A common habit is to study or work late into the night to get something done faster. If a student has a major exam in three days, they may find themselves staying up until 1am every night studying.
The problem with this technique is, it isn't the greatest time to get work done, or study. It only takes common sense to realize that your body and mind probably are not functioning at full capacity after a full day of work or school.When you factor in all the time you will waste feeling distracted or tired, you will find that this time is extremely unproductive. As much as 50% less productive, in fact.
So what is the solution? Wake up in the morning earlier. You have probably heard this many times before, and not paid too much attention to it. Neither did I, until a month or two ago when I read that 17/20 of the top CEOs wake up before 6am every morning. Now, being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company is a dream job for me, so I paid great attention to this tip.
I have found from my experience that I am much more productive in the morning. I generally try to complete all work during the evening, and leave the morning as an emergency buffer. That way, if I cannot concentrate on a task, or it takes longer than expected, I still have time to complete it.
You may be thinking "I'm not a morning person, I can't wake up that early every day". Well neither am I, but it is still very do-able, if you work into it by habit. You won't be able to wake up 2hrs earlier overnight, but you can work into that over a couple weeks, and not feel too tired every day. Here are a couple tips to wake up earlier in the morning:
1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier every day. The most consistent way to wake up earlier is to slowly change your schedule, 15 minutes or less at a time. If you make too drastic of a change, you will feel tired throughout the day. Also, overestimate a bit, just in case you need to sleep in 20 minutes on a certain day.
2. If you have to wake up early for something, don't return to your old sleeping schedule. Use a disruption like this to make a drastic and quick change to your routine. An example would be if you must wake up at 4am for a flight, or if the phone rings at 5am one morning. Don't just return to your regular time the next day, try to embrace the disruption slightly.
3. Don't sleep in more than 1.5 hrs on weekends. Weekends can really through off your sleep schedule. You will probably find you're making the most progress on Friday, but then the weekend comes, and you sleep in. Don't sleep in ridiculously long, because you will just be more tired when you wake up on Monday.
4. Put your alarm just out of reach from your bed. I have noticed that when I am really tired, I will actually turn my alarm clock off in my sleep. Sometimes I remember it slightly, and sometimes I have no idea. My point is, keep the alarm clock out of reach, just in case you try to turn it off unconsciously.
5. Try to make yourself tired earlier at night. You should only go to bed when you feel tired. That said, try exercising after work/school to make yourself more tired during the evening.