Friday, January 14, 2011

Streamlining Your Mornings, Part I

Your alarm goes off and you open your eyes blearily, flailing to switch it off. Maybe at this point you get up. Maybe you listen to that little subconscious voice saying, "Oh, it's OK, just a few more minutes won't hurt. Feel how comfortable the bed is? Just a couple more minutes..."

Next thing you know it's an hour later and you have five minutes to get ready for work, if you're lucky.

Why does this happen? Why is it so easy to give in, snooze and mess up your schedule?

Because your subconscious is a selfish, malevolent sociopath hellbent on foiling your plans in a cozy prison cell of warm sheets and comfy pillows.

How to Hack it

The lifehack here is pretty straightforward: Ignore that lying, two-faced siren.

But how?

With an iron will that would make Stalin and Beethoven whimper... and with practice, of course. After all, you know what they say about getting to Carnegie Hall: You have to get the fuck out of bed.

Try this: Sometime during the day, set your alarm to a few minutes later. Get in bed and, when your alarm goes off, open your eyes, take a deep breath and immediately get out of bed for a little stretch, then walk away. Start walking towards and even doing what you want yourself to do as part of a morning routine.

If that's exercise, get dressed for it and start putting your shoes on or whatever. If it's update your blog, head for your computer and, if it's a laptop, you'd better use it at a table.

Do this several times. I mean it. At least five times, preferably more. Follow up with more practice the next day and take note of any progress on getting your lazy bum out of bed and into activity. For me, results were immediate, but your experience may vary.

Why? You are training your body to respond to the stimulus of your alarm a certain way. The more repetition you have the better - think Pavlov's dogs.

Training your body to automatically get out of bed allows you to more easily ignore your inner dialogue, which is exactly what you need.

Do not listen to yourself when you wake up!

If you've found this interesting, informative, entertaining, tedious, repulsive, or even if you'd just like to know more or have suggestions, please comment and follow the blog!


  1. My wife could really use this. To say shes not a morning person is a vast understatement.

  2. Thanks, I'll try and use this tomorrow.

  3. Good post, very interested to see what else you have to say/hack :)

  4. What this man says is absolutely true.
    I've been trying to get myself to wake up earlier, so I can get more done in a day, and boy has it worked.
    I set multiple alarms, and position them around my room so that I have to get out of bed just to turn them off.

  5. Well lets hope this works I hate mornings

  6. I always get right out of bed when my alarm goes off, so I don't have a problem. :D

  7. Thank you for the feedback! How has this been working out for you all?