8 Hours a Day, 9-5? I Think Not.I’m not a morning person. Ok, that’s an understatement. I hate mornings. And I hate the word “hate.” But it fits here. I’ve spent 25+ years working for businesses for which the work day “start” time is 8am or 9am and leaving before 5pm is frowned upon.
But here’s the thing…I do crappy work (if any work at all) at 9am. At 8am, I am a mere shell of a woman, a robot going through the motions. I can’t form complete sentences. In fact, when I was a meeting planner (many moons ago), I used to be told regularly on the phone in the mornings to speak up because people “couldn’t hear me.” At the time, I thought that was due to a hardware problem, but I’ve since realized that a barely audible mumble is the best I can do in the morning.
Recently my husband, The Genius, said casually to me, “Why do you even sit down at your desk before lunch time?” Um, because I’m supposed to. Hello? Social norms and all that. That’s when it hit me (because it was late afternoon)–I don’t care about social norms! And the older I get, the less I care about them. Why DO I sit down at my desk at 9am? It’s been well-established (and is a frequent subject of discussion between my husband and I) that my “prime time” for work is 2:00-6:00pm. It’s a subject of discussion because my husband’s “prime time” is 8am-12pm guy. He’d start work at 7am (shudder) if we could get the Mole Boy ready for preschool in time. But I’m not much help with that in the morning.
His comment stemmed from reading this blog post “The Origin of the 8 Hour Work Day and Why We Should Rethink it.” Brilliant.
So I’m experimenting with not bothering to sit down at my desk before 10am…and 11am might be more like it. And stopping work at 6pm or so. 2:00-6:00pm is my “prime time.” The time I get into my groove, focus, and can be productive without effort. What’s yours?
And do you do work (or have a j-o-b) that accommodates your prime time? If not, maybe you need to make a change (or become an entrepreneur). Life’s too short to watch a clock.
Carpe Prime Time!