What would you do with an extra hour?  I know that’s a silly question, because there is no such thing as an extra hour (except for that glorious extra hour when we turn our clocks back in the fall).  What I am asking is; if you had a portion of your day that was unscheduled and free what would you do?  For example; you were supposed to have dinner with friends at 6:00 pm and at 5:30 you discover that the dinner is at 7:00 pm, what would you do with this newfound time?

This happens to me periodically, but never at work as there is always something to do.  Occasionally, an appointment will need to reschedule, and I have a one-hour hole in my calendar.  In that case, I just move everything up an hour.  Each day I have a list of appointments, meetings and tasks that I need to accomplish in addition to a list of things that I would like to accomplish for the day if time permits.  When this gap presents itself, I slide something from my list of things to do “if time permits” list and I keep moving.  I am very structured at work and always try to make the most of my time.  At home, however, things are different.

I may find myself at home with an extra hour; a period when I am the only one in the house.  I love these opportunities; unscheduled, unplanned time all to myself.  Luxury.  On weekends, I set my alarm for 6:00 am so I can have time to myself to spend as I wish (I guess this technically wouldn’t be considered “unscheduled” time).  Last Saturday, I took the stand-up paddle board and put in at Good Harbor Beach on Lake Michigan for an early morning paddle before anyone else woke up.

As you may already know, I read about 50 books a year.  If the book I am currently reading is calling my name, I will pick it up and can easily read for 40 minutes.  We also have no shortage of crossword puzzles from which I can challenge my brain and wile away a half hour.  Depending on the weather, I may grab a beverage and head out on our deck and listen to nature.  Two mornings ago, I heard the very distinctive call of two Sandhill cranes passing by on one such respite.

On a more productive note, I may head to the kitchen to see what I can prepare in the form of a tasty treat.  I may toss in a load of laundry but will rarely choose to vacuum with my extra hour.  For some reason vacuuming signals a deeper clean than I can commit to in an unexpected free period.  I am not very handy so the “honey-do” list is very short, but I will score extra points if I tackle one or more projects on the list. I always did extra credit in school, so I perceive accomplishing something on the list as the domestic equivalent to extra credit. Who knows when those points will come in handy?

I am curious as to some of the other ideas you may have on how to spend an unplanned hour.  Let me know.  If you never have one, you will Sunday, November 3rd, when we move the clocks back.