This means that the team sits down at the very initial stages of a project and brings up their individual needs, schedules and preferences right out of the gate to the group – ideally, so that the group can adjust accordingly.
“That way you bring up things [like]: ‘I have kids, I have to be up at 05:00 every day and have to get them to day-care and can’t stay late’,” Stehlik says. “‘Here are my vulnerabilities right now, and here are my strengths right now.’ It’s mostly teamwork.”
If team leaders are flexible, you could agree to have an early riser start checking email or working earlier, and then allow them to knock off earlier in the afternoon. That way, workers can enjoy the benefits of early rising, but avoid burnout.
You’re also applying the practices of early rising to those to whom it’s applicable or useful, instead of arbitrarily getting everyone up early to chase the illusion of increased productivity.
In the end, though, it’s all about taking sleep advice from non-experts with a grain of salt. It’s about knowing your unique sleep preferences and the times of the day (or night) that you feel at your peak. And above all, it’s getting adequate – and consistent – amounts of sleep.
For some people, forcing yourself to wake up before the chickens because that’s what your business idol does may not be the smartest or healthiest way to start the day.
“Don’t do it,” Kinman says. “Unless you are a true morning person.”
Bryan Lufkin is BBC Capital's features writer. Follow him on Twitter @bryan_lufkin.
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