I don’t know about you but the idea of losing an hour makes me twitch. My life has to squeeze to fit into the 24 hours I normally have each day and you’re going to take one away? Please. The fact that I get it back in October is little consolation.
This weekend we’ll enter Daylight Savings Time across most states in the US, and while few of us will complain about the extra hour of daylight it bestows upon us each evening, we’ll moan and groan our way through the first week of mornings when that alarm goes off at “O-Dark-Thirty.” And we’ll certainly lament that lost hour.
Rather than wringing our hands in quiet desperation, I thought perhaps we could find a way to reclaim that hour for ourselves. Better yet, maybe we can get it back many times over.
Here are my four suggestions to help you gain back the hour you’ll lose this week.
1) Cancel one thing already on your calendar.
This has to be the easiest way ever to get time back! Just look at your calendar for the week ahead. Find the thing you least want to do or that is the least important overall. Cancel it. There’s an hour back in your life just like magic. Abracadabra.
2) Make a grocery list.
Really. How many times a week do you stop at the grocery store? Too many. The next time you’re waiting to pick up a kid from practice, or waiting at the dentist, or waiting for the bus, spend the 15 minutes making a list and use that list to help you shop just once a week. When you add up all the time you’d normally spend parking, shopping, and checking out, you’ll have regained that hour by the third day!
3) Teach your children a household skill.
When my husband started traveling more frequently, I had a sit-down with my three children and taught them how to do some easy but seemingly unending household tasks. My kids are now pros at folding and putting away laundry and at clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. They can sweep the kitchen floor and vacuum the carpets in our main living spaces and take the garbage cans to the curb. They make their own beds and hang up their towels, too. Add it up – over the course of the week this help with tidying up is worth well more than an hour, and they’re building good habits and life skills they’ll have forever!
4) Keep the TV off when you’re not watching it.
Have you ever gotten sucked into a TV show just because the TV was on and you happened to walk by? If the TV had just been turned off when you walked through the room, you wouldn’t have even known about that show. I’m not asking you to give up House of Cards, just to click the “off” button on the remote to prevent yourself from getting sucked into a show you never intended to watch in the first place.
It may take the onset of Daily Savings Time to get us thinking about how to reclaim an hour, but these little hacks work like a charm anytime you need to get an hour back in your week, which for most of us would be a welcome gift at any time of year.
I want to hear from you after you try one of these so you can tell me what worked. Better yet, share your own ideas for how to get time back in the comments section of this post so I can add them to my list!