How to wake up earlier
To understand how to change my routine, I should first understand how my previous routine was governed.
- Primary factor was work: my company recommends starting around 09:30.
- I was allowed to slack, so tended to get in around 10:00.
- I’d work until exhausted, around 18:00 or after.
- I’d go to sleep when tired, around 00:00.
The most important anchor was the start of work, because it is (more or less) a deadline. I must be at location X at time T, or else. To change my routine, I should change deadlines.
One deadline is given by an alarm. The problem with modern-day alarms is that we carry them with us. They’re on our watches (always on our wrists), or on our phones (always within arm’s reach), or on our bedside clocks (always by the side of the bed, of course). When the alarm is next to us, there is no I must be at location X. I had an alarm on my watch set to 07:45; I developed an ability to turn it off while barely reaching consciousness. I had another alarm on my phone set to 08:10; I routinely turned this off, too.
To fix this, I’m fixing the alarm: literally fixing it in place. I’ve bought a corded alarm clock which I am placing in the kitchen. I must be in the kitchen at 06:30, or else the alarm will keep ringing. I’m still using my watch alarm, but set to 06:29, not as an alarm but as a notification: get to the kitchen.
Another deadline is given by arrangements with other people. I intend to arrange meetings at work for 09:00. The problem with my work is that it rarely calls for meetings, especially regular ones. I’ll keep thinking on this.
More by Jim
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