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From the Blog

5-9 before your 9-5, unrealistic or not?

28. 03. 2023

Alexandra, our very own Dolly Parton fanatic deep dives into the possible unrealistic standards of a 5-9 before your 9-5.

Maybe she gets up at 5am for a workout, walk and meditation, or maybe she shamelessly admits to snoozing that alarm (much like the rest of us).

I’ll let you find out for yourselves. Take it away, Alex!

I could answer that question in one word and save you all the six minutes it’ll take to read this blog post. However, that wee minion, Ella Magee, would kick my ass for failing to meet my required bi-monthly 750 word Clearbox Blog contribution. So blame her.

Of course the answer is YES. It’s COMPLETELY unrealistic. And anyone who tells you otherwise has issues they need to address (just joking).

However, it is very much in vogue.

All over my fyp (that’s cool young person speak for the general feed on the TikTok app that uses its evil omniscient algorithm to correlate all your favourite things and plays video after video, slowly radicalising you) there’s videos of extremely beautiful (usually young women) videoing their 5-9s before their 9-5s.

And I’m not going to lie, I LOVE these. I watch them all the time and I even convince myself that I too, could be one of these women. I’ll even let you into a wee secret - one evening I set my alarm for 5am to go for a run before work. 5am came and went and I was still sleeping soundly.

With all this being said, there are a lot of legitimate reasons why people, especially women, tend to wake up in the wee hours.

Working from home

I also think the rise in working from home has given people the opportunity to be more flexible with how they spend their time before and after work. If you’ve a 40 minute commute ahead of you, getting up at 5am to go for a run or tidy the house, might be very unappealing. However, if your commute is a three minute walk from your living room to your kitchen, you might have more energy to do more before you begin work.

The 5-9 mum

Many mothers talk about how hard it is to find some time alone, and those two to four hours before the rest of the house wakes up can be a quiet sanctuary for many. It gives mothers a chance to enjoy solitude before there’s 50 people asking them 50 questions.

Morning people

We talk a lot about this in the office, where did the rule ‘if you go to bed early and wake up early, you’re considered productive and energetic’ come from? We place a lot of praise on people who wake up early - the early bird catches the worm, you snooze you lose etc. etc. etc. whereas, if you hit the hay in the wee hours and wake up somewhere closer to midday you’re considered lazy, unproductive and a bit scatty.

But if you think about it, you’re getting the same amount of rest, you’re awake the same amount of hours and you’ve the same amount of time as everyone else (apart from Beyonce, she’s definitely been given an extra 6 hours a day from the Illuminati).

So what’s the reason for these differences?

Celebrity influence

We can delve into the reasons why we equate being an early riser with being productive and healthy, but I think a lot of it comes from celebrity and public figures’ influence.

We just have to look at stories from the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who claims he rises at 03:45 to start checking his emails in California before his colleagues on the east coast can. Jeff Bezos is another early riser, he said “I go to bed early, I get up early”. He says his morning “puttering” time where he can read the newspaper, have coffee and breakfast with his kids is very important to him. We also all remember that crazy schedule from Mark Wahlberg, who wakes up at 02:30 to work-out, play golf, and work-out again, and the Queen Mother herself, Kris Jenner once said at 6am “half the day is already over”. We seem to equate success with waking up early and getting stuff done before our work starts, but that maybe only works for a few.

While writing this, I am reminded of something my Granda always used to say to us “early to bed, early to rise, keeps a man healthy, wealthy and wise” and maybe there’s something in this.

But in the end, the only thing I do before my 9-5 is tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen to pour myself a cup of ambition - and that only takes about 20 minutes.

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