I consider myself a morning lark. My favorite time of the day is an hour before everyone else in the house wakes up. I have some time for myself to enjoy a cup of coffee, read the news, check emails and think of the things I should do for the day.
Most jobs occur in the day but it doesn’t mean that these people are morning larks. “Body Clock Guide: The Guide to Better Health,” written by Michael Smolensky, PhD and Lynne Lamberg, states that one in 10 people are considered morning larks, the up-at-dawn or what many also call early birds. Two in 10 are considered night owls or people who do their best work at night.
Of course, there’s the middle ground called hummingbirds, who are people that can adapt in the morning or at night.
Which one are you?
Early birds are people like me. We have no problems getting up in the morning and we certainly don’t feel cranky. Night owls, meanwhile, are people who are almost always skip breakfast, skip breakfast, and are always rushing to get to work.
Understandably, most morning larks will find it hard to work in nighttime jobs like bartender, shift works like doctors, call center agents, police, etc. Night owls are ideal for work that start late like round-the-clock service workers (police, health profession, firefighters, etc).
The debate on who is better at work
Just like the debate whether women are better than men, there are also questions whether morning larks perform better at work than night owls. A Harvard Business Review article entitled “Defend Your Research” states that morning larks are “better positioned for career success.”
According to writer Christoph Randler, early birds are more inclined to be the ‘take-charge’ type. And because most businesses are done during the day, they are at an advantageous position because they peak during business hours. This leads to better work performance, higher chances of getting promoted at work and earning more money.
A National Geographic news article, meanwhile, states that night owls are smarter and have more staying power. This was backed by Satoshi Kanazawa, a researcher from the London School of Economics. Kanazawa said night owls tend to have higher IQs than their counterparts.
A blogger of the New York Times said that a Harvard University research study showed that night owls tend to be wealthier than morning larks. However, there is no difference in health or wisdom. This is echoed by a 1998 study published in the PubMed Central, testing the validity of Benjamin Franklin’s adage of “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man health, wealthy, and wise.”
So, does being a morning lark or night owl make you a better employee? The debate is still on. At the end of the day, though, it all boils down to your professionalism, work ethics, passion, and commitment. So whether you’re someone that is most productive in the day or at night, the most important thing is that you are doing your very best.