Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
One thing I have read over and over about increasing productivity is to get up 15 minutes earlier. People claim to have done everything from completing a degree to writing a book during this extra 15 minutes.
It’s not that I’m doubting them. I just find it impossible to get up 15 minutes earlier just by setting my alarm clock.
You see, I’m not a morning person. (My husband just walked by and read that and muttered something about understatements). I like morning, once I’m up. I just have a really hard time waking up.
So today I’m going to share some of the things that I do to make it easier to wake up.
Move the Clock
My alarm clock is not next to my bed. It’s in a bathroom adjoining the bedroom. This is because I found that if it’s next to the bed, I’ll hit the snooze or turn the alarm off without ever waking up. Forcing myself to get up and walk does get me at least somewhat conscious.
Skip the Adrenaline
What wakes me up is as important as reaching the alarm clock. My current alarm clock has three options: radio, buzzer or CD. The buzzer sounds like Def-con-3 warning from War Games. I get up, alright. But when my heart stops pounding, I just want to crawl back into bed. The radio has the same affect, although in a gentler way. Never knowing what song or commercial might jar me into consciousness is risky. So I finally picked out a CD and a song that I truly love to hear, and I wake up to that. Strangely, I don’t have to worry about sleeping through it. My eyes open gently, and I don’t rush to the bathroom to turn off the deafening sound. I can get up easily.
Get Enough Sleep
This is one of those common sense things, but it bears repeating. If I want to get up at 5 am, I can’t go to bed at 11. I need at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night (personally). Any less than that and my body will fight me every step of the way as I try to cheat it out of sleep.
Get Some Light
This was an offshoot of my treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I discovered that without light first thing in the morning, I can’t wake up. My solution is a SOLEIL SUN Dawn Simulator Clock. I won’t kid you — these things are pricey. But the same lights-on effect could be gained by an appliance timer for your bedside lamp.
This is something I have experimented with over the past few weeks using the iPod Touch application called Easy Wakeup Pro. (The number of variations on this application can be hard to navigate — go to the website to see the comparison). This application is running while I’m sleeping. The iPod itself stays under a corner of my pillow, and monitors my movements. By figuring out where I am in the sleep cycle, it then can wake me in a pre-selected interval to coincide with my cycle.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get up earlier than I absolutely have to. But I do know that if I try, these methods will help me do it.
Photo by alexkerhead