The night owl catches the worm
COVID has not only upset or we work, but when we work.
Why is this important: This frees the night owls from the cages of the societal rhythms of 9 to 5.
What is happening: Research shows that about half of people are night owls, driven by genetics, not choice. Not having to go to the office allows them to work – and often sleep – later.
- 76% of global companies allow hybrid working, meaning most employees can work from anywhere, anytime, on their own terms.
- The 9-to-5 workday is fading, with more and more people jumping to their computers during breakfast time and after happy hour, according to a Microsoft Work Trends report.
We three are each early risers: Mike gets up at 2:30 a.m. (not a typo), Jim at 4:30 a.m., and Erica at 5 a.m. So we’re in bed at 9 o’clock.
- Erica has moved to an early and consistent wake-up time amid the pandemic.
- She saw immediate benefits for her physical health, with more time to exercise…work, with hours of uninterrupted focus before the world went online…and her mental health, since the pace and routine kill anxiety.
But for the majority for adults, the natural bedtime is after midnight, according to the National Institutes of Health.
- “Each of us has a personalized rhythm known as a chronotype – an internal timer that governs when we naturally fall asleep and when we are most alert,” writes longtime science journalist Emily Laber-Warren. in a New York Times editorial. .
Zoom out: You have 351 genes, expressed in your brain, retinas and beyond, that control when you feel sleepy and when you’re alert, according to a study published in Nature Communications.
Enter the night owls:
- Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet/Google told the Wall Street Journal that he gets his second wind around 9 p.m. and is more productive after 10 p.m. He still gets up fairly early—between 6:30 and 7:45 a.m. But he saves the morning to think.
- Prolific author Michael Lewis says her ideal writing hours are 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. It’s all about peace and quiet, he told Robert Boynton in his 2005 book, “The New New Journalism.”
- Singer Christina Aguilera says, “If it were up to me, my favorite time to work would be between 3am and 4am”
The bottom line: One of the best ways to improve your life and your work is to get in tune with your internal clock. And now you can make a living from it.
🏁 Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Axios Finish Line, a new newsletter in the Axios Daily Essentials package.