While it’s said that ‘the early bird catches the worm’, the early worm isn’t as lucky.
When it comes to the ability to produce productive work, we all have different times that work best for us. For some, the idea of waking up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready and rearing to tuck into the day’s graft is familiar. To others, motivation only rises with the moon.
Personal preference aside, there are undeniable advantages associated with studying at particular times of the day.
The perks of a morning study session
Some find that inspiration is at the forefront of their mind in the morning. This might be because there is a sense of refreshed energy immediately after a night’s sleep and that first cup of coffee. The first burst of natural sunlight can also act as a catalyst for increased mental vigour, helping you power through any potential morning grogginess. The downside to early-morning studies is that those who focus well in the morning may find their productivity decreasing as the day continues.
The advantages of studying in the afternoon
Afternoon study sessions aren’t always possible. This is especially true if your priority focus is on any work you need to get done for your career. When an afternoon session is possible – for example on the weekend – a major perk is that you can safely carve out a chunk of time, knowing that it is dedicated to your academic work. It also allows you to create an opportunity to make a study session a social endeavour by having friends over for a ‘work party’.
The benefit of scheduling your studies in the evening
The evening offers a time of quiet focus that isn’t always available earlier in the day. The later hours tend to promote focus because there is peace from distraction. Getting in a good night’s sleep straight after a study session can help encourage consolidation and improve information retention.
If you prefer to study at night, it’s advised that you make sure your session is scheduled such that you can fit in the hours for sufficient sleep.
So, what is the best time for me?
Choosing the best time for you to schedule your studies entirely depends on what works best for you. If you are most alert after you awaken, it’s probably worthwhile planning your study sessions in the morning. However, if you find that your mind is most active after a full day, then picking out a few hours before sleep will probably be most beneficial to excelling in your course!