I hate Breakfast Meetings because it means I loose sleep.

Published by tim-isherwood on

I have to admit that I hate breakfast meetings because I need my sleep.

Getting enough sleep is vital for my state of mind, creativity and productivity and breakfast meetings prevent sleep. If I don’t have the opportunity for eight hours sleep I feel worn out. This actually applies to everyone – miss your sleep then you will not be good at work or anywhere else for that matter.

So, now it’s a new year and everyone is ramping up their marketing. Opportunities to network with other people arrive in to the inbox each day. What all these have in common is that to attend I have to get up at an unearthly hour – I’m going to loose sleep.

Let’s take an example: I received an invitation recently to attend a networking event on the outskirts of Manchester, about an hours travel from my home.

The event starts at 7:30am. So lets work this out, what time do I have to get up?

Shower & dress: 30 minutes

Coffee and try to understand what I am doing out of bed at such an unearthly time: 20 minutes

(I don’t need breakfast because I am getting that later. Right, or am I? This will probably be a heavy dose of carbohydrates. So do I have breakfast at home? Let’s say no because it means I can save 20 minutes on my routine.)

Walk the dog: 40 minutes

Travel time: 1 hour

Alarm time: 5am!!

What this means is that I am waking up, or more accurately, being shocked awake by my alarm over 2 hours before my usual rising time – but it’s not just the lost 2 hours, in addition I don’t sleep well during the night because I am worried the alarm will not go off. This has to be wrong!

If we miss out on our sleep in this way it is not just losing 2 hours sleep, we are missing up to 60% of our REM sleep, that piece of our sleep that combines with our NREM sleep which makes us what we are, ensures connectivity in our brains and helps us with feeling good.
Also if you do get to that breakfast meeting it will mean that later in the day you will almost certainly loose 2 hours of working time because you are too tired to concentrate. So the purpose of getting everyone to an early morning meeting is totally counterproductive.

So why do marketing people organise breakfast meetings? We sacrifice our energy & creativity in exchange for loads of pastry or a badly cooked full English breakfast, which it isn’t because it has baked beans and hash browns.

The answer has to be to do this later, 8:30 or 9am works just fine, a nice cup of coffee or a cup of breaakfast tea and a great conversation because we are all awake and alive and then onto the office where we will get more out of our day and probably able to go home early because we have been so productive. Remember, its not the minutes that count but the value you have added.

NB: If you want to understand more about sleep loss read “Why we sleep” by Professor Matthew Walker. It might just save your life.


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