If you took to heart your parents’ admonition that “the early bird gets the worm,” then you thought breakfast was a zero-sum game. If you lived in a large family where the french toast and bacon were gone if you arrived to the kitchen after 8 a.m., then it was a zero-sum game. No wonder so many Americans skip breakfast.
Studies say that early risers are happier, healthier, and slimmer than late risers
They’re more productive because they use the extra time to do more. That’s like saying college students do more partying on the first night of daylight savings time when bars are open for an extra hour. If the early bird gets the worm, then the late bird gets the last shot.
There’s plenty of time to do things after-hours. I used to ask myself if I was doomed to achieve less in life because I’m much better at 6 p.m than I am at 6 a.m. Last week, a friend and I agreed that our ideal hours are 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. (or so); thus, we clearly need to be self-employed.
In the Industrial Age work happened between 9 and 5
In the Digital Age, how much does rising early really matter when the Internet allows us to do things at any time? The online workplace never closes. Traditional “workers” like professional athletes, the President, and investment bankers can’t sleep-in most days, because the times their work activities happen are beyond their control.
I’m sure some nocturnal guy is doing very well with his eBay store, because it’s running all the time, unlike a local brick-and-mortar store with posted hours. That doesn’t mean he’s up at all hours, but his customers may not have to wait until the next business day to talk to him or have an issue resolved.
What about people who with web-based jobs?
Does the Internet entrepreneur need to be up that early? What about the SEO freelancer, or a ghost-tweeter for a technophobic celebrity? Fast Company already told us in 2009 that the best time of day to be retweeted is at 4p.m., and people in real life like me a lot more after lunch time.
Or I’m just a more cooperative person after lunch when I’m no longer mad at being up early, and I’ve eaten. Another reason to be self-employed.
I think future studies will show that the Early Bird Model means little for non-traditional jobs where the Internet is the primary platform, and not something more time-dependent (like the stock market).
Working in a global economy means there’s always someone awake to interact with you. The global economy now lets us do more during waking hours, because there’s a whole lot one can do that couldn’t be done before.
My circadian rhythm and I are counting on it.
I found the awesome featured image here.