This week, the ever-curious Hound asked the question, “Are you more productive/pleasant/punctual now that our clocks have moved ahead one hour?”
I suppose back when I was in full-speed-ahead mode (teaching full-time, young kids at home, directing church choir, etc.) losing one hour of sleep made a big difference in my energy level, but now that I’m semi-retired I barely notice it. My children are on their own, and the activities I spend most of my time on (reading, sewing, writing) don’t require a lot of physical effort, so I don’t get tired as early. I’ve never required a lot of sleep, and it seems I need even less now.
So let’s take the first part of the question. Am I more productive? I don’t think so. I write myself a to-do list each night before I go to bed, and as soon as I’ve had my first cup of caffeine I start on it. The list helps me focus no matter what time of the day I get started on it, so as long as everything important makes it on my list, things get done. Most of the time, anyway.
Am I more pleasant? I guess that would be a question for my husband. I asked him, and he simply shook his head. Thirty-four years of marriage have taught him some survival skills, I guess. I don’t ask my kids—they’re always telling me how unpleasant I am. As for my friends, I rarely see them before 9 AM and by that time I’ve consumed at least two cups of coffee and eaten breakfast.
Am I more punctual? No. If there’s one thing my father drilled in us, it was “Early is on time, and on time is late.” I also married a man who would rather be an hour early than five minutes late. So regardless of the time zone, I’m usually early. On quilting days I’m usually one of the first people to arrive and set up. For band and orchestra rehearsals, I’m in my seat and warmed up before the conductor steps up to the podium. And when I teach, I’m in the classroom at least fifteen minutes before class starts so I can set up my slide presentation and any other supplies. My lectures begin on time, and my students know that arriving late means they’re going to miss something.
I guess the conclusion is that switching to Eastern Daylight Savings Time doesn’t make a big difference in my life. My schedule has the flexibility to allow naps when I need them – usually once every two or three weeks. The rest of the time I get by on five or six hours of sleep, so it doesn’t matter if those hours come between midnight and 6 AM or between 1 AM and 7 AM.
Does the change in time affect you?