26 October 2007

Using daylight

One aspect of my twice-yearly ranting against the insanity of changing the clocks that I haven't mentioned here before is the oddness of fiddling about one hour either way, when most people get up around 6 or 7 in the morning and stay up to getting on for midnight.

Mid-night. It's the middle of the night. If we gave a crap about daylight, we would do our sleeping around the middle of the night. We would go to bed around 8pm local time and get up around 4am. We could get our work done by 2 in the afternoon and have hours of daylight left even in winter.

John Kay raises the same point, but he's stuck in the same old rut of trying to fix things by government blundering around with the clock. The problem is that it's so hard to predict the outcome. There may even be a good reason why we do things so late in the day, that neither he nor I have thought of. I think there is an opportunity, as more work becomes more independent, for experiment in working hours. If getting up in the early hours is as good an idea as it appears to Kay and to me, then those least constrained to fit with other peoples' hours might be expected to try it and stick to it.

I haven't seen any sign. From what I read of the working lives of writers, for instance, it seems more common for them to sleep even later and stay up even later than those on fixed schedules. If that makes them happier or more effective, perhaps it's a signal that we all should go that other way.

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