Westerly Sun Column | Tips to Cope with Daylight Saving Time

March 11, 2024

Despite legislative attempts to make daylight saving time permanent, and cease the twice-yearly disruption to our circadian rhythms, it’s that time again: time to turn most of our clocks (except for the car, which will inevitably be forgotten) forward by one hour for reasons nobody fully understands or agrees with. I don’t know about you, but I’m not so much “springing forward” as I am “begrudgingly being dragged out of bed an hour early,” but, so it goes. If you’re also finding it a bit difficult to adapt, one of these books may help you make the most of your time.

While we can’t actually get that lost hour back, we might FEEL like we have by better prioritizing our tasks for the day. In “Happier Hour,” author and UCLA professor Cassie Holmes offers practical advice and tactics to help you sidestep distractions, find joy and better invest your time. As Holmes sees it, if your day is going to be full, it should at least be fulfilling! Greg McKeown’s “Effortless” is another book full of strategies to help maximize your time; he focuses on finding shortcuts to make the arduous, important tasks in your life seem easier — “effortless,” even!

Speaking of important tasks, let’s talk about food. Feeding yourself — not to mention your family — is one of the most important and time-consuming tasks in the day. When you factor in planning the meals, shopping, slicing and dicing, and the actual cooking time, it adds up! Books like “Meal Prep Magic” by Catherine McCord or “30-Minute Meal Prep” by Robin Miller include helpful strategies for saving time, as well as hundreds of healthy and quick ideas for meals to feed the family. I also love “Piecemeal” by Kathryn Pauline, which offers recipes for meals that can be made in as little as 15 minutes.

Though there are plenty of people, like me, who don’t love daylight saving time, there are also plenty of people who look forward to more light in the evening hours. It’s actually quite interesting how divided opinions are on the subject! If this appeals to you, you should check out Simon Garfield’s “Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed with Time.” In it, Garfield explores our obsession with time, delving into the history of humankind and how we track, measure, experience and even talk about it. Like most of Garfield’s books, he manages to make a fairly mundane topic fascinating, and you’re sure to learn something new. That is, if you can find the time to read it.

Hopefully you adapt to the change in time quickly, and perhaps one of these books can help use your daylight hours a bit more productively. If nothing else, at least the clock in my car is once again accurate, so I’m saving a few seconds every day by not having to do mental arithmetic to figure out the actual time. It’s something.

by Cassie Skobrak, Adult Services Librarian

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