The clocks go forward but I’m looking back

When I was a child, I found the concept of Daylight Saving Time to be rather baffling. I understood that I lost an hour in March and that I gained one in October: that bit was fine. What confused me is where was the hour I’d lost? When I got one back in October, was it the same hour? I don’t know why this mattered to me but what can I say? I was a pensive child.

Anyway, the clocks go forward on Sunday 26 March in the UK and so the hour we’ll lose has been on my mind. I guess we see it as a loss because the time change takes place whilst most of us are asleep and for the same reason, maybe a lot of us sleep through the hour we gain back later in the year.

Out of curiosity, I contacted several clients and friends to ask them a simple question: ‘If you had an extra hour today, how would you spend it?’

I had twenty-two responses and here they are:

  1. I would go to the coffee shop on the sea front and read my new book.
  2. I’d do some Spanish revision or maybe play some Abe’s Oddysee.
  3. I’d have more quality time with my boys.
  4. I would go for a long peaceful walk, just me on my own: enjoy the sunshine and the nature around me and gather my thoughts.
  5. I’d get out my sadly-neglected sketch book and do some drawing.
  6. Read more stories to my kids.
  7. I would leave work on time, go home and go for a walk with my husband and dog.
  8. Sleep or read!
  9. I’d ask a new colleague to come out for coffee with me so I can get to know her better.
  10. Have a long, hot bath.
  11. I’d finish the dress I started making before Christmas.
  12. Those of us (on holiday) in Paris would have an extra coffee and watch the Parisians go about their business looking very chic.
  13. Bake a cake for my elderly neighbour.
  14. Read.
  15. Do some writing for work.
  16. Meditate.
  17. I’d make a meal of ten tiny courses that would take an hour in total to eat.
  18. I’d take myself off, sit in silence, close my eyes and just breathe. See what amazing thoughts come to me when I take a break from the brash, noisy, frenetic, demanding world around me.
  19. Make myself a cup of tea and call a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while.
  20. 20 minutes on Headspace app, 20 minutes drinking tea mindfully and then spend the last 20 minutes when my mind is clear, making plans.
  21. Sit down and have an uninterrupted conversation with my wife.
  22. I’d go for a long walk on my own.

I’m interested that only one response refers to doing more work. Other than that, it seems that people would spend an extra hour taking the opportunity to step away from the day to day and instead move towards creativity, relaxation, connection with family and friends, and clearing the mind – whether that’s through mindfulness or a walk.

Each of these answers is important to the person who gave it. Each of them represents something they wish they had more time to do. I hope that by having answered the question, they will be encouraged to find an extra hour somewhere over the next few days and do the thing they’d love to do.

Today’s pebble for you to contemplate: what would you do if you had an extra hour? How can you find an extra hour in which to do it?


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, email me and let’s have a conversation about how we can work together.

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2 Responses to The clocks go forward but I’m looking back

  1. On a related note, I’ve experienced a big transformation in my life by giving myself that extra hour almost every day for the last year. I’ve been getting up earlier every day and often getting myself out of the house and to my favourite coffee shop – the half hour walk fully wakes me up and then I’m ready to use my hour productively. In the last year I’ve studied art history, learned about classical music, read the major works of Stoicism and done an advanced French course. Most of that time I was also working full-time – I’ve astonished myself.

    It’s hard getting up early, of course – I’m not a morning person by nature – but I wouldn’t go back to the way things were before.

    Sorry – that turned out to be a bit of an essay!

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