Why is a person regarded as productive just because he or she gets up early in the morning? Why is a person considered less productive if he or she prefers an active evening and a calm morning? And why are there tons of articles on LinkedIn about how to become successful by learning to get up at 4AM or 5AM (often written by extreme early risers and short sleepers)?
We are celebrating the early riser and devaluing the late riser
Our culture is still deeply rooted in agricultural society, despite the fact that fewer and fewer people are working in the farming industry today. We have become knowledge farmers, still more or less unconsciously celebrating the early riser, while looking down upon and devaluing the late riser, who does not fit into the rhythm of early nights and early mornings. Moralizing ditties remain alive: “Brother John, are you sleeping – Morning Bells are ringing” or “The early bird gets the worm,” and “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” All these reflect a normative ideal guiding how a person should organize the day. In the eyes of society, the ideal person goes to bed early, rises early, and meets early for work. Getting out of bed early has become synonymous with being a good person.
Our work has moved from cow to computer, but workplaces still favor early risers
Today, over 80 percent of a company’s value is immaterial according to the credit rating bureau, Standard & Poor’s. That means that the value in a modern company is found in knowledge, network, brands, customer relations, processes, and so on. This shift has resulted in work situations that increasingly can be executed across time and space. Work is an ongoing activity.
The farmer said: “The early bird catches the worm”.
I say: But who gets the worm in a global 24/7 society where technology makes it possible for us to have more individual working times? Maybe it’s about time to set yourself free from your inner farmer.
(This article was published on my LinkedIn profile October, 2017).