On the morning of March 11, I awoke to the drone of my alarm clock feeling a great deal more tired than usual. It felt a bit like jet lag, but I was able to get going with a shower and a large (I refuse to use the term venti on principle alone) cup of Starbucks coffee. As I wandered back to my apartment, it occurred to me that I had lost an hour of sleep. In an effort to conserve energy and resources, we were recently granted an earlier-than-normal daylight-saving time by the government. The following morning, I growled as I silenced my alarm clock at 6 a.m. Still feeling a bit like I took a red-eye on JetBlue the night before, I completed my morning routine and made it to work. It was time to get moving with my high-powered brokers and traders who rush to their desks to start their research before the opening trading bell. Throughout the morning, various traders came to me looking for new ways to foster accountability and emotional discipline in both work and private lives. Trading woes had been incurred because of bad decisions made for positions in various stocks. They needed answers and solutions to solidify their trading mojo before the day began. Despite having one less hour of sleep to energize me, I was up for the task at hand.
Around 4 p.m., I began designing a new brochure for one of my latest projects working with people whose lives have been limited by mental illness and addiction. I was surprised to find that I had some extra momentum at an hour during which I normally would start dragging. I looked out of the window in my office and noticed that it was still bright and sunny. I felt a rush of energy that I hadn't experienced since late summer, when we still had warm weather. Time flew by, and I was extremely productive while making follow-up phone calls and barreling through the endless paperwork. It occurred to me that during the past four months I had become more prone to procrastination around 4 p.m. Even while I jotted down my case notes, my mind was already at home in front of the TV, ready for my daily dose of "Mad Money." This past week we watched bullish sentiment reappear after finally overtaking some bearish uprisings. My clients reported to me that all week they had been able to work longer hours whether as traders, doctors or lawyers. They felt an increase in their ability to focus after 3 p.m., remaining upbeat and getting more mileage out of their "emotional tanks." They also felt energized enough to make it to the gym, to be more involved as a parent/spouse and to keep their appointments with me. The extra sunlight led to increased motivation, which resulted in increased returns in their chosen professions.