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Not Sure Whether You Can Wake Up in the Morning Every Day? Read This

Not Sure Whether You Can Wake Up in the Morning Every Day? Read This

Waking up early is a habit many of us dream of mastering one day. Problem is, we’re never willing to make that habit a reality when our alarm clock sounds like a banshee’s cry. There are many methods to waking up early, but many of them aren’t reliable—for instance, trusting your friends/family to wake you, or setting alarm after alarm. So what more can you do if you don’t want to rely on others to wake you? If you’re going to win the battle against the snooze button, it’s time to try some more unconventional ways of waking up:

1. Place your alarm on the opposite side of the room

This is by far the best method of waking up early. When you hear your alarm sound on the other side of the room, you’re forced to get up and turn it off. From that point on, it requires willpower to stay awake. Once you shut off your alarm, make it a habit to not rationalize heading back under the covers. Instead, head to the kitchen and drink a full glass of water. The water will hopefully snap you back into reality.

2. Buy an app for your phone

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    via http://parttimebiologistfulltimeninja.tumblr.com/

    Still can’t wake up early? Well, fortunately for you, there’s an app for that! There are many apps that require interactivity to shut off the alarm. For instance, there’s FreakyAlarm, which won’t shut off the alarm unless you solve complex math problems. There’s also SpinMe, an app that requires you to get up, hold the phone flat, and spin around in order to turn off.

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    3. Get the SnūzNLūz alarm clock

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      This special alarm clock adds a whole new dimension to the phrase, “you snooze, you lose.” It operates on the basis of pure hatred by donating your real money to a non-profit you hate each time you press the snooze button. It’s also simple and safe to use. Just enter in a specified donation amount for each time you hit the button, connect it to your bank via wi-fi, and find your most hated organization to profit from your defeat.

      4. Put money in a communal jar

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        Live with roommates? Make waking up early a game with them by putting a specific amount of money in a communal jar each time you wake up late. Then make sure your roommates don’t do anything fun with the money, or it could reinforce the behavior. Instead, put it toward the utilities bill, or have it benefit everyone else but you.

        5. Shine a light on the problem

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          Light is your best friend when it comes to waking up early. Most of us struggle with waking up because we can’t keep our eyes open in the dark. So find a way to turn on the lights as fast as possible as your alarm rings. Either have the light switch right by your bed, or get an alarm clock that gradually wakes you up with light.

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          6. Actually jump out of bed

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            A quick physical action can jolt your senses awake. So train yourself to jump out of bed with enthusiasm each time you hear the alarm. It’ll be hard at first, but make a habit of it by practicing the action during the day. Set an alarm during the day, and jump out of bed (or your chair, or wherever you might be at that time) when you hear it. Practicing the action will help you be prepared when you actually need to wake up.

            7. Make your morning goals visible as you wake up

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              When your brain is foggy and trying to lure you back to sleep, it helps to be reminded why you’re going through this pain in the first place. Either stick Post-It notes by your bedside, or have a large poster with your morning goals written on it to remind you. You can also create clever visible reminders of your achievements in waking early. For instance, you can track your days of waking early with an “8 days without incident” sort of sign. Having visual reminders helps with motivation in the morning.

              Waking early is a challenge. But fortunately, after enough small wins, the action will become a habit. Hold onto that silver lining as you battle your alarm clock with these unconventional yet helpful methods.

              Featured photo credit: our assignment was to show how we are in the morning…/Jess J via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on October 22, 2019

              How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

              How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

              We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

              With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

              So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

              1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

              Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

              So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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              You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

              If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

              Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

              2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

              Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

              Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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              Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

              Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

              3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

              If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

              This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

              Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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              When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

              If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

              Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

              4. Get up and Move

              We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

              When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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              If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

              Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

              It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

              Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

              The Bottom Line

              It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

              Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

              More Resources About Boosting Focus and Productivity

              Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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