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夜猫子VS.早起鸟:职场前景谁更好

Laura Vanderkam 2011年08月30日

职场中的“夜猫子”或许更具有创造力;但近期公布的一份报告称,在实现长期目标方面,早起的人似乎更胜一筹。

    下面的场景你肯定不陌生:你还在办公室厨房里迷迷瞪瞪地找咖啡,而你的同事却精神抖擞地跳出来,跟你说早上骑自行车的感觉简直“酷毙了”。而且,你们俩下周要做的演示文件,她也已经完成了,现在就躺在你的收件箱里(时间显示是上午7:45发送),前提是你还能摸索着回到自己的办公桌。

    很明显,她确实精力充沛(虽然有些烦人)。但在职场上,“早起的鸟儿”真的要比同僚们胜出一筹吗?

    答案或许是肯定的。在《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)去年发表的一份调查报告中,生物学家克里斯托弗•兰德尔发现,早晨精力最充沛的人更能明确自己的长期目标,更有把握实现自己的目标。另外,也有研究显示,这类人在学校的成绩普遍更加优秀。

    兰德尔在接受HBR采访时称,“夜猫子”们可能更具创造力,“但他们与公司的正常安排不合拍。事关职业成就,晨型人总能占得先机。”

    原因如下:

积蓄正面能量

    肖恩•阿克尔认为,在早上完成一些事情,能够带来“一连串的成功”。肖恩•阿克尔著有《快乐的优势》(The Happiness Advantage)一书,他自己之前也属于“夜猫子”型,后来有意识地让自己养成了早起的习惯。现在,他每天睁开眼第一件事,是写下让他心存感激的三件事,然后锻炼身体,再写一封简短的电子邮件,与家人或朋友联络感情。他说自己非常喜欢早上做这些事,并且发现“如果你心里有所期待,那么从床上爬起来就不是什么难事。”然后,“在大脑记录下一件成功完成的事情之后,很自然地,你会继续做下一步,并一直进行下去。”但如果你在头天晚上10点才完成一天中第一件重要的事情,而老板却要求你参加第二天早上8点的会议,那么很显然,已经没有足够的时间去完成其他事情了。

优先保证重点

    根据理财顾问的建议,发工资之后,要尽早把钱存到银行,因为如果拖到月底的话,总会有各种各样的原因导致人们无法在应急基金中存入500美元。同样的道理,不要等到下午5点才去锻炼身体。越来越多的研究显示,人的意志力与肌肉在功能上很相似。如果过度使用就会出现问题。把一些重要但不紧急的事情放在早上进行,比如锻炼身体、宗教修行或战略思考等,人们就可以提前把这些事情做完。否则等到开完无聊的会议,或者在办公室忍受了一整天自动贩卖机的噪音之后,人们早已筋疲力尽,想要做什么事情都力不从心了。

尽量减少干扰

    兰蒂普•雷西有一份朝八晚五的工作,同时还在经营着一家名为WineDelight.com的在线酒水商店。他表示:“公司位于加利福尼亚,而我在科罗拉多,所以与其他员工最便捷的沟通方式就是通过视频聊天工具G-Talk。因此,我得始终保持在线,以免有事情需要我处理。这有时候会让我分心,但在早上工作的效果非常好,因为那时候其他员工都还在睡觉呢。”即便其他同事也都属于早起型,他们肯定也希望用这段时间专心做自己的事情。毕竟,要让人家早上6:30参加电话会议,实在是不好意思开口吧?

    You know the type: As you're groping around the office kitchen looking for coffee, your perky colleague bounds in to tell you that her bike ride this morning was "awesome." Plus, she finished the presentation you two have to give next week. It's in your inbox (time-stamped 7:45 a.m.) should you ever make it to your desk.

    Sure, she's energetic (if annoying). But do morning people have a professional advantage over others?

    The answer may be yes. As part of research published last year by Harvard Business Review, biologist Christoph Randler found that people who were most energetic in the mornings were more likely to identify long-range goals for themselves and feel in charge of making things happen. Other research has shown that such people get better grades in school.

    While night owls may be more creative, "they're out of sync with the typical corporate schedule," Randler told HBR. "When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards."

    Here's why:

Building momentum

    Accomplishing things in the morning sets off a "cascade of success," says Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, and a "night owl" who "consciously changed my morning habits so I could get up earlier." He now starts his days by writing down three things he's grateful for, exercising, and sending a quick email to reconnect with a family member or friend. He says he enjoys all these activities, and finds that "if you're thinking about things you're looking forward to, that makes it easy to get out of bed." Then, "once your brain records a victory, it's more likely to take the next step and the next step." If your first major victory comes at 10 p.m. but your boss expects you to be at an 8 a.m. meeting, there's just not much time for getting things done.

'Pay yourself first'

    Financial advisors tell people to transfer money to savings as soon as they get paid, because there will always be a reason why you can't put $500 toward your emergency fund at the end of the month. Likewise, there will always be a reason not to exercise at 5 p.m. A growing body of research suggests that will power functions like a muscle. It fails when used too much. By putting important-but-not-urgent activities like exercise, religious practices, or strategic thinking early in the day, you can knock these tasks off your list before your will power is exhausted by boring meetings or the siren song of the office vending machine.

Minimizing distractions

    Randeep Rekhi has an 8 to 5 job and also runs an online wine store called WineDelight.com. "The physical location for the business is in California and I'm in Colorado, so the easiest way to communicate with other employees is via G-Talk, thus I'm always on it in case I'm needed," he says. "This can get distracting at times, but working very early in the morning is great because all the other employees are asleep." Even if your colleagues are all early risers, they likely want to use this time to focus, too -- and may feel sheepish putting a conference call on someone's calendar at 6:30 a.m.

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