The Right Time
This week’s edition of Unleash the Power explores how to make both yourselves and your teams more collaborative, creative, and productive while exploring diverse thinking.
As the saying goes, ‘The early bird catches the worm’, but in a world where hard work, long hours, and potential burnout are the reality in many industries, is this really the case?
There is no denying many hugely successful people rise before 6am, smashing a morning routine out of the park, and before 8am are ready for the challenges ahead. Social Media has shared Mark Wahlberg’s infamous pre-sunrise ritual on numerous occasions, and it’s fair to say Richard Branson has done, as my grandad would say, all right for himself. Fair play to them both and every other early riser.
Equally, some flourish later in the day, being more productive in the afternoon and evening. Their creative juices are still flowing at 2am, all in the knowledge that they sleep in till 10am. I believe most would agree that Winston Churchill, Prince, and J.R.R. Tolkien had some success in their respective fields.
Recognition that individuals are different is hugely important. With diverse thoughts and contrasting solutions to problems, most are at their collaborative, creative, and productive peak at inconsistent times. Understanding when your people are at their best is the key to achieving better results.
We all have a natural inclination to sleep at certain times. It is part of the body’s underlying circadian rhythm. Manifesting itself as a chronotype, this is what most people understand as being an early bird versus a night owl. In addition to regulating sleep and wake times, chronotypes influence appetite, core body temperature, and our ability to exercise. Several organisations are now structuring work patterns around colleagues’ chronotypes as they move towards a more flexible and hybrid employment, increasing team member productivity, happiness, and sleep times.
Are you a lark or an owl?
Firstly, there are two main chronotypes:
Larks prefer to rise at, or before, daybreak and hit their peak earlier in the day. Their day also finishes with an early bedtime.
Owls hit their peak performance later in the day, having retired to bed, perhaps after midnight, and then awoken mid-morning.
The reality is that around 70% of individuals lie somewhere in between these two opposites, and recognising how you feel at different parts of the day can help you understand your chronotype and how to target improved performance.
When is your peak?
When successful individuals talk about high performance, they often reference being in a flow state or the zone. Strength or endurance tasks get completed with relative ease, open conversations become more regular, and new ideas are more readily accepted and discussed. You may be increasingly intellectually responsive, happy to discuss difficult situations or notice more creativity, love, and warmth.
During more challenging times, you experience less energy and become easily irritated or negative. You may withdraw or become less cooperative during tasks, as you struggle with solutions to new problems or challenges.
Healthy, Successful, and Sustainable Results
Your chronotype naturally dictates when you are tired with the quality of sleep improving through resting at the correct times. It results in you falling asleep faster, waking less, and experiencing deeper sleep. As you wake fully rested, this will support improved physical, mental, and emotional health. Creating happier, healthier, and engaged teams in the process.
Numerous studies have shown that living more aligned with your chronotype improves performance in all aspects of life. Individuals become more creative, efficient, and productive at their peak times and less likely to have accidents or make mistakes.
Challenge the Norm
Now, more than ever is the time to challenge your business operations and deliver exponential results through your people. The last two years have shown that a flexible hybrid approach to working is challenging traditional working patterns.
But always start with yourself. Are your working times optimal? Is your business or employer getting the best version of you? What could you do differently to improve your own performance? Be intentional with the time you wake up and do work. Larks wake up early and complete their hardest tasks during their morning and early afternoon peak. Owls often sleep in and take on challenging jobs in the late afternoon and at night.
It is not an easy route to navigate but understanding when you and your team are at their best will help you create a healthy, successful, and sustainable business. Consider delaying the start of the day for some and extending it for others. Hold all meetings, run training courses, or complete project work during core hours that suit both Larks and Owls. Finally, empower both you and your teams to independently work towards deadlines, where time is allocated by an individual to complete relevant tasks.
Have you got the Right People, in the Right Place, at the Right Time?
Have a brilliant week!
Founder & CEO, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd
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