Is anyone really only working 8-5 any more? If not, why do most company owners and CEO's still insist on a traditional start and stop times to the work day?
Well, then, what is a midday guy to do? What do you do knowing you're going to be much more effective - and happier - if you were able to start your workday at noon, let's say? Do you have to work in the hospitality business or a 24/7 IT company where you can choose your shifts, or have we reached a time when it is possible to allow people to work on schedules that fit them better?
If you are a middle-of-the-day kind of person, you can certainly start your day earlier if that is what your business or company requires, but be cautious about what you set out to do when you arrive at work. It doesn't make sense to schedule meetings that require your best attention first thing in the morning if you don't absolutely need to. It doesn't make sense to schedule critical thinking tasks when it will likely take you considerably longer to do them.
A business communications writer figured out that she was not ready to work with all engines fired until closer to noon. Once she understood this, she still started her day between 8:30 and 9:00 but not with client or prospect meetings. Instead, she started her day with some light reading, a little bit of light exercise or some easy administrative activities. When it came to client meetings and calls, she adjusted her schedule - and their expectations - so that she could meet with them when she was at her best, between 11:30 and 4:00.
What normally stops you from accommodating your natural energy rhythms in your scheduling plans?
- The first may be lack of awareness or simply years of subverting your nature in a business environment that demands conformity.
- Secondly, most people live under a misguided assumption that if you don't bend to a client's wishes you'll lose a client. Maybe, maybe not.
I have seen time and again, as people I work with experiment with allocating client or prospect meetings to specific times of the day, that clients who really want to work with them will find a way.
If you work in a more traditional business environment, you are probably not going to be able to schedule all your work projects in alignment with your natural energy flow. There's no reason you can't start talking about making such changes, though. Why not tell the people you work with that you're not at your best first thing in the morning, and that if you are to be in meetings first thing, it may not be ideal? As with all things nobody talks about, you may find you're not the only one.
Ready to Start an Evolution?
I would love to hear from midday-folks and night owls.
- What have you been able to do to at the office, or in your business, to align your schedule and projects with your natural energy flow in the day?
- What challenges did you face?
- What did you discover?
- How has doing so - or not - impacted your results?
- How has doing so - or not - impacted your life?