34: Avoiding Chronotype Burnout

Things That Keep Us Up At Night

Mar 30 2021 • 13 mins

*Today's episode is a re-airing of Episode 14 of the Things That Keep Us Up at Night Podcast.

Before you listen, I want to recognize that not everyone has the ability to create their own schedule or work from home but you can still make small changes towards better sleep. Next week I will be introducing a new resource to pinpoint your first steps to better sleep regardless of your work schedule.

Previously, I talked all about chronotypes. Chronotypes are the classification of the general timing of your biological clock. For our purposes, it is the programming that exists in each person’s biology that tells them when they should wake up and go to sleep.

There are four main categories:
Bears: majority, wake with the sun and sleep when it gets dark
Lions:  wake early, early birds, to bed early
Wolves: aka night owls, sleep in and stay up late)
Dolphins: people with insomnia, struggle to get the recommended amount of sleep and are always tired

Our society was built for the bears. We envy the lions, we judge the wolves, and we shame the dolphins.

I think when we hear these descriptions, it’s easy to identify with one type but wish you were another. Somewhat of a “grass is always greener” scenario. So let’s talk about why this envy exists.

As a society, we have created little room for people to live the lives that are best for their health. We value overworking, sacrifice, and live by the mantras, “Push through the pain.” and “Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard."  Bill Gates once said, “I never took a day off in my 20s. Not one.”

We need to stop glorifying the leaders who work 20 hours a day, 7 days a week and then expect the same of their employees. Stop glorifying people working so much that they become debilitatingly ill.

There is a decrease in average productivity with increased hours.

Let’s allow people to function on the schedule that matches up with their chronotype so that they’re not fighting their biological programming. Imagine what kind of inspired work someone could produce if they were actually functioning in a way that worked with their body instead of constantly fighting against it.

Things we thought impossible a year ago have been proven possible because we were forced to consider alternatives. This past 9 months has shown us that despite what we’ve been told previously, corporations and systems CAN make drastic changes quickly when the circumstances demand it.

What can you do to create change in your organization or your life?

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