it wasnt until i took on my current role that lead to an evening shift - 12PM to 8PM.
it was definitely a big change with pros and cons. however, the pros mostly outweighed the cons. almost two years later and im pretty much settled in and have found even more benefits to working late. on top of that im also more productive now and weirdly enough, more of a morning person now than ever.
when i worked the morning shifts, i pretty much had to leave running to make it to work by 8 or 9AM. commute was very unpredictable and i hated being late. this meant that i rarely had time to eat breakfast or just have any morning rituals in general. i tried waking up earlier but it just didnt stick. i think my ultimate maximum for wake up time is 6AM - any earlier than that, its not a great time. and because i wake up so early, by the time im done work, i mostly feel like doing nothing.
working the late shift has allowed me to learn how to wake up naturally and still have plenty of time to make and eat breakfast, exercise (if i wanted to), read, make coffee, blah blah. i legit even have time to grind coffee beans these days.
it didnt start out like that though. ive always been a late(ish) sleeper. the earliest i sleep is probably 11.30PM - this is probably why waking up early was such a pain. with a late shift, i could sleep late and wake up late and still have more sleep than i have ever had. of course, i abused this in the beginning and just started sleeping later and waking up later. that didnt work - i felt as rushed as when i had to be at work for 8AM. thats just ridiculously unnecessary. i also felt very unproductive and sluggish. so i started sleeping earlier and naturally, my body adapted. now, im almost always asleep by 12.30AM (max, 1.30AM) during weekdays and i naturally wake up around 7.30AM. i just allow myself to roll around in bed until 8AM (max, 8.30AM). this has also affected my ability to sleep in but maybe thats also just me getting older.
my mornings are the slowest part of my day. i allow myself 30 minutes for each activity i would like to accomplish - including the time i allow myself to lazily roll around in bed. i dont know when or why i started doing this but it kind of reminds me of Hugh Grants character in About a Boy.
i mentioned this in a previous post, im great at being productive at work but my personal time was more or less unstructured. lately, i am noticing that i am getting better and better at getting through the "must do" stuff. therefore, giving me more time to spend on my "id like to do" stuff. i feel that i am more mindful of the time i spend doing certain things which allows me to pivot faster and having less of the "oh my gosh, its [blahblah time] already?! what have i done today?" moments.
this sense of accomplishment at the beginning of the day has done wonders for me. i now see mornings as more than a "getting ready" time of day. i can get stuff done in the morning which allows me to just relax in the evening, guilt-free, if i wanted to. sometimes i am also in such high spirits the entire day that i can keep going and just do more stuff in the evening as well like go out and hang out with people. as an introvert, this is very taxing more often than not, so even i surprise myself sometimes.
one thing that i did have to avoid was to start working as soon as i woke up. i used to bring my laptop home everyday and just got things fired up right away - emails, Slack, everything. i wanted to get caught up right away so that when i get in, im ready to go. this just didnt end up being good for me and my health, mental and physical. instead, i compromised. i tried to get in 30 minutes earlier and this is when i do all the catching up - again with that 30-minute unit of time.
all in all, i now see mornings in a new light (haha, get it?) and i enjoy them so much more.
four months into my new role and shift, i started experimenting with breakfast.
i remember vividly that this was when i started to appreciate the gift of time in the morning.