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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Daylight Saving Time (DST) Starts Tomorrow

Daylight Saving Time (DST) officially starts early morning tomorrow - March 8, 2009, the second Sunday of March. This means that the time in DST-using parts of the world, will be adjusted or moved ahead by one hour, from 2:00 am to 3:00 am on Sunday morning. Daylight saving time will end on November 1, 2009.

Cover of the pamphlet "The Waste of Daylight," written by William Willet,
inventor of Daylight Saving Time (DST).
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Daylight saving time is a convention that aims to move the start of day closer to actual sunrise, adjusting the time by one hour so that there is less light in the morning hours and more light in the afternoon hours. DST was first established in the US through the Standard Time Act of 1919. The practice has gone through numerous changes in the years since then owing to the controversial nature of the benefits of daylight saving time. Until today, its positive effects on energy savings, health, public safety, and the economy remain challenged by groups opposing DST.

So, why am I discussing Daylight Saving Time when you can easily read about it in Wikipedia? If you're working as a freelancer from Asia, you might want to adjust and change the time for calling your clients in the US and Europe. I work mostly with people based on the US East Coast, which is sort of convenient as far as computing time over there, instantly. When Daylight Saving Time starts this morning, our time difference would be exactly 12 hours (the Philippines no longer use DST) - 9 pm here would be 9 am in Florida.

Whatever the arguments for or against DST, it was obviously conceived for the purpose of improving efficiency through time management. A very simple trick, which I found to be quite effective in this respect, is by dividing my work hours into short concentrated bursts of 50 minute work periods. A friend finds 45 minutes to be his optimal performance and uses a stop watch to time his work. I use an online stopwatch myself, since most of my work is done online, so it's just a matter of opening another tab in the Firefox browser that I'm using.

During the 50 minute burst, all work is focused towards finishing whatever task I needed to complete at that time. No playing around, it's all concentrated work during that 50 minute period. When I first started using this system, I found my efficiency almost doubled in an instant, more work is being done and I have more time to "decompress" during those 10 minute breaks. If you're home-based and find yourself and your work habits to be your main adversary (like I did) in getting things done, you might want to try this system, I'd like to hear how it worked for you in the comments section below.

In the meantime, let's get ready for Daylight Saving Time tomorrow, and start double-checking those scheduled calls for this upcoming week.

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