Are you an early bird or a night owl? Most people aren’t both. And knowing this about yourself can help you plan your day.

I’m definitely an early bird. My best thinking hours occur before noon.

At some point, my college roommate and I noticed that we became increasingly incoherent after 10:00pm. It actually became a long-running inside joke that we both remember to this day. One of us would catastrophically jumble a sentence, we’d both laugh, shrug and say, “Oh look, it’s after ten!”

If I don’t speak well after 10:00, how well do I write? How efficient is my memory if I’m prepping for a test or presentation?

In grad school I quit trying to stay up past midnight. If I had to finish a paper or study for an exam, I’d go to bed at my normal time and sent my alarm for an equally insane, but much more efficient early morning hour, like 4:00am.

It worked a ton better.

Similarly, I currently front-load my day so that the heavy thinking is in the morning.

Night owl? You flip it around. The key is to plan your hardest work for your most efficient hours.