Early Birds v/s Night Owls: Why Are Morning People Happier?

You may doubt the mental wellness of people who enjoy getting up early, but according to a recent study published in the American Psychological Association journal Emotion, early birds are generally happier than night owls. Researchers found that self-dubbed “morning people” had a better physical and emotional wellbeing, possibly due to that fact that society caters to a morning person’s schedule. Most people work the standard nine to five, rather than later hours, and you know leaving things until the afternoon never works. So how can your corporate wellness benefit from a little early bird wisdom?


1. Make a to-do list the day before: Andrew Jensen, a business efficiency consultant, explains, ‘Some people like to do the to-do schedule in the morning, but then they might have already lost office time writing it out. It helps to do that to-do schedule the night before. It also will help you sleep better.’


2. Get a full night’s rest: While we’re on the subject of sleeping better, your workday is heavily influenced the night before, as a lack of sleep ruins your concentration and productivity. Try to get a good seven to nine hours every night, and you’ll be employee of the month in no time.


3. Stop hitting the snooze button: Jensen notes, ‘Anyone can be made into a morning person. Anyone can make morning their most productive time. It could be that for the entire week, you set your alarm clock a little bit earlier, and you get out of bed on the first alarm. It may be a pain at first, but eventually you’ll get to the point where you’re getting your seven to eight hours of sleep at night, you’re waking up with all your energy, and accomplishing the things around the house you need to before going to the office.’


4. Exercise in the morning, instead of after work: ‘Exercise improves mood and energy levels,’ Jensen asserts. ‘There have been studies done on employees who’ve exercised before work or during the work day. Those employees have been found to have better time-management skills, and an improved mental sharpness. … Those same studies found these workers are more patient with their peers.’


5. Create a morning ritual: Whether you get up early to read the paper, pray or meditate, or surf the web, Jensen urges, ‘it’s important to have that quiet time with just you.’


6. Don’t neglect breakfast: Not only is this an important part of health and weight maintenance, but breakfast gives you the fuel you need to recharge after a night of fasting, and concentrate for the day ahead. If you’re not a breakfast person, just grab something light and healthy.


7. Don’t be late: Sometimes you miss the bus or get caught in traffic, and arriving on time becomes impossible. Still, once you’ve worked out how long it takes to get into the office, it’s a good idea to get in as early as possible. Even if your boss doesn’t mind you coming in half an hour later, the sooner you get in, the sooner you can get your work done and go home – it’s a no-brainer.


8. Tackle the big projects first: This goes hand-in-hand with your “night before to-do list”, as you now know what needs doing, and in which order. Jump in as soon as you get there (otherwise you’ll just keep procrastinating) and tackle the tough stuff straightaway. Jensen warns, ‘Don’t jump into meaningless projects when you’re at your mental peak for the day.’ If you’re an employer, don’t make your workers sit through a meeting in the morning. Jensen argues, ‘You should use your prime skills during the prime time of the day. I believe that mornings are the most productive time.’ However, very important meetings are another story. ‘Sometimes you have to schedule a crucial meeting, or a client meeting,’ Jensen allows. ‘In which case you’d want to plan for a time when employees are at their peak.’

Comments are closed.