I took a business trip recently from our Ft. Lauderdale office out to the Pacific Time Zone. I played the trip as you normally do, tried to fool my body it wasn’t really midnight when it was 9PM Pacific, splashing cold water on my face, chewing the strongest mints I could find (which served to make my eyes water.
In reality though I was so tired I think I was going loopy. I met a Medical Director for a healthcare organization that lived in Ft. Lauderdale but commuted out West during the week, in passing he mentioned how he got a lot more done because of the time zone but I didn’t really think much of it at the time.
The reason for my trip was 5i Solutions was a finalist for a government legal department, to provide one of our Litigation Document Review Software Solutions. My attempt at a night before touch up of our presentation was somewhat challenging – I couldn’t concentrate and as much as I was trying to fight it or fool myself, I was failing miserably. I turned in at 10pm PST thinking I could get up at 7am and have a lie in of 3 hours.
I was awoken by the buzzing of my phone as an email arrived from an EST client, and just like that I was awake. It was 4:45am PST and I was a full of drive! I must have fired out 25 emails, rapid-fire, following up on all kinds of action items I had floating in cyber-business-space. I even cleared out some email folders – I had been meaning to do that for weeks. I went through our government bid subscription site, earmarking some upcoming bids that fall into 5i’s scope, breaking out some of the sections and distributing them to the right departments for some early prep. Then it was time to go over the presentation one more time, before I knew it, I had added a couple more KPI’s and expanded on the ROI. When I went down to grab some breakfast, it wasn’t even 7am and I thought to myself wow I have personally achieved the enviable efficiency on steroids as just one man!
Case in point, the Medical Director I met was right – you do get a lot more done when you are body clocked on the east coast but physically working on the west coast. No need to trick the body after all, just sleeping naturally in EST your mind will work for you. The jump-start solves it and keeps you ahead of the game. Trumping the threats of travel with a simple good night sleep offered me escape from dreadful “wake up” routines… So it started my mind on a simple question: what can it do for your company?
There are companies all over the world that have employees that live in one time zone but have to commute to another either for a few days or the entire work week. Each employee who acts company representative may attend team-building conferences or visit companies in bid for contract. If one of those companies is in the PST, I would look at specifically only recruiting from east coast time zones. Just a simple way to fool your employees into achieving enterprise efficiency. No alarm clocks required.