The other day a good friend quoted, on Facebook, from whoever said "Success is what happens when everyone else is asleep". The friend in question regularly gets up early and goes on two mile walks before getting her children up for school. That morning, she had written 2,000 words before 7.30 am. Impressive, I am sure you agree!
Got me thinking, though. What about the 2,000 words written by the 'night owl', in the early hours; the person who drinks their first coffee in bleary eyed fashion whilst watching The Jeremy Kyle Show on ITV + 1, because they didn't get up in time to watch the first showing at 9.30? The person who doesn't really get going until after lunch and writes their 2,000 words when my friend has been in the land of nod for 3 hours? That 'success' is happening when everyone else is asleep, too. Yet, somehow, it doesn't seem so impressive, does it?
This got me thinking about why getting up early is seen as more virtuous that staying up late. Why is this?
Why is doing your snuggly-in-bed thing okay at 10pm, but not 10 am?
Years ago, I worked in Civil Service offices where flexi-time was in operation. The people who came in at 7.30 am and left at 4 were thought of as being committed, responsible, conscientious; some of them were quite smug about the hours they kept, frequently reminding their colleagues of them. But theirs was no longer a working day than those who habitually turned up at 10 am, had a half hour lunch break and stayed until 6. These late-comers were considered, by colleagues and bosses alike, as lazy, unreliable.
Maybe it's because people wonder what licentious activities the latter group are engaged in at night to make them unable to get up at the crack of dawn and arrive at the office, bright and perky, when most people are still at the yawning and coffee brewing stage of the day.
I reckon that's what it is.