Shut up, Ben.


Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as saying, “early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

As a frequent late riser myself, I tend to say, “shut up, Ben.”

Getting up early is mainly a good thing, as far as I can tell, because a lot of people get up early.  It’s a widely shared habit, set in the days before electric lighting, and habits have a way of persisting.  It was a really good idea before artificial light—not many people want to try to do their jobs in the dark.  I wouldn’t want to try writing in the dark, and I really wouldn’t want to edit in the dark.  Now—well, a lot of people get up early because it’s the way it has always been done, and if you want to do business with them it’s a good idea to get up when they do.

Thankfully for night owls like myself, there have been new developments recently.  While you’re rising early, I’m sending an email at 2 in the morning before I go to sleep.  It’s there waiting for the morning people to wake up, and it’s going to get read before the recipient is in his or her office to see your early-rising self in person.

Score one for the night owls.


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