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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 June 18, 2019

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

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

              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 Making 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.

              More About Habits

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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