Advertising
Advertising

Expert Says We’ll Be Much More Productive If We Start Work Until After 10am

Expert Says We’ll Be Much More Productive If We Start Work Until After 10am

For many of us, waking up early is difficult. Yet we try to do it. Why? Because everyone seems to be doing it. Everyone tells us that it’s good for us. Our work demands it of us. Society demands it of us. We are told in order to be successful we need to rise early. And so we feel pressured. We feel guilty. We suck it up. We obey this norm. But this is wrong.

Some of us are night owls. We are at our most productive at night; when it’s peaceful and there are no distractions. We enjoy rising later to account for our unique habits. And this is fine. Everyone is different. No one person is the same. It’s time then to stop feeling guilty because of what society regards as normal. What is normal anyway? Normal is relative.

The next time someone mentions the importance of rising early – mention that there is a growing body of research highlighting that we are in a sleep deprivation crisis and that rising later is better to allow for our unique body clock.

Advertising

We are in a sleep deprivation crisis

Society is in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis as we force ourselves to adapt to working hours that are not in sync with our Circadian rhythms (natural body clock that regulates the timing of sleeplessness and wakefulness):

“At the age of 10 you get up and go to school and it fits in with our nine-to-five lifestyle. When you are about 55 you also settle into the same pattern. But in between it changes a huge amount and, depending on your age, you really need to be starting around three hours later, which is entirely natural.” – Dr Paul Kelley (Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford), The Guardian.

Health Implications

The biggest age group affected is 14-24-year-olds. This has far reaching implications for our health. Kelley says the following, speaking to the Telegraph:

Advertising

‘It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body…”

Kelley goes on to say that sleep deprivation can lead to exhaustion, frustration, anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, poor long term memory and can even improve chances of stimulant (alcohol) use and risk-taking.

Proposed 10:00am work starts, backed by science

As a result, Kelley advocates 08:30 am starts (or later) for 10-year-olds, 10am starts for 16-year-olds and 11:00 am starts for 18-year-olds. Not only does he recommend a change among the younger generation, he also recommends that staff should start work at 10:00 am as they are often sleep deprived – which directly affects their health, performance and output. All this does have scientific backing.

Advertising

We all have melatonin – a hormone that assists in regulating our body clock. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers don’t start releasing this hormone until nearly 11 o’clock at night. The hormones pumps through our blood during the night and into the late morning.This makes it difficult for teenagers to rise early.

Neuroscientists also say that teenagers are geared towards going to bed at midnight and only feel fully functional by 09:00-10:00am the next morning. In a pilot study conducted by Kelley himself who was formerly a head teacher at Monkseaton Middle School,  starting hours were moved from 08:30-10:00 am. There was a marked increased in the improvement of grades by 19%. Kelley is currently part of a wider study, involving 100 schools across Britan where they are experimenting with different start times. The study which started in 2014 will end in 2018.

What this all means

The effects of sleep deprivation are real. Society needs to consider revising work and school start times to allow for us to follow our natural body clock. For 10-year old’s the current start times fit into a 9-5 lifestyle, with people returning to this pattern in their mid 50’s. For everyone else in between, later start times needs to be considered.

Advertising

This is especially evident among teenagers who have a distinctly different body clock from adults. And for adults, the demands of work and the “rat-race” imply that companies need to re-consider their times – as this not only affects the health, performance and output of employees but ultimately the bottom line of companies.

And for the night owls. Each of us is different. Waking up later is natural. it’s part of our biological clock. Stop feeling guilty about it. Start feeling good about the fact that you have known and have been doing all along, what experts are increasingly advocating.

More by this author

When You Can Stop Yourself From Multitasking, Your Brain Will Start To Change How Silence Affects Our Brains in A Good Way, Science Explains 5 Things That Will Happen When You Wake Up Two Hours Earlier For A Month Why Overthinkers Are Probably Creative Problem-Solvers Expert Says We’ll Be Much More Productive If We Start Work Until After 10am

Trending in Health

1 7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation & Reviews) 2 Signs of a Nervous Breakdown (And How to Survive It) 3 How to Find Weight Loss Meal Plans That Work for You 4 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go 5 How to Manage Anxiety: Sound Advice from a Mental Health Expert

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

Advertising

3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Advertising

6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

Advertising

9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

Advertising

Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

Read Next