How would you spend a bonus hour?

Time. It’s a precious commodity that no one ever seems to have enough of. This past weekend, I had the unexpected luxury of a bonus hour. If you live in North America, you are probably thinking it’s no big deal because you also enjoyed an additional hour. But my extra hour was special because it wasn’t repayment of an hour I had previously lost. Allow me to explain.

On Friday, I returned home from a two-week trip to England. In the fall, the U.K. changes their clocks back to standard time one week earlier than North America. Since their time change took place during my vacation, I got back the hour I lost when we switched to daylight savings time in spring. And I also got an extra hour of vacation time. What’s not to love about that?

I returned home on Friday evening, so the North American time change early Sunday morning gave me an extra hour that wasn’t a repayment of a lost hour. It was a true bonus hour—an extra hour of 2023 to do with as I please. What would I do with the precious gift of an hour of something that always seems so scarce? This required careful thought.

Ways to spend a bonus hour

Life is busy, so when I find myself with a spare hour, I usually immediately fill it with something productive. But this bonus hour was something special. Rather than simply use it for household chores or other items on my to do list, I wanted to fill it with something meaningful.

My first thought was to use the hour for some sort of relaxing activity. Before I went to bed on Saturday night, I considered various self-care or stress-relieving activities. Perhaps I could…

  • Sleep in or take a nap.
  • Read a book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Take a relaxing bubble bath.
  • Give myself a pedicure or facial.
  • Sit outside and listen to the birds singing.
  • Curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch the world go by.
  • Turn on the fireplace and watch the flames.
  • Go for a walk and enjoy the daylight while it lasts.
  • Meditate.
  • Watch a Netflix series.
  • Catch up on the remaining episodes of Coronation Street that I missed while I was away.
  • Go to a quiet room, turn off the lights, and do absolutely nothing!

Maybe it’s because my stress levels were low thanks to just wrapping up a two-week vacation, but none of those activities appealed to me. But I’ll keep the list handy for the next time I have time on my hands.

I needed to make up my mind soon, or the bonus hour would be lost!

What did I decide?

In the end, I decided to dedicate the hour to ticking another item off my 60 before 60 list. When I made the list, I decided to challenge myself to try different types of writing. Item 58, Write a children’s story, has been on my monthly goals list for three straight months. Other than a vague idea swirling around in my head, I hadn’t made a start.

So, on Sunday morning I got up early, made my tea, and opened my iPad. Within an hour, I had a rough draft of a story that’s tentatively titled Ellie’s Butterfly Garden. Not a bad outcome of a bonus hour!

Create your own bonus hour

When you think about it, one hour is less then one per cent of the time we have available every week. So why is it so hard to set aside an hour to do something that matters to us?

If there’s something you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t made a start, try to carve out an hour this week to work on it. You might be surprised at the result.

What would you do with a bonus hour? Drop a comment below and let me know.

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19 thoughts on “How would you spend a bonus hour?

    1. In the end that’s why I decided to tackle writing the story. It had been on my monthly goals list for too many months! Thanks for reading, Julia! Have a great week ahead.

  1. Sleep as long as possible! This is a hard adjustment for me so if I can train my body that it should still be asleep, that would be best. Otherwise, I get very tired later in the day.

    1. I understand that. My time clock was all messed up from travel, so it made sense to make the most of the hour.

  2. Wow! An hour is less than one percent of a week- that sure puts things into perspective, and weakens all excuses not to do something! Thanks for the inspiration!😎

  3. It’s interesting how you used the extra hour. As far as I am concerned, I don’t like changing to winter time because it gets darker earlier and I get sleepy!

    1. I don’t like the darkness of winter, either. I can tolerate the cold and the snow but the darkness gets to me.

    1. Thanks. I might not have been up quite so early if I hadn’t returned from England the day before. I was still on British time.

  4. I would tell myself that it was MY hour. No chores, no taking care of business or my to-do list. I would splurge on an hour on the internet, exploring things that interest me and see where that leads me. Have fun with the children’s story!

  5. What a great use of an hour, Michelle! Really cool that you made the decision to use it doing something different – it makes it feel more celebrated. So inspiring!

    1. Thanks Wynne. I realized I’m not very good at fiction writing! I find it much easier to write non-fiction.

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