Give Me My Hour Back! Navigating Daylight Savings Time

It came like most thieves do, in the middle of the night. Even though we knew it was coming, we were powerless to stop this thief. The treasure it took was not gold, nor jewels. It stole something more ephemeral. It took an hour of our time.

The thief is the same one that comes at this time each year. I am not sure if it is properly called the beginning or the ending of Daylight Savings Time. I only know it by its meme-worthy alias: “Springing forward”. That simple movement of the hands on the clock(I am old-school so no digital readout for me) can be just as disruptive as would be if it was an actual burglar that broke into our homes.

The disruptions are numerous. The “spring forward” effectively shifts an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening but doing so causes a temporary disruption in our internal clocks. This shift, although beneficial for longer afternoons, can significantly impact work performance for the hard-working in any business. It should be little more than a slight annoyance that renders us just a little more blurry-eyed than we usually are as we start our work days. However, for those who struggle with performance regularly, it brings a ready-made excuse that will be wielded as a powerful tool in fending off any level of accountability.

But what can we do? As a legislative victory ending this silly game clock-related ping-pong that we play each Spring and Fall seems unlikely, there must be other ways to cope. The answer is performance management.

No, not that external review by managers to evaluate your work against an often arbitrary set of goals and objectives but instead that process attended by the most successful people in any industry, managing our own level of performance. This requires evaluating how we are using the time we have and how to make sure that we use it as efficiently as we can. By adopting a self-directed approach to performance management focused on time management skills, you can not only negate the disruptive effects of the time change but may also be actually to steal that lost hour back.

Here are some tips for evaluating and improving your time management practices in light of Daylight Savings Time:

Self-Assessment is Key

Start with a thorough self-assessment of your current time management habits. Identify what’s working well and areas where you see room for improvement. Consider how the change in daylight hours might affect your productivity and daily routines. Reflect on past experiences with the DST transition and pinpoint what helped or hindered your adjustment.

Set Clear, Achievable Goals

Post-assessment, set clear and achievable goals for your time management. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For instance, if you aim to improve your morning routine to adapt to DST, a goal might be, “For the first week of Daylight Savings, I will wake up 15 minutes earlier each day to ensure a smooth start to my day.”

Develop an Action Plan

With your goals in mind, create a detailed action plan. This plan should outline the steps you’ll take to achieve your time management goals, including adjustments to your schedule, sleep habits, and work routines. Remember, the key to a successful transition is gradual adjustment.

Leverage Technology

Utilize technology to your advantage. Countless apps and tools can help manage your time more effectively. From calendar apps that remind you of important deadlines to productivity apps that block distractions, technology can be a powerful ally in improving your time management skills during the DST transition.

Prioritize Your Well-being

Adjusting to DST isn’t just about managing your time; it’s also about managing your energy. Ensure that you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and incorporating physical activity into your day. A holistic approach to well-being will support better time management and overall performance.

Seek Feedback and Reflect

Self-directed performance management is an ongoing process. Regularly seek feedback on your time management and performance from peers, mentors, or supervisors. Reflect on this feedback and your own observations to continually refine your approach.

Embrace Flexibility

Finally, remember that flexibility is crucial. Not every day will go as planned, and unexpected challenges will arise. What’s important is how you adapt to these changes while staying committed to your overall goals for managing time effectively during and after the DST transition.


The beginning of Daylight Savings Time is indeed a challenging period for businesses and employees. However, by embracing a proactive, self-directed approach to performance and time management, in you can turn these challenges into opportunities for growth and improvement. As we “spring forward,” let’s use this time as a catalyst for enhancing our time management strategies, ultimately leading to greater productivity and job satisfaction.

Help is Nearby

Whether you need assistance is helping your employee model their own personal path to managing their performance or the more traditional Manager-led performance management practices, Mercury Performance Group has way to improve the performance across your organization in ways that can be customized to your culture and industry.

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