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11 Pieces of Early Bird Advice to Stop Snoozing Every Morning

11 Pieces of Early Bird Advice to Stop Snoozing Every Morning
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Most people face the biggest obstacle of their day first thing in the morning. I’ll admit, as an early bird, I still struggle with it from time to time myself. Between the way too comfortable bed and the never ending shriek of the alarm clock, everyone has to make the ultimate decision: do I or do I not get out of bed right now? However, you can make your morning routine more bearable by taking the following advice:

1. Set two alarms

Try setting your first alarm to go off thirty minutes before you have to get up and set a second alarm for the time you actually need to start your morning routine. The first alarm will wake your mind up a little but give you time to continue resting until your second alarm goes off.

2. Keep your alarm far away from you

Put the second alarm somewhere close enough so you can hear it in the morning, but far enough away that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. This forces you to get moving, which will help you wake up.

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3. Use food as an incentive to get out of bed

Food is a great motivator for many people. Wake yourself up early enough to have time for breakfast. Once you get in the habit of eating in the morning you’ll want to get up, if anything, for the food.

4. Find something to look forward to that day

It may seem difficult to find something exciting every day of your life, but it’s not. It could be something small, like continuing watching your favorite TV show after work, or getting to converse with your favorite coworker. There’s always something to look forward to! Use it to your advantage and get into a positive mindset about your day.

5. Drink coffee or green tea

Sometimes you just need that extra kick, and if you’re not a coffee person, green tea is a great alternative. There’s less caffeine in green tea than coffee and it wakes up your metabolism. If you have a coffee maker with a timer, set it to start brewing when you’re supposed to wake up. Coffee has a strong scent and it can help get you out of bed.

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6. Incorporate a little workout in your morning routine

Getting active is one of the quickest ways to stay awake in the morning. A short ten-minute routine is all it takes to get your body and mind warmed up for the day.

7. Put on some music while you get ready

Incorporating music into your mornings is a great way to get your mind moving. You can put together a playlist beforehand, or put on your favorite artist while you go about getting reading for the day. Not only will it help wake you up, it can also help you get motivated for your day.

8. Invest in some useful apps

There are many apps out there that are designed to help people stop snoozing. Walk Up Alarm Clock app for iPhone and Walk Me Up! for Android wake the user up by requiring them to take a set number of steps in order to turn the alarm off.

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9. Minimize stress caused by your surroundings

Try going about your morning routine alone. A little bit of me time is a very relaxing way to start the day. Have everything prepared the night before — clothes, food, etc. — so you don’t have to struggle trying to figure out what to do.

10. Get a buddy

Meet up with someone in the morning before you go to work. Catch up at a local coffee shop or the park. Conversing will get your mind moving and you’ll be expected to be up by someone other than yourself. If you don’t want to meet your buddy in person every day you can always text or Skype them.

11. Get plenty of sleep

Getting an appropriate amount of sleep may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but you’d be surprised by how many people who refuse to give this one a shot. Not only is it going to be hard for you to get up in the morning if you don’t get enough sleep, but it’s dangerous to your health. It’s as simple as that. If you get at least seven hours of sleep at night, your fight to stop snoozing will be significantly less difficult.

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Featured photo credit: Sonja Langford via Unsplash via s3.amazonaws.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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