Modest proposal

Seriously, why do we do this in the middle of the night? And 7 other things worth your time.

We start Daylight Saving Time in most of the USA this weekend. I am 100% in favor of this, and looking forward to that extra hour of daylight in the evening.

In fact, if it were up to me, we’d spend all year on Daylight Saving Time. Until we can get everyone on board with that idea, however, I have another one. Actually, I’ve been advocating this for a long time.

The issue is the manner, and the time, when we lose the hour as we “spring ahead.” We do this the middle of the night, depriving people of an hour of sleep and throwing off their circadian rhythms, thus making them groggy and less productive.

So, I have a simple solution: Instead of springing ahead at 2 a.m. and thus losing an hour of sleep on the weekend, why don't we turn the clocks ahead during the day, and during the week?

As I wrote some time ago (a/k/a pre-pandemic), on ScaryMommy.com:

I'm open to suggestions as to which hour, exactly. It probably shouldn't be right at the start or the end of the workday. I don't want to put us all in a situation where parents forget to turn the clock ahead at 4 p.m. and thus show up an hour late at day care, or ruin everyone's commute in the morning.

But to get us started, here are several ideas (a few from Scary Mommy, a few newer ones):

Monday, 11 a.m.

Pros: Everyone needs a boost on Monday. People would be working, singing the start-of-the-workweek blues, when we'd suddenly all fast-forward to lunch.

Cons: If you get off to a late start on this particular Monday, it'll be like pouring gasoline on the fire of unproductivity.

Tuesday, 2:44 p.m.

Pros: This time feels like it could become a national celebration, and even shorthand for communal joy. I envision a future Nobel prize-winning novel entitled, Tuesday, 2:44 p.m., and everyone would get the reference.

Cons: Maybe too close to the end of the school day—although kids would love it for that reason.

Wednesday, 1 p.m.

Pros: It's hump day to begin with. This time you might come back to work after lunch and find that your workday is an hour closer to being done than your body expects.

Cons: Wednesday might be the most productive day of the week normally. We probably shouldn't risk ruining the economy over this.

Thursday, 10 p.m.

Pros: This one is interesting. Ten p.m. would become 11 p.m. The jump ahead might encourage would-be night owls to go to bed, which might be healthier for them.

Cons: Not many. I guess late night television would suffer. This might be my favorite solution.

Friday, 4 p.m.

Pros: We all have weeks when we just can't wait for the weekend to arrive. This way, it actually would arrive sooner.

Cons: We're running straight into the potential problem of end-of-the-day confusion here, so we'd be counting on the media to make sure people are thinking about it all week. I'm pretty confident in their ability to create a little hype.

If you have a better time idea, I’d love to hear it. Or else, let’s switch Sunday, and then never switch back.

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7 other things worth your time

  • House Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Wednesday. There are some technical things that have to happen before it goes to the White House, but President Biden is expected to sign it in a ceremony on Friday. Among highlights: direct payments to Americans, unemployment benefits through Labor Day, a bigger child tax credit, $70 billion total in Covid vaccine and testing aid, $350 billion in relief to state, local and tribal governments, $120 billion for schools, $30 billion for restaurants, and many more items that I can’t fit in this little paragraph. (CNBC)

  • Merrick Garland was confirmed as Attorney General. (Axios)

  • Gaming company Roblox went public and is now instantly worth more than $45 billion. (CNN)

  • Latest survey on returning to the office: 42% of Americans want to do a hybrid/in-person mix, 36% say they’re ready to go back full-time, and 18% say they’d prefer to be completely remote, according to a 2,616-worker survey by Fortune. (Fortune)

  • Warren Buffett just became the sixth member of the $100 billion club. Not bad for a guy who keeps trying to give his money away. (Yahoo Finance)

  • The government of Australia will spend just under $1 billion (USD) to cover 50% of the cost of flights to domestic holiday spots under a new program to boost tourism between April and July. (BBC)

  • Actor Matthew McConaughey says the idea of running for governor of Texas is now “a true consideration.” (C’mon, you want to see this just for the “all right all right all right” campaign slogan and ads.) (Daily Caller)


Thanks for reading. Photo courtesy of ShellyS on Flickr. I’ve written about my idea at before at Scary Mommy and Inc.com, probably some other places, too. If you’re not a subscriber, please sign up for the daily Understandably.com email newsletter—with thousands and thousands of 5-star ratings from happy readers.

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