Loralyn Mears, PhD
Take Back Monday & Why We Change our Clocks
Updated: Mar 16, 2019
by Loralyn Mears, PhD
This article was originally published on March 11, 2019 at https://gritdaily.com/take-back-monday-why-we-change-our-clocks-and-a-word-about-governor-cuomo/
We are here to help those of you who slug through Monday mornings.
And to help those of you who lament the end of the weekend and dread the return to the office. No worries! GritDaily has an avenue get you pumped up for the week with helpful tips to take back Monday. And thrive.
TIPS FOR THE SLEEP-DEPRIVED
Not operating at 100%? Wishing that you were still in bed or had a magic potion to take back Monday? Are you already watching the clock and it’s only 9:05 am? Indeed, it feels like it’s going to be a long day.
Did you know that the Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins is one of the lowest productivity days of the year? Penn State University conducted a study that revealed this surprising fact. Researchers also demonstrated how activity on social media platforms spikes as productivity falls. Why? The answer is simple: it’s because people are tired after the spring forward time change. And, people have a reduced ability to be disciplined in their work habits when they are tired. Hence the spike in “cyberloafing.”
Wasting time on social media (is there such a thing?!) contributes to massive, collective business losses on Monday after our clocks spring forward. No doubt business wishes they could take back Monday. Yes, of course, economic losses are bad, but the story gets worse.
The Spring change of time actually results in serious harm to some people. Specifically, the number of workplace incidents, accidents and fatalities spikes for people in dangerous mining and other operations. But that’s still not the worst of it. Acute myocardial infarctions, otherwise known as heart attacks, jump 24% on the Monday following the change to daylight savings time. Interestingly enough, none of these deleterious outcomes occur on the Monday following the change to daylight standard time (the autumn fall back event).
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE CHANGE OF TIME?
The practice is definitely arcane. It hearkens back to the late 1700s in the days of Benjamin Franklin. He purported that it would save on fossil fuel consumption.
However, the Brits took about 150 years until they presented the idea to Congress in 1909. Clearly, they weren’t convinced. Seven more years went by before the bill was finally passed based on the notion that people wanted to enjoy longer evenings. Chaos ensued as some cities changed their clocks while others did not. Sound familiar? Shortly thereafter, the USA and the rest of Europe also adopted the practice. Insert heavy sigh.
Over the years, multiple studies have been conducted but the results are inconsistent. Some studies report reduced fuel consumption whereas others report increased usage. However, economic losses are reported in all cities that revert back to Standard Time. Experts postulate that this occurs because people are less inclined to head out after work in twilight versus daylight.
Not a fan of the change of time? Me neither. You can protest by signing a petition here. Until millions more sign the petition and Congress takes action, or until you move to Maui or Phoenix, you are stuck with springing forward. So how do you manage the change of time and the productivity losses that inevitably ensue? Here are a few quick tips to take back Monday.
TIPS TO MINIMIZE THE LOSS OF PRODUCTIVITY
It’s going to happen. There will be losses in productivity. And sleep. But you can manage it so that your productivity dips only slight on Monday and by Tuesday, you will be back to operating at 101%.
#1 – Go to bed 15 min earlier each day for 3 days before the change of time
Sure, that sounds reasonable. Except that it’s Monday and the change of time has already happened. Next …
#2 – Leave work one hour early on Monday
Knowing that an early exit is in your future, you’ll be more motivated to push yourself through the mid-afternoon slump. Leave work early, turn your phone off and take a 30 min nap when you get home.
#3 – Take a short walk
No need to run a marathon. But, if you get off one stop early and walk at least 15 min in the fresh air, you will arrive at the office alert. If you were racing around like a lunatic trying to get up and out on time after the alarm clock chimed way too early, take a short walk to go pick up a coffee or lunch.
#4 – Eat lighter today
Avoid carb-loading with a heavy pasta or noodle dish that is going to weigh you down mid-day. Opt for a healthy salad of leafy greens and quinoa to spark some energy.
#5 – Wind down 30 min before bed tonight
Turn your phone off, the TV and any electronics. Grab a book or flip through a magazine to give your brain a chance to unplug and relax.
WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATIONAL STORY?
Today’s story is about the efforts of Governor Cuomo. I respect that we may have differences in our political beliefs, but this story should inspire you today as you’re struggling with the change of time. Over the past few months, Governor Cuomo has made a series of important announcements with respect to the war on climate change. He has lobbied for drastic reductions in energy consumption by 2025, enough to power 1.8 million homes each year, and proposed initiatives that would result in up to 50,000 jobs here in NY. He has advocated for energy storage efforts which will also yield billions in financial benefits for New Yorkers. And, he has shared his vision for a clean energy state.
Given that he’s motivated to help New Yorkers and the environment by reducing fuel consumption, perhaps he could do one more thing for us? Maybe he could lobby against changing the clocks. Or do something to help us take back Monday!