This week our topic asks us about Daylight Savings Time…are we more productive, more happy during it? I think it has less to do with the hour being changed to the days simply being ‘longer’ because the sunlight is with us more.
People have made an effort to count hours for approximately 7,000 years, with varying success. It was only until the 1700’s that time zones were considered and 1884 when the International Standard Time system was established.
Whether you count hours or not, the days are going to be longer in the Summer and shorter in the Winter, no matter what time a clock does or does not say. The Earth is going to tilt on its axis one way or the other and the Sun’s rays are going to hit at one angle or another, clock or no clock.
That having been said, I wish they’d leave the clocks alone. The difference it does make isn’t helpful, especially when you have children.
Just as it starts to be light when they have to head off to school, they have to go out in the dark again. For kids, it often adds to colder mornings and there are many safety issues, if they have to walk any length, even to a bus stop.
Then the littlest ones don’t want to go to bed when it is still light outside.
And then they get up when they sense sunlight!
It is also hard on some workers, but since I worked in and ran a bakery for years, I was used to heading out in the dark. It isn’t fair to night shift workers, who get shorted an hour when the clock springs ahead, and have to work an extra hour when the clocks fall back again.
Am I more productive? Yes and no.
Because boy, when it’s dark, I often hesitate to go out on my own. Sometimes it’s a safety issue, other times, it just seems so much later than it does when it’s light outside…and it’s often colder and who wants to go out in the cold if they can help it? Not me, not with my poor, old joints!.
I might think hard before running out for an item I need at 8pm when it’s dark, but am much less likely to put it off until morning when it’s still light. I just might get the project done that evening. Yes,evening; it seems more like evening and less light night when it is still light.
I certainly get more outdoor work done in the evenings when it’s light, but then, more needs to be done when the days are longer since the plants are no longer dormant. It’s easier to see and so, some housework gets done later. I have plenty of lamps but dusting is easier when there is natural light and many household chores are just easier to push myself to in the evenings when it’s still light. In addition to the light, it’s warm, I use the garden hose and the evening light to clean and dry large indoor items and when it is very hot and humid, the work gets done when it is later and the heat is no longer at its peak, so yes, I am more productive.
However, the days are naturally longer and warmer so I do less cooking and when it’s hot, I do no baking, so I’m less productive. I don’t experiment with foods as much, I don’t be research as much. I am less apt to stay in and clean out a closet, drawers or a desk or sit at my sewing machine when it is light and inviting outside. With all the house and outside work, I do fewer mental exercises, far less paperwork, less reading and often, less writing.
So, in those areas, I am less productive.
But, really, I am not sure that DST actually plays much of a part. It’s just the season and the natural length of days.
Daylight Savings Time doesn’t make that much of a difference in the longest days of the year. (The longest day of the year is sometimes my birthday, but more often the day after, which is June 21st.) It is an inconvenience, especially in the first week or so.
Do you agree?