I really love falling back into Daylight Savings each year. A morning person by circumstance (little kiddos wake up very early), waking to the sunlight wafting through the windows is such a pleasant experience. Fighting with sleep to pitch black darkness is generally a losing battle.
That extra hour is a treasured gift; especially in my time constrained existence. I got a head start on this week’s articles. We arrived at church [more] on time. Breakfast was more than a hurried bowl of oatmeal. Daylight Savings makes for a wonderful day.
Why stop at one day a year? I am convinced that we can keep the magic going. Here’s my plan and a few more ideas to rescue more time from the 24 hour cycle.
- Watch less TV. This is a lesson I keep having to re-learn. Wow! Americans watch an average of 5 hours of TV PER DAY. Honestly, my household is pulling that average up (must do better). It seems as we age, that number increases to 7 hours/day. That’s a full time job. I can wrestle some daylight back from the boob tube. It’s a great place to start.
- Listen to the radio. Now this improves my productivity. I’m not captivated by mindlessness (even the news can be mind-numbing sometimes) and more apt to move around and be productive. My radio is upstairs, so I listen to it through the baby monitor.
- Close beeping social media windows. We spend 3+ hours engaged with social media a day. Social media is actually part of my day job, but I can become all Pavlov’s-dogish when alert notifications beep. Text notifications or that red Google Plus bell has the same affect. Between the computer and my phone, it can become a madhouse. So off with the notifications or closing certain windows helps me concentrate and saves more of my daylight for more productive pursuits.
- Leave earlier for work. If possible, get to work earlier (and hopefully leave earlier too) to avoid the daily traffic nightmare. God bless those who live in DC, LA, or San Francisco (it’s worse there), but we are spending 60 hours a week sitting in traffic. What the what! If public transportation is not available or a reasonable alternative and your schedule permits, start your work day earlier. Skip the traffic jam and rescue a good portion of those 60 hours (and your sanity) back to your side!
- Move closer to work. Not for everyone, but it should be said. Consider cutting your commute by moving closer to work. It’s a little easier if you are renting and single. Moving is totally not an option. Can you work from home – even if just a few days per week?
- Stay off the phone. This is vital for me as a work from home mom. During the day, I can be lulled into long conversations (especially when other friends and family are home on vacation). Before 5 pm, I will return a text, but like to save socializing conversations to “after work” hours.
- Go to bed earlier. I’m much more productive in the morning with fresh eyes, a rested soul, and an ability to focus. Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise (still working on the wealthy part).
What tips do you have to wrangle more productive hours from your day?
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