Winter is coming. And so is daylight saving time. Come Sunday, Nov. 4, it's time to turn the clocks backward, bequeathing us an extra hour of sleep.
But instead of staying in bed, happiness and habits guru Gretchen Rubin says you should try to ignore the time switch. She sees this as a perfect opportunity to start a new morning routine.
Don't make the switch
Rubin's advice is to basically pretend like daylight saving time doesn't exist. Let your iPhone do its thing and magically change time overnight. But don't sleep that extra hour. Get up at the same time you would have if daylight saving time never happened.
And just like magic, you have an extra hour in your day to be productive. Keep waking up at that same time (now an hour earlier) so you won't let your body adjust to the time switch. "It's easier to get in the habit of waking up earlier by getting up at the same time, when the clock changes, than to train yourself to get up earlier," Rubin says.
Rubin says one of her readers tried not setting her clocks back one year. Suddenly, she had a whole hour of writing and exercise time she didn't have before.
Why everyone's obsessed with optimizing their mornings
From her research on habits, Rubin has become an advocate for embracing new routines or habits in the morning.
"The morning is a great time to form a regular habit, because self-control is high, there are fewer distractions, and it's highly predictable," she explains. This is why many CEOs wake up at ungodly hours to exercise. While the rest of the world sleeps, you can get a lot done.
You still need your beauty sleep
Of course you'll need to get to sleep a little earlier for this whole thing to work. Your morning won't be wonderfully productive if you are too tired to drag yourself out of bed. To perform your best, you'll likely need seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
And if you're not really a morning person, research suggests this morning hack might not work. Some people get more energy and feel more creative in the evenings. So trying to trick your body into waking up an extra hour earlier might not be feasible.
For many though, not turning your clocks back come Nov. 4 could be an easy and painless way to get yourself going earlier in the morning.