Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Why I Stay Up Late and 3 Reasons You Should Too [Satire]

young Long-eared owl (Asio otus), surroundings...

To begin with, I’d like to make sure readers know that one of my strongest personal convictions is, “It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round.” I respect morning and night people equally. Really, I don’t care whether someone goes to sleep early and wakes up early or goes to sleep late and wakes up late. That said, for the past week I found this post, Why I Wake Up Early and 3 Reasons You Should Too by CNBC Correspondent Julia Boorsin, along with responses to it very amusing. Surely there is a lot of truth to this as many “morning larks” seem to agree. However, if you are a true “night owl” then this may not square with your experiences. Secondly, I’m well aware that the word “should” can get you in so much trouble with people and want to make it clear at the outset that I don’t think it’s healthy to be functioning in a way that is unsustainable in the long-term. So don’t take this post too seriously!

Without further ado, and out of fairness, here are my words of support for night owls! Why I stay up late and 3 reasons you “should” <rolls eyes> too:

1) The Music of the Night

How many of you writers and artists find it easier to tap into your creative energy when it’s dark and everyone else is slumbering? I know I do, and I believe it has something to do with how quiet and distraction free this time of day is. In terms of ambiance, there might also be something to common cultural lore about nighttime being associated with “magic” and “mystery.” (One explanation for this is that, at night, we lose sight of all the usual points of reference available during the daylight hours.)

2) I won’t sleep a wink until I…

Getting the work finished before you even dare drop off to sleep shows just how much energy, drive, and determination you have. Yes, we night owls might have a difficult time functioning in the morning but we can sure go the distance and finish off the work while everyone else, including that early-rising CEO Julia Boorsin mentioned, is comfortably snoozing in their warm beds. Wouldn’t your boss and colleagues be impressed that the work’s been finished before they’ve even gotten a chance to make coffee?

3) Like the good tooth fairy…

Night owls stealthily accomplish their work and manage to do so without calling and disturbing early risers’ sleep and morning routine! Since we absolutely HATE to be waken early, it’s likely that many of us go out of our way not to disturb others during their absolute worst times to be disturbed. As marginalized as we are, many of us have developed the understanding that not everyone is on the same circadian rhythm!

Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture now…

As many who commented on Julie Boorsin’s post pointed out, regardless of whether or not a 9-to-5 situation is applicable, we all have the same 24 hours in a day to accomplish what we must. Working across time zones also makes “early” or “late” subjective. Whatever it is that Boorsin accomplishes from 4:00am to 7:00am can also be achieved from 11:00pm to 2:00am (except calling and disturbing your colleagues, unless of course they are fellow night owls or occupy a time zone that renders this appropriate).

Let’s finish on a positive note and give Boorsin the benefit of a doubt however. Reading between the lines here, the message she may be trying to convey is that, in order to stand out, break away from the pack and do something differently! What do you think? Are you a morning lark, night owl, or somewhere in between? What works for you? Please share your experiences! While you’re here, check out my post on long sleeping, “Truly need 10, 11, or even 12 hours of sleep per night? By all means, try to get it!

4 responses to “Why I Stay Up Late and 3 Reasons You Should Too [Satire]

  1. Mike August 18, 2013 at 1:29 am

    I’m usually more creative at night but I get more done in the morning. I wish I could get the two to fit together!

    • Lynn Patra August 18, 2013 at 2:42 am

      You just reminded me of a friend I have who does like to wake and nap in spurts throughout the day for that very reason! He does his creative work late at night and enjoys being up and about doing something productive in the morning.

      I, on the other hand, am only be fit to play the role of a zombie in the morning! 😛

      Thanks for the comment Mike!

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