Really? Is there really a way to save daylight? Or is that name just a ploy to make us all feel better about springing forward?
Daylight Savings Time was first introduced in the United States when Woodrow Wilson signed it into law in 1918 to support the war effort. The seasonal time change was quickly abolished just seven months later. However, some cities continued to use Daylight Savings Time until FDR signed year-round DST into law again in 1942. Talk about confusing to the people who lived in the holdout cities! It wasn’t until Congress signed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that the entire country got on the same page, er, um, clock.
You’re probably wondering what saving daylight has to do with writing. I know that happens a lot here on Sensibility and Sense, but humor me for a minute, K? As writers, we have a unique struggle when it comes to using time wisely. I am blessed to be able to write full time, from home, in my little corner office in the dining room. But even I have trouble balancing work, home and me time each day. I know you’re shocked, but it’s true. Your vision of a full-time writer is probably one of hours of uninterrupted time to hone craft and flesh out every idea your muse kicks into your head. Sorry guys, it’s not nearly that glamorous. Sometimes I envy my husband who goes to an office each where there are secretaries, receptionists and random bowls of candy…but I digress. Working from home I AM the secretary, receptionist, chief of finance, investment specialist, pet sitter, cook and transportation secretary. Daylight savings time? Are you kidding me?
How can we make the most of writing time in the middle of everything else? Here are a few suggestions (or reminders):
- Set office hours. I know it sounds like a no brainer, but if you don’t set office hours, you’ll never get anything done. My official office hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I work many more hours a day/week than that, but these hours are my framework.
- Let others know your office hours. If you don’t, it won’t work. Get in the habit of returning phone calls and emails outside of writing time, and your kids and extended family members will quickly get on your schedule. (Unless it’s an emergency).
- Replace interrupted writing time. A flexible schedule is the best part of working from home. I schedule things during the day so it keeps my afternoons clear when my kids are home. But that also means I’m working while they do homework or after they go to bed. Don’t give away your writing time. Trade it.
Don’t let Daylight Savings Time fool you. There aren’t more hours in the day. That’s why learning to use the ones we have wisely is so important.
Sensibility- Use the first few minutes of your writing time each day to take a deep breath, slow down and get into the writing zone.
Sense- Schedule some “me time” into each writing day. Exercise, read for pleasure or take a brisk walk to keep your mind fresh and your spirit free.
How do you protect your writing time?