Use the End of Daylight Saving to Create More Time to Write

If you’ve been wanting to establish a morning writing habit, I’m going to challenge you to give it a go starting on November 2 with my #MorningWritingChallenge. 

But first, let me tell you why now is the PERFECT time to do this.

With the end of Daylight Saving Time, we’ll be getting a natural boost for setting up earlier morning writing time. This time change happens next Sunday, November 1 in the U.S. (the time changed on Sunday, October 25 in Europe and elsewhere).

Here’s why, and how the time change helps us MAKE (not find, mind you, make) more time to write:

Your Internal Body Clock vs. the Clock Time

We’re all setting our clocks back by one hour, so what was 7 a.m. in Daylight Saving Time will now be 6 a.m. in Standard Time, for example. 

But your internal body clock is still set to 6 a.m. feeling like 7 a.m., so you’ll feel fresher and more awake “earlier” in the day according to clock time. In other words, if you’re used to waking up at 7 a.m., 6 a.m. will feel entirely normal, but you’ll be up an hour earlier by the clock.

Your internal body clock will also help you feel ready for sleep an hour earlier than what the clock says. If you’re used to going to sleep at 10 p.m., for example, that will be the new 9 p.m., so your body will be ready for sleep an hour earlier than it was before the time change. 

What this means is that because your body clock is attuned to going to bed earlier and waking up earlier than what the clock will be saying, this is an excellent time to adjust your schedule to allow for writing time in the morning.

Yes, you COULD allow yourself to recalibrate to the new clock time and get used to staying up till 10 p.m. again (or whatever your current schedule is), but you don’t have to. If you’ve been wanting a morning writing practice (or an earlier one) this is a great opportunity to make a change.

Here’s what this could look like.

Normal bedtime: 10 p.m. Daylight Saving Time

Normal wake time: 7 a.m. Daylight Saving Time

 

New bedtime: 9 p.m. Standard Time (feels like 10 p.m. still)

New wake time: 6 a.m. Standard Time (feels like 7 a.m. still)

New writing time: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. 

 

Common Objections … & Solutions!

But Jenna, I need downtime at night…

If your first response is to shudder about giving up the “downtime” you’re used to at night, I want you to ask yourself how valuable that time truly is compared to making time for yourself to write in the morning.

I don’t know about you, but my night time “downtime” these days isn’t actually that restful and it doesn’t necessarily help my writing. I’d much rather get myself to bed earlier, be fresher in the morning, and ready to write than get caught up doomscrolling or whatever else is distracting me. I’m going to use this time change to give my writing habit a boost.

But Jenna, my kids will wake up early too…

“But wait, Jenna,” you say, “my kids will also be waking up early too!” Why, yes, they will. But you have a chance to do something about it, right now (at least if you’re in the US because we have a one week lead time).

You can do this by gradually adjusting their body clocks to match the external clock time.

The way to do this is to incrementally have them stay up a little bit later each night over the course of the coming week.

Let’s say they normally go to bed at 8:30 p.m. Each night, for the next 7 nights, let their bedtime be about 5 or so minutes later, so that on the last night (Halloween in the U.S.!) their bedtime would be 9:05 p.m. We’ll change our clocks that evening. Starting the next night, you’ll push their clock time bedtime a little bit the OTHER way until it matches up with 8:30 p.m. again. 

(And Halloween will give them a push of excitement staying up later too — bonus!)

Here’s how this works out night by night, starting on Sunday, October 25. 

Bedtime at:

  • 8:30 p.m. Saturday, October 24 (tonight, stay with regular bedtime)
  • 8:35 p.m. Sunday, October 25. 
  • 8:40 p.m. Monday, October 26. 
  • 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, October 27. 
  • 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, October 28. 
  • 8:55 p.m. Thursday, October 29. Night 5. 
  • 9:00 p.m. Friday, October 30. 
  • 9:05 p.m. Saturday, October 31. + Change your clocks!
  • 8:10 p.m. Sunday, November 1. (old 9:10 p.m.) 
  • 8:15 p.m. Monday, November 2. (old 9:15 p.m.)
  • 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, November 3. (old 9:20 p.m.)
  • 8:25 p.m. Wednesday, November 4.  (old 9:25 p.m.)
  • 8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 5. (old 9:30 p.m.)

And NO, you don’t have to do this perfectly, this is meant as an example of a gradual process. You can even make the switch in 10 minute increments if you want it to move faster. My experience is that 5 minutes is easier. :) 

Bottom line: you change their body clocks but you don’t change your own.

YES, you might be going to bed early while they’re going to bed later for a week, but it’s a small investment in order to free up writing time for yourself in the morning. If you don’t make this adjustment, they may well be up when you’re wanting to write. 

But Jenna, I don’t like writing in the morning…

Okay, fair enough. While I’ve found early morning writing to be one of the best times to write for many writers, primarily because our inner critics are quieter then and we feel the pull of other obligations less strongly then, it’s not for everyone, and that’s 100% okay.

If you prefer to write at night, you may want to use the body clock adjustment method I describe above in order to keep your hour at night without feeling jet lagged. :) 

The Morning Writing Challenge

Want to give this a go? 

Stay tuned for all the details of the #MorningWritingChallenge coming soon!

If you’re not on my mailing list, sign up now to make sure you get all the details.

 

Want an extra boost of support to make writing happen?

Join my Called to Write coaching circle where we run writing sprints at 7 a.m. Pacific Time on weekdays, 9 a.m. Pacific Time daily, and have bonus community led sprints at 6 a.m. Pacific Time and 3 p.m. Pacific Time.

We’ll be starting a new theme for the month of November, so it’s the perfect time to join us!

In addition to our sprints we offer weekly Zoom meetings (no meeting Thanksgiving week), goal setting and check in support, writing progress journals, and more. 

Financial aid is available. 

Find out more and register here.

 

Have questions?

Email us or leave a comment below and we’ll respond.

Stay safe, and happy writing!

 

 

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

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