Monday Rant: Unnecessary Morning Meetings

Added on by Alex Koehne.

Those who know me, know that I am not a morning person. Very, very much not a morning person. I am a grumpy asshole first thing in the morning. I can't help it. Part of the problem is that it makes me angry that I am so angry and that makes me angrier. It's just in the mornings though, generally. I am a grump.

Here's the thing; there are morning people and there are not morning people. Morning people just don't seem to get not morning people. Morning people schedule morning meetings, breakfasts, early morning errands, call early in the morning, etc. This is down right cruel and selfish behavior and it must stop.

This rant is inspired by my roommate who had a 7:00am meeting yesterday. 7:00am on a Sunday. That is fucked. Was it necessary? Doesn't seem like it. His quarterly meetings are usually in the evening. Why was this one at seven in the morning? Because a visiting manager wanted it to be. No other explanation given.

The thing that morning people don't seem to get is that the consequences of making a not morning person get up especially early are not simply that the victim will be a little tired. It's not so simple. Having to wake up early like that will fuck up a whole week. I'm not kidding. Morning people are able to go to bed early. Not a possibility for people like me.

I can only speak from personal experience and anecdotal evidence here, but what I know for myself is that I get my best sleep in the last few hours of my natural sleep cycle. If I wake up too early, it's almost like getting no sleep. If I go to bed at 5am and wake up at 10am, I'l be a hell of a lot better than if I were to go to bed at midnight and wake up 5am. I don't know why this is, but it is.

Having to wake up super early fucks with my bowels. I'm sorry. Over-share I know but seriously, it fucks with my shit cycle. I am uncomfortable all day. My body isn't ready for my morning shit. It's like "Hey bud, I was working towards having a good shit for you ready at your normal time. It's too early. Shit's not ready yet! What do you want me to do, I've got a little processed and ready to go." My body is confused. I'm confused. It sucks.

Having to wake up super early fucks with my sleep cycle for days and days. I am tired all day and then I get my second wind at night so I can't go to bed early. It can take up to a week to feel like I've had enough sleep again.

Having to wake up super early, fucks with my cognitive functions. I am dumb, uninspired and spiteful when I've had to get up early. I am way less productive, way less enthusiastic, and generally, life sucks more. This isn't good for me or for my employers or for anyone else.

Having to wake up super early fucks with my eating. When I wake up at my normal time, I am not super hungry. I'll have a little bowl of cereal and then I'm good until a later lunch and then am often good with a smaller dinner. When I have to wake up early, I usually end up eating an entire meal more. My confused and weak, sleepless body is hungry for sleep, but since that isn't possible, it craves food instead. I eat breakfast but then get hungry again real quickly. With my brain operating at 50% I don't have self control. Like after an especially grueling day, I say to myself, "ah I deserve it" and eat much worse for me food. Not only that, I hate life and just don't give a shit. I guess this is what depression is like and it makes me feel for people who are actually depressed. I think to myself, "eh, whatever. If I eat this crap and then die of a heart attach, then who gives a shit. At least it'll be like sleeping."

I don't think this really goes the other way. Make a morning person stay up a little later and they don't get nearly as fucked up because their good sleep comes earlier. They are the type to just pass out generally and this means they can get back on track quickly. They might be a little tired the next day, but that's it. It's not painful. For me, waking up early is actually and truly painful. I once equated waking up early to slowly cutting off my own hand with a rusty saw. Sure it will grow back by noon but it could take days to actually work properly again. It hurts. It really does.

During college when I was first getting into writing, I tried to figure out my process. Should I write first thing in the morning? At night? Whenever I had a chance? What I found after trying all these different things was that anything I wrote in the morning stood out as being much darker. The characters were meaner, the description lines more bleak and depressing. The characters were more argumentative, violent, sarcastic and sardonic.

On the flip side, I have found that keeping a schedule of waking up around 9am and going to bed around 1am is pretty perfect for me. It still takes a surprising amount of self discipline and will - if I did not set multiple alarms and maintain this schedule with great vigor, I quickly slip into staying up later and later and sleeping in later and later. For the two years I worked a job with "regular hours" that required waking up early, I was way less productive, was way less creative, was way more bitter and I gained a lot of weight. It was unhealthy, plain and simple.

So what I am imploring here is that you morning people keep mornings to yourselves. Use the time to get shit done, enjoy less traffic, smaller crowds and have a nice quiet time. Then, be ready to have a world full of more productive, friendlier, happier people an hour or two later. It's win win.

As I mentioned, this is just a rant and is based solely off what my brain thinks and not on science. I would be interested to hear your experiences and thoughts in the comment section.