Don’t hate me, but I’m a morning person. The minute my alarm goes off (if not several minutes before), I’m up and immediately getting ready for my day. Within the first 15 minutes, I’m dressed, my teeth are brushed and I’m beginning to feed my cats and get my kids’ lunches together.

This is not something I have control over either. My dad was a morning person, usually up way too early watching the weather and the news while it was still dark outside. I do sleep later than he often did, but I once I’m awake, I’m up and ready to go.

Being a morning person, and being a freelancer, has been a winning combination for me. It ties in perfectly with my schedule, and here’s why.


Both of my kids are at school from 9-2:30 roughly each day. This is, without a doubt, my most productive time of day. The risk of interruptions are minimal, and I can try focus on what I need to get done without having to think about what others (my kids) may need from me.

Conveniently, this period of time is also when I feel the most awake. Being a morning person, it’s easy for me to sit down at my desk first thing and crank out work. I won’t lose steam until I start to get hungry, but even then, a quick bite or a little lunch, and I’m back at it.

Making sure I do the highest priority items on my day’s list within this productive period is essential for my success. Sometimes, I’ll even number my daily to-do’s to make sure I attack what’s most important first thing.

It’s also the time of day where it’s easiest for me to multi-task. Being alert without distractions means I can work and do laundry, or even move back and forth between my desk and household chores without any lag.


One of the drawbacks to being a morning person is that your day often starts early. For me, during the week, my alarm goes off around 6 a.m. and I’m in it right then. There’s no sitting and collecting my thoughts or slow drinking of a cup of coffee. It’s go time from the get-go. This means that by 3ish, I’ve had a full day, and I’m tired.

Realizing that I work less efficiently when I feel sluggish, I allow myself a break during this period. Maybe I’ll go sit in a chair and read a book. Maybe I’ll go outside and get some fresh air. Sometimes, I even watch a short show. I’ll even close my eyes for 20 minutes. The goal is to be away from my computer and in a different enough setting that I’m not thinking about what I have to still get done.

Taking this break at a time when my natural rhythms are slowing me down helps me come back to my work refreshed.


I have no idea if all morning people are like this, but before the day’s end, I always get a second wind. This doesn’t happen between normal working hours, but since I freelance, I can run with it.

My second wind hits somewhere between 6:30-9 p.m.. Yes, dinner typically happens within this time period, and so does the kids’ bedtimes, but there’s always a sliver of down time where I feel invigorated enough to dive back into my work. I try to use this time as much as possible to finish out my day and get things organized for the next. This is also the time of day where I realistically decide what I need to move over to tomorrow, so I’m not working when I hit my second sluggish period around 10 at night.


Breaking things down like this is all to say that I feel better, and get more done, when I go with my natural rhythm rather than against it. I’m never forcing myself to work because I’m alert and motivated before I sit down to my computer. I also know I’m doing my best work for the very same reasons.

Although not every day is perfect, and sometimes I do find myself trudging through my to-do list with my eyes starting to droop, my system is pretty effective. Even if I have to work through more low energy moments, it’s never too challenging because I used my productive time well in the first place.

This all makes the inconsistency of being a freelancer so much easier to navigate.


So, this is the tale of how a morning person gets their work done in the best way possible. It’s not a schedule for everyone, so make sure you set your day to play to your most productive times, even if it means sleeping in and really digging in from 1-4, or doing little things by day and saving the high-priority work for the evenings. As a freelancer, you get to make your own schedule, so turn that 9-5 expectation on its head and do what’s right for you.

Photo by Kampus Production