Daylight-saving time officially ended at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. While it’s not so fun to wake up and leave work while it’s dark, there is a nice perk to moving the clocks back: one precious extra hour to do whatever we want.
Sure, we could use it to sleep in, and there are benefits to that. But up the effort level even a little, and we can reap the rewards for weeks—or even years—to come.
1. Polish your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Not getting the money you deserve at your job? The first step to getting a better-paying one is brushing up your resume with your updated work history, skills and accomplishments. In an hour, you can polish yours up and update your LinkedIn profile, too—and maybe even send out some emails to friends letting them know you’re looking around.
2. Automate a few good habits.
Automation is hands down one of the easiest ways to set ourselves up for financial success. Turning on automatic bill pay ensures you’ll never miss a payment or a pay a late fee. Creating automatic transfers to your savings, retirement or regular investment account means you’ll constantly be growing your wealth without thinking about it.
3. Check your spending.
“If you aren’t reviewing your spending at least occasionally, you are likely spending your money mindlessly,” says Certified Financial Planner Natalie Colley of Francis Financial.
If that sounds like you (and if it does, you’re definitely not alone), taking even an hour to sift through recent debit or credit card transactions can help you see your spending patterns and highlight areas where you can cut back and save more. Maybe it’s regular bills you can negotiate? Cab rides or meals out you can trim? Once you know where your money’s gone this month, you can put a plan in place so more of it goes where you want it to next month.
4. Earn more money.
Who couldn’t use more money for the holiday season? Sign up for sites that’ll pay you to do low-effort tasks like take surveys, watch videos, test out websites and read emails and use that extra hour to earn extra cash.
5. Do some maintenance work.
Keeping up with regular maintenance—whether that’s an oil change for your car or a yoga class for you—not only keeps you and your stuff healthy today, it can prevent more expensive issues down the line. So if you’ve been putting off getting a flu shot, cleaning out the gutters in your house or any other preventive measure, use the hour to get it done or scheduled at least.
Of course, there’s no shame in sleeping straight through that extra hour either, if you need it. One-third of American adults aren’t getting the recommended minimum seven hours of sleep a night. On top of expensive medical consequences (ranging from high blood pressure and heart disease), chronic lack of sleep is a major productivity killer, contributing to the loss of more than a million work days a year in the U.S. So if you’re behind on Zzzs, consider this your permission to hit the snooze button. At the least, you may get more done the rest of the day.