Working with natural inclination

We're told our whole lives that we need to get up early, go to work outside of the home between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm, and go to bed by 11. Everything in our society is based on this general schedule. We're told this is the optimal way to exist, that we'll be most productive if we follow this schedule.

But some of us really aren't productive on that schedule. Some of us spend our whole lives trying to force ourselves into this routine. Trying to figure out how to be as productive as everyone says we should. Wondering why we seem to suck so bad at life. Frustrated and confused about what we must be doing wrong. Beating ourselves up because we can't make ourselves go to sleep earlier, we can't learn to love getting up early, and we can't seem to function before 10 am.

Here's the thing, that standard is a lot like many other western societal traditions. It was decided by a small group of rich white men hundreds of years ago. A relatively small clique who probably all had similar ideas, habits, and thoughts. We don’t have to follow in their footsteps.

Technically speaking, we don't have to participate in this system. But the reality is that it's difficult not to. Most employers have pretty average hours of operation, most services are available during similar hours, and most schools run on similar schedules.

It's unfortunate, but I do feel like things are starting to shift. There are more options for shift work in industries that operate 24 hours a day. There are more options to start your own business and set your own hours, or even work from home whenever you like. I have hope that the world is starting to acknowledge and perhaps even starting to work with other personality types than that old-fashioned standard.

I bet humans would be a lot more productive if we embraced more flexibility in possible hours of work and productivity. I think we'd all be a lot better off mental health wise if we were shown how, and encouraged to embrace our natural tendencies for productivity.

Yesterday I read an article from Arianna Huffington that sparked this whole blog post. It was about sleep and a good-natured debate that was published last week about Early Risers vs. Night Owls. I've been struggling with the early morning thing recently, trying to force myself to get up earlier. But I'm starting to accept that I'm really a night owl. Last night I was happily up until 4:30 am, reading stuff, responding to emails, filling out forms, thinking about stuff. So, I think its time to accept that my natural inclination is to be a night owl, and that's ok. Last week I tried to get up early, go for a walk, and make a video every morning. It sort of worked, but not really. I was exhausted by the weekend. I've tried a few times to make myself write my blog post early in the day. It never works. If I do end up writing something that early, I almost always end up scrapping it and writing something new at the end of the day.

So, cheers to embracing natural inclinations and accepting that its ok to not necessarily fit into the societal standard or expectation of what one should do.

Briana HuetherComment