A casual search on the Internet about the habits of billionaires and millionaires indicate that many if not most of them wake up as early as 4 a.m. As an example, an August 18, 2022, article published by CNBC, said that “nearly two-thirds of successful CEOs say they wake up at 6 a.m. or earlier.”
There are also a number of scientific studies indicating that the brain functions better during this time rather than later at night.
In spite of this, many managers and professionals, particularly the younger people work well into the night but, unfortunately, also wake up much later, some as late as noontime. Does this make sense?
The normal excuses I hear are that they are running after a deadline or there is just too much work to do. I can understand working a few hours more to meet a deadline or prepare for an important meeting or presentation; but only once in a while and certainly not on a sustained basis.
If you end up working the same number of hours but have different times of doing it, just try to shift into a more practical time unless your job demands you to work at certain hours due to dealing with others in a different time zone or you are in a night shift. Let’s say you have to work eight hours a day with a 1-hour break in between. Would you prefer to be working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.?
There are practical reasons for working during the core time of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Your clients, suppliers, business partners and government agencies are open this time so you can maximize the time you can access them. In addition, the full resources of your own organization will most likely be available during these normal office hours.
Furthermore, it is a myth that 14-hour work days on a prolonged basis is sustainable. Working every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for more than a week or so is impossible without compromising the quality of your work and your physical well-being, even if you work from home. There have been sufficient studies on the adverse effects of not getting 7 or more hours of sleep daily.
Your family and social life is also bound to suffer if you have become a night owl. You will end up having less overlap time to be able to have meals together, enjoy each other’s company and spend quality time together. If you think about it, there really isn’t much to be gained from shifting to a later working schedule.
It is merely are illusion of hard work if you burn the midnight oil. Working at 100 percent of your potential for eight hours a day is certainly better than working at 50 percent of your potential for 14 hours a day.
Consider making the move to reset your work clock to more normal hours and I am certain it will improve the quality of your life, enhance your career and improve your performance. The choice is yours to make.
The views and comments of Dr. George S. Chua are his own and not of the BusinessMirror or the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex). The author was 2016 FINEX President, 2010 to 2020 FPI President and currently an active entrepreneur with investments in fintech, broadcast, media, telecommunications and properties. Comments may be sent to email@example.com.