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mental health

Early bird or night owl?

Laura Capell-Abra founder of Stress Matters, thinks about changing the time 

The name Hannah Kidner probably won’t mean a lot to you. To students however, she may soon be the person to thank for a 10am start time at schools around the country. Hannah started a petition to change the time based on research that late running biological rhythm of teenagers impacted their ability to learn and they are more productive later in the morning. We could shrug it off and just say teenagers are lazy but if we look at our own energy levels, it can lead to some interesting discoveries and could revolutionise our approach to work and productivity.

Do you know what your biological prime time is? Think of your energy levels through the day. Sam Carpenter coined the BPT name in his book ‘Work the System’. By harnessing our natural biological rhythms, we can complete tasks in a different order and increase our productivity. We should do the most challenging tasks when we have the most energy and simpler tasks when we have the least energy. Sounds simple but most of us don’t follow it.  Have you ever found yourself in what is called ‘flow’? When you are stuck in a task, enjoying the challenge and making huge progress? That’s when we are our most productive; we should adjust our working hours to suit our energy levels.  

Often our roles don’t allow for this more fluid approach to working, we are told to be in the office 9-5 regardless of our energy levels. Sure, it can’t work while on-site, but our pre-production could be a lot more efficient. 

At Stress Matters, we believe that fluid working is a win-win scenario. Each individual can plan their week around their role, their life and energy levels and the organisation sees a greater output. Let’s stop clock watching those that come in ‘late’ or leave ‘early’ and let’s start simply looking at the output that our teams achieve.  

Focus on the results; let’s trust our teams to be mature enough to manage their own working hours.