Understanding Your Time Tendencies

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Most people are pretty quick to answer that question; they know when they thrive most during the day. But are you optimizing that time?

As much as we would all love to be brimming with energy and mentally focused for all 16 waking hours of the day, let’s rather make the most of the times when we do feel that way.

This will be a series of blog posts talking about how you can use your peak hours to your advantage when it comes to nutrition, workouts and life’s priorities. Before we can dive into all that goodness, let’s confirm your tendencies with the following quiz. Keep in mind that neither type is “right.” It’s far more important that you play into your bodies strengths than fight them, thinking you are supposed to be something you are not.

Take this 5 question quiz to better understand your early bird or night owl ways.

1. What time would you get up if you were entirely free to plan your own day?

A. 5am-6:30am (1 pt)

B. 6:30am-8am (2 pts)

C. 8am-9:30am (3 pts)

D. 9:30am-11am (4 pts)

If you’d wake up after 11am, I think you know what you are ;)

2. What time would you go to bed if you were entirely free to plan your evening?

A. 8pm-9:30pm (1pt)

B. 9:30pm-11pm (2 pts)

C. 11pm-12:30am (3 pts)

D. 12:30am-the wee hours of the morning (4 pts)

3. How easy do you find it to get up in the morning?

A. Pretty easy – I may snooze the alarm once, but not more than that. (1 pt)

B. It’s ok – Waking up isn’t my favorite, but I am quite alert once I do. (2 pts)

C. It sucks – I often stay up too late, so my morning alarm is not welcomed. (3 pts)

D. Why do mornings even exist? (4 pts)

4. If you could choose any time of day to work out when would it be?

A. Early morning – There’s nothing quite like 6am endorphins. (1 pt)

B. Mid morning – Why can’t 9-5 jobs accommodate my desire for a 10:30am workout? (2 pts)

C. Mid afternoon – Who needs 2pm caffeine when you can have 2pm burpees? (3 pts)

D. Evening – A post-work sweat session is the best! (4 pts)

5. If you could choose any time of day to take an important test or give a big presentation when would it be?

A. Early morning – I’ve had my coffee, I’m feeling ready, let’s do this thing. (1 pt)

B. Mid morning – I’m now fully awake and ready to roll. (2 pts)

C. Mid afternoon – I thrive in the afternoon. (2 pts)

D. Evening – I’m at my peak and will bring my best self at this hour. (4 pts)

Now add up your points to learn more about yourself:

5-8 total points

Early bird: You feel best in the morning, you rarely snooze your alarm when it goes off, and a lot of your friends/coworkers hate you for being so dang peppy in the morning.

9-12 total points

Mid-Morning Macaw: You consider yourself a morning person, but not the 5am kind of morning person. You feel most full of life after a few hours of movin’ and groovin’ through your day.

13-16 total points

Afternoon Astrapia (that’s a bird of paradise btw): Post-lunch is your prime time. While everyone else is hitting their mid-day crash you feel like a million bucks.

17-20 total points

Night Owl: You love the evening hours, you do your best work after dark, and you are the friend who is most fun to go out with because midnight is your magic hour.

As I mentioned, the key to optimizing your peak hours, is not wishing you were the opposite of what you are, but rather playing into your strengths. There is research supporting positive attributes in both early birds and night owls, so own it! Remember your “type” and keep this in mind over the next few blog posts as we discuss optimizing your life to match your energy patterns.

Check out the rest of the time tendencies series here:

Prioritize the Things That Matter Most

Get Your Nutrition in Check

When to Work Out