Why I’m A Morning Person
I admit it, I like to wake up early. I like to be the first one stirring in the house, the first one into the office. Even on weekends I’m typically the up hours before my teenagers stumble out of bed.
As I drove into work today I considered some of the benefits of being a morning person. First was the freeway itself. I live fourty miles from work. If I plan to arrive at 9:00AM I need to leave around 7:30. If I want to be here at 8:00AM, I can leave around 7:00. If I want to be here at 6:00AM, I can leave as late as 5:15AM. I actually gain an extra 45 minutes by planning to get in early. And I don’t have to deal with the stress of traffic.
There’s a partical reason to arrive early. I’m the technical account manager for a call floor. The agents start taking calls at 5:30AM. Typically if something is going to break, it will break overnight and we’ll notice it first thing in the morning. It’s much easier to manage an outage from my desk than from my car, or even from my home office.
I live in Utah and we have a call center here. We also have call centers in Virginia and Kentucky. They are both in the Eastern Time Zone. My client is in the Central Time Zone. Getting in early helps me match up better with the start of their days.
And if you arrive early, your day is over sooner. I don’t know anyone that works 9-5. I’m sure there are those jobs somewhere on a sitcom. But, I know lots of people who work 9-6 or 8-5. If we take that nine hour window as a “typical” workday, then if you start at 6 you are done at 3. And afternoon traffic is much better at 3 than at 5 or 6. I generally can get home while there is still some daylight. That’s important if I want to try to accomplish anything outside. Yesterday it was finishing putting up my Christmas lights.
In addition to the practical advantages of starting the day early, there are some psychological advantages to starting the day early. I’m an optimist. No matter how frustrated or discouraged I might be when I go to bed, I typically wake up convinced that today is going to be awesome. Today I am going to accomplish everything on my TODO list. Today I am going to super productive. In short, Today is going to be awesome!
Of course, like most days, things come up. Systems fail and need to be fixed. Meetings breed and fill my calendar. Email is a constant torrent throughout the day. By starting early I can get out in front of many of these interrruptions. No one is sending me email at 5:30AM. No one wants to get together at 6:00AM. I can take some time to focus on my day. There will be plenty of interruptions later on. That extra hour or two in the morning is often my most productive of the day.
The final reason that I like being a morning person is there is an advantage to being the first person on the scene. Have you ever arrived at a party 20 minutes after it starts and realized that some really important stuff happened during the first few minutes? Michael Jordan was famous for being the first one into the gym everyday. No one remembers the guy who was the 6th person to arrive every day. Even if no one ever assks you about it, peole notice who is in teh office when they arrive. Like wearing slacks in an office that is prone to jeans, just your appearance sends a message of competence and dedication.
How about you? Morning or evening person? There are certainly drawbacks to being a morning person. But, on the whole I think the advantages outweigh them.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2015 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved