Getting out of bed- 2 mins
A recent conversation with a student on my module made me realise that getting out of bed is a struggle for more people than just myself.
Don’t get me wrong. If I HAVE to get out of bed for something, it’s not an issue. Four years of daily 5am alarms to get to a retail job trained this into me. But if there is no need to get up at a certain time, I’ve historically struggled to do so. After years of relying on more alarms than I can count every morning, my current strategy is a huge success and has been working for the last couple of years.
Below is a high level description of that strategy, with a cumulative effectiveness score. 5/10 indicates that I get up this point five times over ten mornings.
1: Use a FitBit as an alarm
Personally, I don’t see the need to have an internet connected device on my wrist all the time. That said, FitBit (and probably other smart watches) have a killer feature.
Alarms that adapt to your sleep pattern.
It’s well understood that waking during light sleep is a great way to wake refreshed. The adaptive alarms on FitBit allow for this. I strap mine on when I get in to bed and take it off the moment I get out of it.
Effectiveness - 5/10
2: Have three alarms
Alongside the FitBit, I have a sequence of three alarms set for the same time each day, starting at 8:30am. This eliminates the need for me to manage snoozing which goes wrong way too often to rely on. Simply dismiss the alarm and there’s another one shortly after.
If I hear the third alarm, I know it really is time to get out of bed. But this is not really effective without step 3. . .
Effectiveness - 6/10
3: Automatically start a series of podcasts
When the first alarm is dismissed a sequence of podcasts play using a Google Assistant Routine.
The assistant does the following routine:
- Set phone volume to 40%
- Plays a 3-5 minute meditation podcast (for a gentle wake up)
- Plays a news podcast in German (which supports an ongoing habit)
- Plays a series of long form news-ish podcasts including:
- Wired Science
- The Intelligence
- Babbage from Economist Radio
- Wired Business
This engages my brain in a gentle way initially, before stimulating it with high quality non sensationalist news. Without even thinking about it, this completes a few items from my daily routine:
- Do some German
- Make a wise input choice
- Stay informed about world events (I consume zero news apart from this and that which appears on Hacker News)
- Learn something new
Effectiveness - 10/10
4: Ask your partner to make a coffee for you
I’m lucky to have an amazing partner that gets up before me and brings me coffee in the morning. The sequence described above is timed to coincide with her morning routine on work days.
Before my partner started doing this, the Google Assistant routine would switch on the coffee maker.
Effectiveness - 11/10