“Your time to shine: Early bird, or night owl?”
There’s a lot to be said for mornings. Nothing’s gone wrong yet and there’s not so many people about, which means less misanthropic scowling to be done.
Certainly, I’ve always thought of myself as much more of a morning person than a night owl. Or at least I’m better able to do stuff first thing than I am at night. In the morning, I haven’t had time to get bored or distracted (it doesn’t take much) so I tend to work more effectively. There’s also the incentive of getting it over with.
Later on, the ennui kicks in and it’s more of an effort to focus. Evening is definitely not my time to shine; emit a dull glow would be more like it.
Although that could just be the wine.
Being a morning person has its advantages. When I was at University, living in college, it meant that I pretty much had the run of the breakfast buffet, apart from the few stragglers who had pulled an all-nighter. Although for some reason they only seemed to want chocolate.
On the downside, the chances were that I would be the only student to turn up for an 8:30 tutorial, making it rather difficult to pursue my favoured option of remaining unobtrusive.
This preference for being up with the lark – or at least to be capable of functioning ‘ere sparrowfart – also proved fortunate in career terms, because early starts have always been something of a sine qua non in the (investment) business that I used to be in.
Of course, everything is relative. When I started off as a neophyte analyst in 1981, Stock Exchange trading didn’t even start until 9:30. I remember there was great harrumphing when the time was moved back to 9:00. By today’s standards, that’s mid-afternoon.
Progressively, the start of my ‘normal’ working day got earlier and earlier. With a lot of travel involved, this was exacerbated in my case by far too many stupid o’clock taxi rides to airports.
Moving to Abu Dhabi changed that considerably, thanks to the time difference, because although still dealing largely with events, and interreacting with people, in Europe, I had an advantage of being between two and fours ahead.
I cannot deny having a warm feeling of schadenfreude when, having leisurely taken my coffee and perused the sports pages, I could turn my attention to the day’s results announcement at the civilised local hour of ten o’clock, smugly aware of all those poor sods in London sitting at their desks at 6 a.m., knowing that they probably had another fourteen hours to go.
Been there, done that, got the bags under the eyes.
Of course, there are still some occasions that require an unnaturally early start to the day, so retirement has not resulted in a complete farewell to alarms. However, these are comparatively rare, even if it doesn’t make them any the less resented.
And there’s always the prospect of a lie-in, just to make up for it.