Living the night owl life: As the clock ticks toward midnight (and beyond), productivity increases

November 9, 2023 — by Victoria Lin
Graphic by Leyna Chan
Tirelessly working late at night 
Why working at night just works better.

The dim light of my lamp illuminates across the room. I sit at my desk, typing furiously at 100 words per minute. The time: 12 a.m. For whatever reason, it is only at this time — while feeling on the verge of being delirious — that I find my inspiration. 

Any procrastinator knows the deadline for most assignments is either at 12 a.m. or the beginning of the class period. Night owls like me will start working right before midnight to be incentivized by the thought of either turning in the assignment on time or getting points off homework for turning it in late. 

According to Inc., working at night can improve the amount of overall work done for some people. If I hypothetically get no homework done by 9 p.m., I become overpowered by a rush of stress and adrenaline, which makes me much more productive. Spurred by the thought of turning in an assignment late, my fingers go on hyperspeed. While the stress might not produce the highest quality of work, it’s better than not getting any work done at all. 

Working at night also provides fewer distractions for those who tend to jump from one time-consuming activity to another. There’s no messages to respond to, no parents nagging you to wash the dishes and no cats to feed. Unless all your friends are also fellow night owls (you guys might also be up until 3 a.m.), working at night eliminates all possibility of getting sidetracked by a conversation. 

Staying up late can also create more hours in the day, exchanging useless sleeping for invaluable time on important assignments such as college essays, studying for tests or planning out the next day. 

This mindset might not be super positive for your physical health, but you’ll thank yourself tomorrow for being so productive. As a fellow student who gets roughly seven to eight hours of sleep per night, I sometimes find myself sleep deprived the next morning, but that’s what mid-afternoon naps are for. Keep in mind that this midnight lifestyle is not sustainable for the long run. 

Though our society runs during the day, I’m one of those people who seems to function best at night. It’s almost like having a super power — student during the day, dedicated worker at night. It may not be sustainable over a lifetime, but for now, it gets the job done.

Tags: Sleep, work
2 views this week