⏰ Early mornings aren’t a magic formula

Every candidate running for French president has to laud  "La France qui se lève tot", ("France that gets up early"). Your alarm clock has become shorthand for how virtuous and hardworking you are. I'm sure everyone pulling night shifts appreciates. 

Management literature has also adopted early mornings as the magic formula for success, in the process ignoring that electing to wake up early to work on a side project, meditate or organise your day is a luxury only people who have agency over their time can afford. 

As annoyed as I am that people have decided that mornings are the answer to everything, I am actually a born early riser. As I type this, it's 5:30am and I've been up for over 30 minutes. Yet I wouldn't advocate it for everyone. I am an early riser because of my Circadian rhythm and because I go to bed early. I have accepted that this means missing out on many evening events, including events organised by night owls that could have been useful to my career. 

Most literature focusing on waking up early argues that you are more productive in the morning. It's true. I used to be at my desk at Burberry by 7:30am. It was my best 90 minutes of the day, because no one else was around or answering emails. If all my colleagues had turned up before 8am, it wouldn't have been as productive.

Rather than pressuring people into getting up early, management and leadership thinkers should consider how owls and larks can cohabit in ways that are the most productive and happiest for everyone. From my perspective, that means corporations don't equate 'working late' with 'working hard', no evening team building events and fewer late meetings.