Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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How to reset your clocks

Normal strategy, I suppose: Recite “spring ahead, fall back,” and reset your clocks the night before the time changes.

My personal strategy, post smartphone: Wait till the day after the time changes, consult my phone to see what time it claims it is, set my clocks and watches to reflect that time. Forget to set my car’s clock until I’m really startled to see how late I am for work.

My other personal strategy, of long standing: Ignore the fall time change until Christmas or so. I like getting up super early in the morning — more time to write / bake something nice / take the dogs for a run / read / do housework. I don’t mind going to bed super early, plus the dogs don’t understand sudden schedule changes, so I’m now getting up at 4:15, not 5:15. I’ll gradually shift that around when I get to it.

My personal ambition when it comes to changing times:

Never work for the InSight mission to Mars.

The way that we operate the spacecraft is that we basically write commands. Each one is a piece of code that we send up to the spacecraft to tell it what to do when it’s on the ground.

And then we uplink it, right before it wakes up in the morning. Then we go to bed and the spacecraft does its work.

When the spacecraft is sleeping at night, we work. So we get all the data down, look at it and tell the spacecraft: “Hey InSight, tomorrow these are the tasks I want you to do!”

But because the Mars day shifts every day, we also have to shift our schedule by an hour every day. So the first day we’ll start at 6am, and then [the next] will be 7am… 8am… 9am… and then we take a day off.

While interesting, that sounds like a total nightmare for someone like me, who likes a very straightforward, completely unchanging day/night schedule.

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