If you are the kind of person who finds their nemesis in the form of a snooze button, then this blog article has been written just for you.
I never used to think that the daily battle with the snooze button was a problem. After all, what is the harm of being in bed?! But over the years, as I have become more aware of how precious my time is, it’s been a habit I have been determined to curb. Perhaps you’re like I was and the “just five more minutes” is something you need to quit… but you’re finding the warm lure of the bed covers just all too inviting. Damn you, Egyptian cotton bed sheets.
I was recently leading a workshop on time management for the local branch of the mental health charity Mind in London. One of the things that came up was everyone’s love affair with the snooze button.
Turns out we all had an issue with hitting the snooze button and wasting time in the morning. The thought of getting out of our warm comfy beds, left us with a feeling of dread. So much so, that some of us went to extreme lengths to get a few more seconds tucked up.
Greg** even admitted to (in a previous job, he quickly added) always being late as he laid in bed a few minutes more and more, thinking up excuses for what he was going to say to his boss that day – we’ll come back to that later by the way. “No big deal” you might be thinking – it’s just a few minutes. Maybe 10 minutes, 15 minutes of snoozing at the worst”… no harm done. Right? Well, no, wrong. Utterly wrong.
Waking up on time is essential for a successful, good day, because how you start your day is critical. Start it off rushed, in a bad mood, berating yourself for not waking up on time… just doesn’t scream “I am someone who has got it together” now does it?!
Plus you know that it’s when you are stressed and in a rush, that you’ll make errors and bad judgement creeps in. So don’t do it to yourself.
Let’s be honest too, what an utter complete waste of time snoozing is! Seriously what are you going to achieve in that 15 minutes of snooze time? Are you going to be getting any extra sleep? NO! You are just procrastinating and putting off the obvious!
And here is the big wake up call (pun intended), just ten minutes of snoozing a day, even just on a weekday, is 50 minutes of wasted time a week. That doesn't sound too bad... until you realise that is 2600 minutes a year or 43 hours a year. Snooze for just an extra 10-minutes a day and you that is over one working week lost in bed for no useful reason. That was what made me change my habits. Just imagine what you can do with an extra 43 hours a year!!!!
Waking up when you intended, whatever the time, and not hitting the snooze button is something I used to struggle with. I envy, sorry I mean ‘admire’ people like my husband who ping out of bed when the alarm goes off, even at 5.15am every day for cross-fit. He’s an ex-officer in the Royal Marines so I guess his discipline is now second nature. But for us normal folk who have not gone through the world’s toughest military training course, I have some tips for you.
This has been my personal goal of late, so I was more than happy to go off-piste at the workshop and share these tips, which I want to share with you today.
The simple fact is we’re hard-wired to be motivated by two things – a movement towards pleasure or away from pain. Makes total sense. But the trouble is this is too focused on what we are receiving in the moment, not in the future.
We’re programmed for instant gratification.
Staying in bed is instant gratification, getting out into the cold is not. Even though the long term effects of not getting out of bed on time will lead to pain, wasted time, skipped gym session, a telling off from the boss, your brain’s desire for instant pleasure in the now is strong, so you have to override it!
Realise this and remember it the next time you feel yourself wanting to hit the snooze button. Aim for the long term gratification.
When I was going through a rough patch last year, the battle with the snooze button was the worst. After all, why on earth would your brain be buzzing to get out of bed in the morning if you’re dreading your day ahead! This is when I started something that would make a huge difference for me!
Every day, before I even thought about whipping back the covers, I would say three things that I was looking forward to that day. Just small things. It usually revolved around food, like “I am looking forward to my lunch today” because I am a foodie and who doesn’t look forward to leftovers! This made a huge difference for my mindset because no matter how dire I thought the day ahead was, I had something to look forward to that was worth dragging my arse out of bed for.
So let’s go back to Greg. Greg is the one who admitted that in his last job he used to think of what excuse he was going to come up with for being late as he stayed in bed hitting the snooze button. He did this because he hated his job and had nothing to look forward to that day. This simple yet effective trick would have massively helped Greg to see that even on the worst days there would be something to motivate him and to look forward to.
If you are like me why not invest in a plug-in timer for about £5, and plug your sidelight into it? If you set it to turn on 10-30 minutes before your alarm goes off, you can say goodbye to waking up in the dark! Or invest in a sunrise clock, like a Lumiere sunrise clock.
Even better, go for a salt lamp – it gives off a soft glow that is less harsh to the eyes, but also has some great benefits including improving your breathing, purifying the air, raise your energy levels, and boosting your sleep & relaxation.
One of the struggles in the morning is functioning and getting organised when you are half asleep and drowsy. It doesn’t exactly give us a drive to get up in the morning and just gives us another excuse not to get out of bed.
So why not get ready the night before. This also gives you the morning as a “buffer” for remembering anything you might have forgotten to do or pack for your day ahead. Anyone who’s read my time management tips before will know I love to add a buffer into things, to assist with my time management and planning.
So make your lunch, get out the kids’ uniforms, pack your bag, put your gym kit by the door, print off those papers for the meeting… Whatever it is you need to do, prep it the night before for a stress free morning. Blogger Brighton Keller gives great tips for things you can do before bed to make the next day easier.
Finally, I got to admit this is not something I have given a try, but I have read testimonials about how useful this can be. There is no science to this. It works because to turn off the alarm, you have to physically get out of bed! Simple!
Make it a double whammy by setting the alarm to be a motivational “get out of bed” kind of talk. There are plenty out there or perhaps even record yourself!
If this is too aggressive a tactic then just simply disable the ‘snooze function’ on your phone. Just because it is a default on your phone doesn’t mean you have to keep it!
However, always remember the importance of a healthy sleep routine! Self care and sleep are important for effective time management. A life of all work and no relaxation and sleep can compromise your health and ultimately your productivity.
Getting adequate amount of sleep is essential for your well being and most people need 7 to 8 hours sleep every night. As Adam Uzialko writes in his article How Sleep Is Essential to Work and Productivity in the Business News Daily, sacrificing sleep also means sacrificing productivity and, in the long run, your mental and physical health. Adam writes, 'Sleep is a critical part of health and productivity that is important to learning, focus and emotional stability.'
Protect your sleep by determining when you must go to bed each night and don’t allow yourself to be lured away from it.
As Rachel Montañez writes in her article, 3 Essential Tactics For Conquering Sleep Deprivation And Burnout on the Forbes web site, sleep deprivation and burnout go hand-in-hand. In fact, the National sleep foundation says, “sleeping less than six hours each night is one of the best predictors of on-the-job burnout.”
I used to be someone whose motto was “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” but after suffering burnout last year, I’m now 100% committed to putting my health first. I now appreciate how a lack of sleep can also have serious consequences and lead to a burnout. In my article Burnout – What it is, what the warning signs are and how to prevent it , Dr Eleanor Akaho, shares her personal experiences of burnout, explains signs and symptoms of it and gives her tips how to recover from it.
As Gary Keller explains in his book “The One Thing”, poor health habits are one of the ‘Four Thieves’ that can hold you up and rob you of your productivity. As Keller says, personal energy mismanagement is a silent thief of productivity.
Read my article Why Looking After Your Health Improves Your Productivity to find out why and what steps you can take to increase your focus, concentration and productivity.
More Useful Articles and Further Reading
Are you still struggling to get up and get going in the morning? Read my article The Importance of a Miracle Morning Routine to find out why creating a miracle morning is so important and how it empowers you to start the day on the right foot so you can control of your day, become more productive and live a life-by-design.
Are you stuck in your comfort zone? Read my article, How to Expand Your Comfort Zone to Achieve Your Goals to understand what a comfort zone is and why it is important to step out of your comfort zone in order develop new skills, experience new things and fulfil your true potential.
Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique of time management? Read my blog Why Pomodoro Technique Increases Your Productivity, to find out how it will transform your time management and help you be more productive especially if you are working from home.
Remember, it is always good positive habits that are going to get you success and move you towards your goal not willpower or education or anything like that. It simply is just good daily habits. So, there you have it! Four easy ways to start creating good habits!
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This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.
For more information please see www.alicedartnell.com.
Copyright 2019 Alice Dartnell Limited
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