Monday, September 25, 2006

As Different as Night and Morning

I took a quiz years ago to determine whether I was a Night Owl or Morning Lark (aka night person or morning person). I am aware that you don't need to take a quiz to know this, but it was the first time I'd even given the matter any thought.

The results of the quiz indicated that I was a Night Owl. It's true, I was and still kind of am, though there were some contradictions. I remember that back in university, I did my best analytical and problem-solving work from about 6AM to 2PM. This time was also best for writing essays. Any work accomplished after this time was icing on the cake. When it came to cramming (ahem....reading), I could do that anytime or as the situation demanded (e.g. last-minute studying for a test that I'd forgotten all about).

Starting my professional life coerced me into getting up hours before I was truly ready. I had to be up by a certain time (usually between 5.30 to 7AM) in order to get to the office by the time demanded by my employer. Initially this meant that I'd be in bed by 10.30PM. It wasn't long though before my night owl ways pushed my bedtime later and later until I was regularly hitting the sack (where did this expression come from, BTW?) by 2AM. Needless to say, I was NOT the most productive employee on these days and was no Little Miss Sunshine either (apologies to my much perkier colleagues, past and present).

This weekend, a late Saturday night up meant that I caught up on much-needed sleep on Sunday afternoon into the evening, and the result is that I'm now wide awake at 4.16AM with work to prepare for in a couple of hours. Should I even bother sleeping?

In my ideal world, employers would ask whether you were a morning or night person when they hire you, in order to set a schedule that is in sync with your most productive hours. See, I'm up now and could get so much work done. I could write letters, respond to emails, proof-read documents and work on proposals. I could sleep by 5AM, wake-up by 11AM and be in the office by 1PM. Sounds perfect to me! Employers, please take note.


Anonymous said...

While an engineer at IBM in the late 80's and early 90's, I was allowed to work at home a lot and did my best work from about 11:00pm to 4:00am and went to bed when the sun was coming up. I'd roll into the office for a few hours around 3:00pm in the afternoon ;->

Having an oddly shifted work sysle like that allows for much more convenient running of errands.

Ore said...

Oh, I'm so envious. I agree that type of flexible working schedule would be a lot of more convenient, but I suppose employers need to really trust you to make sure that you are getting your work done. I can imagine that as a programmer or engineer, it's very easy to see whether you are meeting your deadlines or not.

OK, I overslept and am now dashing off to work. Hope I don't fall asleep at my desk.

ayoke said...

Hmm... Just create your perfect ideal world: employ yourself, work from home and set a schedule that suits you.

Vixen said...

I'm with ayoke on that one. I'm a night owl and would totally love that schedule. I tend to do my best work in the late evenings/nights. Like after 10pm. Now why can't i have a job like that>