Are you a morning person or an evening person?
For me, I’ve been an evening person for as long as I can remember. I tend to get into my groove after lunch and stay that way till early evening. Friends of mine are opposite. They’re up at the crack of dawn on their bikes riding around our beautiful city and scoffing at everyone else who is still tucked in to their comfy beds.
Early morning biggots I call them.
I see this regularly on social media and on blogs. Most notably – Michael Hyatt (someone I respect) has made a big point about converting into a morning person because (as he says);
“Morning people” tend to:
- Make more money.
- Be more productive.
- Be healthier and live longer.
- Be more happy and satisfied in their lives.
Early morning people are richer, more productive, healthier and happier!
That must mean I’m poorer, lazy, unhealthy and miserable when compared to my morning friends…
Stats… gotta love em.
Unfortunately, when you did a little deeper, you can find the exact opposite information.
In an article by The BMJ it found that the statement by Benjamin Franklin “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” was incorrect. Their conclusion?
A “late to bed and late to rise” lifestyle does not seem to lead to socio-economic, cognitive, or health disadvantage, but a longer time spent in bed may be associated with increased mortality.
So what is it about morning people (commonly referred to as larks) that want to change evening people (commonly referred to as owls)?
After all, it seems to be the morning people that want everyone else to change… not the other way around.
It reminds me of White Goodman:
It’s safer doing what you know
In a society that expects people to turn up to the office at 8am every morning and knock off at 5pm – being an early morning person fits.
But our society isn’t made to suit everyone equally is it?
- School doesn’t cater for male learning in the same way as it does for female learning.
- Academics are taught the same way as dyslexics.
- Level 3 staff employed in Government are all paid equally, regardless of skill or talent or contribution.
- Creative people are often misunderstood by non-creatives.
The truth is, we’re comfortable in our own skin. Our own habits make sense. The feelings and emotions we have are ‘normal’ for us. It’s safe to be ‘normal’.
If someone is different, we might feel threatened or worse, we might feel superior.
The truth is we’re not.
We’re all in this together. We’re all different. We’re all valuable.
In what can only be described as an unbiased account of morning vs night people – Fast Company conveys the science behind the differences of each. It discovered that performance is indeed different. But there was a real correlation that showed that each unique person had an optimal time in the day where they function at a higher level.
In a study conducted on 16 Major League Baseball players in the 2009-2010 season players performed better when playing in their peak time. So larks had a higher batting average when they played morning games when compared to night games. The opposite was true for the owls.
This is a really important lesson for all of us.
In 2013 I met a fascinating guy at a marketing convention. He would travel all across America to teach on the subject of ADD (attention deficit disorder).
He explained how kids with ADD are often very gifted and when you overcome their learning challenges and put them into a different environment, they flourish, often exceeding the abilities of those without ADD.
He delightfully told me a story of the day his partner turned to him and said “Don’t you find this a difficult subject?”
Boggled, he replied “No, why would I?”
His partner looked him in the eye and said “Well considering you’re ADD and you’re teaching others how to deal with it”
Stunned, he became aware of the truth.
He had ADD all his life and never realised it. As it turned out, that was why he was so good at picking up how ADD kids learn. After all, he’d done it for himself first!
We all broke into laughter.
Whatever the case and whatever your condition there’s something great about realising you’re OK. There’s nothing broken. There’s nothing wrong. Whatever you have been given in life is good enough.
All that is left to do is to play to our strengths.
Be who we were born to be.
Ignore the early morning biggots. The people who say ‘You’d be better if…”
You’re perfect just the way you are – you just might not have realised it until now.