Competitive tiredness

Today's latest entry in our 'Future 50' trends series is all about tiredness as a status symbol.

Margaret Thatcher: four hours' sleep a night
Margaret Thatcher: four hours' sleep a night

First came the "busy-off", where executives competed to declare themselves to be the most busy, and therefore, by association, the most important. (Spare a thought for the advertising planner at one of the UK's biggest agencies, who declared himself "too busy even to go to the toilet".)

Now the busy-off is giving way to competitive tiredness, where executives live-tweet their lack of sleep and, with barely concealed glee, exchange tales of mammoth pitches that involved no sleep for weeks on end.

Not since Margaret Thatcher's heyday (the Iron Lady reportedly got by on just four hours' sleep a night), has a good night's rest been so definitively seen as the preserve of wimps. Tiredness itself has become a kind of warped status symbol; perspective is perhaps the one thing that is missing.

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