The Early Birds Can Have Their Worms…I’m Looking for a Mouse!

Who hasn’t heard the saying “the early bird gets the worm?” It’s been one I’ve heard over and over again my entire life. The premise of this saying is those who get up early get more stuff done and have more opportunities throughout the day.  Whomever starts first has the best chance for success. I just want to say that I hate that phrase. Why are the ones who get up early afforded a better chance at success? How is this success measured? Is it basically just a saying for productivity? If you get up early, you have more hours to accomplish tasks than those who don’t, right? I call BS. Here’s why!

early bird gets the worm, but owl gets the mouse

It’s Not About When You Get Up, It’s About How You Utilize Your Time

Getting up is hard to do for me. I’ve never been a morning person. It’s just not my nature. I could sleep in until 11am if I could. There are just some people out there that just don’t do mornings. I’m one of them. While I don’t get cranky or bite anyone’s head off, I don’t like being up early in the morning. I like sleeping in. It’s kind of my thing!

While I will say those who get up early do have more chances to complete tasks that are based around the typical work day. You can do things when stores are open, businesses are running, and commerce is happening. It makes sense.

The issue with the whole early bird getting the worm is only those who utilize their time efficiently actually get said worm. I guess we are still measuring success by what we can accomplish on a 9-5 work schedule. That’s so old school! We need to transform to the future. It’s the age of the internet and 24/7 commerce. It doesn’t matter when you get up, it only matters what you do with the time you have when you are up.

I’m No Bird! I’m a Night Owl…

By the time I get up, all the worms have been spoken for. Luckily for me, I hunt for bigger prey. I don’t want to dig around for worms, I want to catch mice! I’m a freaking night owl!  I do my best work after 8pm. I’ve had great practice in doing so. I ran a side business in consumer electronics that sold over $1 million in revenue a year.

All after my full-time job working nine to five. While the stores were closed and my distributors had packed up for the day, I was doing work. I was fixing bugs, responding to questions, marketing online and getting the orders ready for the next day.

You might ask how I was able to run a business with customers while I was at a full-time job, but the answer is simple. I flourish in the realm of automation. That’s a field I excel in. It’s actually part of my full-time job. I make people’s lives easier by automating their mundane tasks. Why do the same thing over and over again, when you can just press a button and have it done for you?

That’s how I approached my e-commerce business and that’s who I was able to run it during the day when I was gone. This doesn’t mean I didn’t have to bust my butt at the business. When you’re dealing with customers, you have to do it right. I learned a lot from that business and used the failures I had there to launch my WordPress support business. Automation isn’t perfect and I wasn’t utilizing the time I did have to push the business forward. I chalk that up to lack of knowledge on running an e-commerce business.

Most of my customers know I’m up late at night. I typically don’t go to bed before midnight. Why? I can get down to business with my websites and blogs. At night is when I can sit down, pound the keyboard, and do my thing. This doesn’t mean I ignore my customers during the day (just ask them), because my business is built on them.

I respect my customers and do everything I can for them. You can’t have a service-based business without customers. At night is when I find my thoughts to be the clearest and my energy level increases at around 8pm. I can’t say this is every night, but for the most part, I do my best work at night.

When most people are eating dinner, watching TV, or getting ready to sleep, I’m working. I’m working on expanding my brand, building my blogs, and providing more services for my customers. As you can see, it doesn’t matter when I do these things, it only matters how efficient I am.

It’s All About Efficiency

There have been study after study talking about the effects of multitasking. The more you do, the lesser quality you produce. I’ve been there and done that. Sometimes I like to call it “too many irons in the fire.” No matter what you call it, one person can only do so much before their quality starts to decline.  That being said, I don’t know if many of those studies accounted for automation.

There are many great things in this tech world and automation is one of them.  If I can go click a button to fetch data from thousands of websites, while I go work on another project, that’s multitasking. I’m completing two things at once. The key here is my focus is fully on the project that can’t be automated. One project is working on it’s own toward completion and the other is getting 100% of my attention. Again, it’s not how much you do, but how efficiently you do it.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from getting up early. If you like to get out there, chase those worms around and score your success, then go for it. You just won’t find me fighting for the same worm you’re looking for. I’ll wait for my opportunities at a later hour when you are thinking about going to sleep. I’ll also be hunting much bigger prey.

So, let’s forget about this whole “early bird gets the worm” deal and just tell people to utilize their time more efficiently. Focus on things that directly effect your goal, like making money, saving money, or fighting debt. Focus on what you can control. The rest will fall into place.

Now go! Catch whatever prey tickles your fancy. Success is only measured in our minds. Don’t let someone else measure it for you!

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  1. I totally love this one Grayson! I used to wake up very early too, but I noticed that I didn’t use my time well. I also love working until 10-11 PM.

  2. I’m glad you explained this how you did. Clearly you’re uber productive and accomplish what you want. Yet, you’re not a morning person. I’m sure all the other night owls out there are happy about this post. Someone needs to stand up for them 🙂 . I prefer mornings, but that’s completely because it’s in my nature. I love them. But I was just born that way.

  3. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I am lucky that I can work efficiently both in the morning and in the evening as long as I got enough sleep. That said, I prefer morning so that I have the rest of the day to do all my task or whatever I want to do.

  4. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    I hit a wall at 3pm! I find it easier to focus in the morning. It might be because the people I support in my work are more like you so I usually have the office to myself during the first 2-3 work hours of my day. The phones are also quiet so I find it easier to tackle tough or complicated items at that time and save the mundane tasks for 3 and after. I make more mistakes in the afternoon if I try to do something highly complex!