The Green Sheet Online Edition
December 08, 2014 • Issue 14:12:01
The benefits of darkness saving time
I know I'm not the only one discombobulated at this time of year, when daylight savings time ends. You "fall back" one hour, and now it's dark when you get up in the morning, and dark by 5 p.m. It seems like daylight savings time has been replaced by darkness saving time.
Your sleep patterns get disrupted and, if you have household pets, their sleep patterns get disrupted too, which makes things even worse. They notice a smidge of light on the horizon and conclude its 7 a.m., when, in fact, it's 6 a.m. Telling them to roll over and go back to sleep doesn't work. It doesn't work for you either.
An opportunity to regroup
You stumble out of bed and get your day started in the half-dark of dawn. The rest of the day, you seem to sleepwalk through your work, and even before you leave the office it's dark and you're ready for bed. You're still working eight plus hours a day, but it feels like twelve, and your productivity is more than usually dependent upon the number of cups of coffee imbibed.
For many people, when daylight savings time ends "fall back" usually becomes "stumble back and try to keep your balance."
Don't get me wrong. Daylight savings time is a good thing for business, particularly for those in the business of providing payment processing, POS equipment and value-added services to merchants. It adds an hour to the retail day, giving people an extra hour to shop and ISOs an extra hour to make money.
Does it follow, then, that the end of daylight savings time is bad for business and sales? Not necessarily. You might have one daylight hour less for sales, but that gives you an extra hour to set up those sales, and to work on other ways to attract and retain merchant accounts, as well as help your merchants attract and retain their own customers.
The upside to turning back the clock
The end of daylight savings time has other hidden benefits for your business. When it comes to work, tumbling back isn't that helpful, but finding ways to keep your balance is. Just as you sometimes come up with your best ideas when you're in the time between sleep and wakefulness, you may discover the solution to long-standing work problems in the time between dark and light.
There are also personal benefits. Instead of fighting to adjust your schedule to the new clock, why not use the end of daylight savings time to give yourself a much needed break? Go to bed an hour earlier (be sure to DVR those favorite late night shows), and wake up an hour earlier. But instead of making that an excuse to start work an hour earlier, use that "extra" time to do something special for yourself. Meditate or pray, read for your enrichment or pleasure, cook a pancake breakfast for you and your family.
For many people, when you mess with the clock you mess with their minds, but it doesn't have to be that way. The end of daylight savings time can bring with it the end of some of the stressors in your life and business, and give you a time of respite – just in time for the holidays!
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