship going on. But don’t get caught 'Sleeping rabbits'up in it. Remember, you’re creating the life you want. So don’t get think you have to be just like someone else for home business success.
  • Plan ahead: Many early risers plan their days in the morning, after they’ve risen and meditated and exercised or whatever. You can plan ahead, too. Prioritize your to-do list the night before, so that it’s waiting for you.
  • Do what you can to wake up: If you have a hard time with the process of waking up, look for ways to energize yourself first. Even when I feel a bit groggy, I’m still pretty energetic in the morning. I don’t exercise to wake me up. But you might. Do what helps you wake up and energize so that you feel ready to focus when it’s time to work.
  • Work during peak productivity: My curse is that peak productivity for me is before lunch. Even if I do force myself to sleep in and do other things first, I can’t get anything done in the afternoon. But if your peak productivity is mid-morning, or early afternoon, or some other time, that’s when you need to get most of your work done. Get the most important home business tasks done during a concentrated period of time during your peak productivity hours.
  • Set boundaries: I started scheduling interviews and other phone conversations with people in the early afternoon. Rather than chewing up my best writing time with phone calls, I moved them to a time period after lunch. You can do the same thing. I try not to let other things interrupt my peak productivity. Set boundaries for your home business work time so that you aren’t using peak productivity hours for mundane things like errands and answering email.

With a little planning, you can be just as productive as an early riser. Just because you sleep in a little bit (or a lot) doesn’t mean that your home business is doomed to failure. Work around the reality of what you need in terms of sleep, social interaction, and other things. My husband gets a lot done. He’s very productive — after 11 p.m. He likes working when the house is quiet and he doesn’t have to worry about being pestered by students. It means he often goes to bed at 3 a.m. and gets up between 11 a.m. and noon. (His body needs more sleep than mine does.) But that doesn’t mean he isn’t successful. It just means he has a different schedule.

7 thoughts on “Home Business Owner: What to Do If You Aren’t an Early Riser”

  1. John S @ Frugal Rules

    I never considered myself an early riser until we started our own business. I learned very early on that is generally when I’m most productive – though it could also be because our little ones are still asleep. 😉 That said, determining when you work your best and are productive is a huge help – especially when you’re able to schedule to that.

  2. I’m not an early riser AT ALL and I have struggled with it for years, trying to change my ways to be ‘successful’. Now I just go to sleep at a normal hour and wake up close to 9. This is when I also start work. I wake up fully rested and can do my job. I’d love being able to function well since 6-7, but it’s just not me. So, instead of trying to mimic others, I listen to my body and just start the day when I am ready to do 😉

    1. I think that’s a great way to go about it. Do what works for YOU, and I think that you have the potential to be successful, especially as a solopreneur, or if you have a small home business.

  3. LOL. I used to think that I was sleeping in if I slept to 8AM. I usually getup at 7:30 which precludes me from attending the many breakfast network meetings that start at 7AM. So..I guess I’m an early riser after all:-)

  4. I?m totally a morning person (after a good cup of coffee of course) which stinks because my most productive time is spent at my day job. By the time I get home in the evening I?m tired and less productive, I just can?t get as much done. And burning the midnight oil doesn’t work well either, I find that it takes me twice as long to write anything and the quality isn’t as good.

    Making a to do list for the following day does help me stay focused though, and I can concentrate on checking off items on the list rather than getting distracted by emails or Skype chats (I pop in there to see what?s going on but I don?t chat much).

    1. I like the idea of finding something to focus on to keep you moving forward. I do that, too, but sometimes it backfires. Sadly, there are times I’ll look at a list, think it looks short, and then procrastinate because I’m sure I’ll have time “later” to do everything. But knocking it all out first thing does help me. 🙂

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