WILY: We All Fall Back

At some point while I was in bed early Sunday morning, Daylight Savings Time came to an end, and all of our connected clocks turned back one hour (except my car, which has not changed and is driving me crazy without an option to turn it back manually.)

I don’t completely understand DST, and I really want to know what happens on TV when the time changes - do they just replay the previous hour? - but, I do know that this week has an effect on me and that I need to plan for it.

I am a morning person. I prefer getting up early and I wake ready for the day. No coffee necessary.

I’m also introverted by nature. I enjoy people and love being around my teams at work, but I need time to recharge between social interactions. The larger the group or longer the engagement, the more energy is drained from me.

In fact, on days where I’m stacked with morning meetings, I’m a lot like Turkey from Bartleby, The Scrivener, one of my favorite short stories by Herman Melville. In the story, Turkey is very productive during the morning, but grumpy and error-prone in the afternoon. The narrator of the story balances Turkey with Nippers, who excels after lunch.

The first week of Standard Time can be especially difficult.

Knowing my personality, I try to schedule important meetings for the morning, with the most important coming first. I also try to minimize back-to-back meetings and allow myself time to recharge in between. I typically slot important solo work, or anything that requires a lot of concentration, during my morning alone time.

Finally, I use afternoons to work on admin work like status updates and reports, reading articles or consuming podcasts, webinars, etc., or short one-on-one interactions.

If you’re like me, falling back is not easy. As I type this, it’s not yet 8:00 PM but it feels like it’s going on midnight because it has already been dark for a couple of hours. But, it doesn’t have to derail your entire day or week. By being aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and how you’ll react to the change, you can build a schedule that allows you to be your best.

And that extra hour of sleep? It’s a myth. I just woke up an hour earlier.