There’s a simple rule to follow, which I’m certain you must have heard before, and it really is that simple, if only you can remember it at the appropriate time:
Whether you’re entering daylight savings, or coming out of it, always set your clock towards summer.
And before you start making it difficult for yourself I’ll get there ahead of you and emphasize that we’re talking about the nearest summer, either the one straight ahead of you, or the one in your rear view mirror.
Expect some jet lag.
If you’re in Europe it’s this upcoming weekend, the night between Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th, at 03:00 (3am), that you set your clocks back one hour, to 02:00 (2am).
If on the other hand you are in the United States, an occasionally reliable source has informed me that you’ll have to do exactly the same thing, but wait another week or suffer confusion and ridicule from your peers if you don’t.
Traditionally, coming out of Daylight Savings in autumn means either …
- you can stay up one hour longer Saturday night before, or
- you can get one hour extra sleep on Sunday morning after, or
- you arrive at work on Monday one hour early looking rather sheepish because you forgot to set your clock.
Not to mention how sheepish you’ll look if you set your clock the wrong way, and end up arriving at work two hours early. Yes, you’re laughing now …
Your computer will most likely be able to handle the change automatically. Possibly your TV set too, as well as most smartphones, and even some less clever phones, but I recommend that you check to make sure, just in case.
That leaves the clock on your wall and, depending on the degree to which your home is saturated by household hi-and-low-tech gadgets, the ones in your stove, microwave, dishwasher, bread baker and coffee maker, digital bathroom scale, air conditioner, VCR, the dashboard clock in your car, your living room stereo as well as your car stereo, your wristwatch, your other wristwatch, your spouse’s and your kids’ wristwatches, that wristwatch you wear only on special occasions, your pocket watch, your bedside alarm clock and alarm clock radio. For starters.
Then there’s all of the above mentioned items belonging to less technically able neighbours, colleague, friends and family, commonly known as “twelve o’clock flashers”, who know not only that you know how to do it, but also that you’re too soft-hearted to turn down a desperate cry for help.
All in all, for what it’s worth, and whether or not it actually helps: Good luck!
PS: If you are unfamiliar with the term, a “twelve o’clock flasher” is someone whose every household appliance that has a clock constantly flashes “12:00” because they’ve no clue how to set the time, and whose solution to that problem usually consists of ignoring said flashing altogether, or, for the more practical minded of them, to cover the flashing numbers with black masking tape.
PPS: Remember that twelve o’clock flashers are people too!