For those of us who have not seen the several chronotype charts circling around social media, the term can be defined as a categorized system used to calculate what your preferred productivity schedule is based on the times you sleep and feel most focused throughout the day. Although this term may sound intimidating at first, it simply mirrors its core types based on four animals: the bear, the wolf, the lion and the dolphin. Figuring out your specific chronotype is a lighthearted way to try out new methods of productivity without it being daunting. Below are brief descriptions of each chronotype where you will be able to identify which type you are!
The Bear: As the most common chronotype, the bear makes up 55% of our population. It is interesting to note that even if you personally do not identify as this chronotype, most of our society’s timing revolves around this specific type because of its majority. Bear chronotypes rarely struggle with waking up in the morning or falling asleep at night, usually sleeping from 11 p.m. to 7 or 8 a.m. They prefer to start unwinding from their heavy, daily productivity around 4 p.m., similar to the average American work schedule. Bear chronotypes often go with the flow, and are happy-go-lucky individuals because of their ability to adapt to everyday life with minimal issues. So, if you identify with this type, lucky you!
The Wolf: Calling all right-brained people! The wolf chronotype is usually composed of introverted, highly creative individuals who thrive on completing their most creative work after the sun goes down. They aren’t necessarily night-owls, though, usually sleeping normally from around midnight to 7:30 a.m. Wolf chronotypes are found to be more reserved, but very motivated to complete their tasks throughout the day with two different bursts of productivity; the first one occurs between noon and 2 p.m., while the second one comes between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. They also prefer to wind down for bedtime around the same time as the bear, with all necessary tasks being completed by 10 p.m.
The Lion: Lion chronotypes embody the early riser that I have always wished to be. I have tried many times to consistently wake up at 6 a.m., and it gets old after about three days. Lion chronotypes do not have trouble waking up with the sun, catering directly to their most important tasks from 8 a.m. to noon. However, these early birds lose their energy as intensely as they gain it, most likely needing an afternoon nap and becoming burnt out by night time. These natural-born leaders and charismatic individuals are very in control of their lives, having no trouble deciding when they need to focus on themselves and put work to the side. They also crave a very specific unwinding routine in order to enjoy their night before heading to bed around 10 p.m.
The Dolphin: Here’s where all of the insomniacs reading this will be able to identify; the dolphin chronotype is composed of erratic and chaotic individuals who generate heavy focus at random times throughout the day. They often struggle with getting themselves out of bed in the morning, and start the day off with light tasks. They receive erratic bursts of energy through the afternoon, but often cannot find ways to relax at night even if they have completed all of their tasks. This highly intelligent chronotype only makes up 10% of the population. They must focus on creating an effective sleep schedule for themselves to avoid anxiety and tiredness when spending time with family or friends.
I am able to see parts of myself in each chronotype, as I’m sure you will too, but it’s the one that consistently fits with your schedule most days of your life that you should continuously identify with. You should also not feel pressured to follow the exact schedules listed online according to your chronotype, and rather create your own schedule based on these outlines. Again, this is just a fun way to play around with your productivity to see if you find this method effective.