You’ve heard the cliché, “The early bird gets the worm.” Fortunately, this cliché is nothing more than a fairytale. There are plenty of people that are up by 5 a.m. and aren’t producing as much as their coworkers who get up at 8 or 9 a.m. It’s not about being the early riser that's the first person at the office; it comes down to what you’re doing during those hours that creates your success.
Here are five ways you can make sure tenacity and hard work pay off much more than being an early riser:
Use Your Time Wisely
From an early age, we were told that we needed to wake up early for a number of reasons. Among the classic motivators were that early risers are more productive, more successful, and have a stronger work ethic than those who wake up later.
Sure, arrive early to work looks good. But it’s what you’re doing during those early hours that sets you apart. If you show up early to take long coffee breaks, play around on social media, and read the news, how does that make you more productive?
Conversely, if you show up later, but you’re focused, cheerful and ready to work, your overall productivity will surpass that of your coworkers who show up earlier and fail to make use of that extra time.
Know Your Strengths
Many successful people don’t show up to work until mid-afternoon because that’s when they think and feel their best. If you’re in a flexible position at your job and work better later in the day, allow yourself to do so.
For instance, Aaron Levie, the founder of Box, an online file sharing and content management service worth more than a billion dollars, usually arrives at the office between 11 and 11:30 a.m and his head usually won’t hit the pillow until 3 a.m. The hour of the day doesn’t necessarily depend on your success; it’s what you’re doing with your time that does.
Be Willing to Refine Your Practices
Tenacity means you’re always looking to improve your systems and practices. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to figuring out what works best for you.
That said, don’t make changes just for the sake of making changes. Make sure you’re refining intentionally, with an end goal in place. Figure out how to automate repeated jobs, work a little faster, or use resources more efficiently. It’s a constant practice.
Stick close to your mission and check back often with how your daily practices align with your overall vision. Tenacity can function as a sort of muscle — it takes less effort the more you flex, so once you’re in the habit of tenacity, it will feel more natural and less like work.
Work With Your Strengths
Supportive workspace environments provide real, tangible benefits to understanding the best case scenarios that help you and your coworkers perform effectively. Some people need a little more silence; others prefer stimulation.
An early riser works better in the beginning of the day; others tap into their creative genius later into the night. Find ways to support and capitalize on these strengths, and you can build tenacity into your team.