Thursday, March 23, 2006

How to Become an Early Riser

I'm bad in the mornings.

Well, actually, I'm very good in the mornings - but alas, I'm very good at the wrong thing. I'm good at not waking up, at rolling over, at being completely unrousable and dead to the world. I've been like this since I had a bad bout of depression during uni - around the same time that I developed serious RSI. I don't think the two are connected, but you never know.

Anyway. When I saw Cory linking to
How to Become an Early Riser I got a bit over excited. At last, the internet has delivered me the solution to the curse that's been ruining my life for the last few years - I, too, can become more efficient and successful, and not a complete pain in the bum to get out of bed.

It seems like sensible advice. And I read through it thinking it might be the answer. Until:

When my alarm goes off every morning, I turn it off, stretch for a couple seconds, and sit up. I don't think about it. I've learned that the longer it takes me to get up, the more likely I am to try to sleep in. So I don't allow myself to have conversations in my head about the benefits of sleeping in once the alarm goes off. Even if I want to sleep in, I always get up right away.

Ah. OK. So, fundamental understanding of the problem then. The waking up, fine. The alarm, great. The actually having enough control of myself to move, and not just to roll over and go straight back to sleep? Nu uh. That's actually the problem, love. Not the bedtimes thing, sorry.

Can someone write me a 'how to control your errant willpower when you're only semi concious, and not noted for your self control at the best of times, fatty.' article, please?


James Wallis said...

I can write you a "How not to care about not getting up in the mornings" article.

Mornings are for going to bed, not for waking up.

Phil Gyford said...

I think the same person has already written what you're after! (Although that doesn't mean it'll work...)

There was a Part 2 to the getting up early guide, which links to a series on self-discipline...

Ian Betteridge said...

I suspect the "not actually having to turn the alarm off yourself because there's a furry lump that will do it for you" might be an issue... :)

kim said...

Hmn, yes. As long as I can have a 'How to persuade your boss that it's fine for you to turn up at noon and basically achieve nothing' article too?

Anyway, my faith in the writer was further destroyed by this article on Bear Bombing which, frankly, makes him sound like he might be a slightly unbalanced sadist. At the very least, I think he might have a few issues around control.

Good god, doing that to me would result in a broken face, and possibly a fatal stabbing.

Chris said...


As someone who had struggled for some time with an errant body clock, I can give you some pointers that helped me.

Firstly, the key to getting up at whatever time you want to get up is to *get up at that time every day*. You can take an extra hour - no more - at the weekend if you want. Having a constantly steady time to get up is essential to regulating sleep in my experience.

Facing the problem of how to take conscious action when you are still only semi-conscious (I know precisely of what you speak!), I have a few tips.

Firstly, when you are getting started, get an extrovert friend to call you on your mobile in the morning at the time you need to get up. Get them to make you go and make a cup of tea or coffee. Extreme, but it works.

If there is a handheld game you really enjoy, only allow yourself to play it first thing in the morning for a week or so. This is a bribe - it may or may not work, but it gives you an option that doesn't involve a third party.

Must run.. good luck with your awakenings!

Jamie Cason said...

I've got a solution. I call it the "Wake-up-or-all-your-files-get-deleted-one-by-one-Eazy-Rizer". You love your data right? Love it enough to get up and save it? Get a hacker chum to knock up a script that will start to randomly delete your files 10 minutes after you should have got up. Have the script do it slowly at first, then, as time goes on, really start trashing with abandon. Have them code a big fat "I'm awake, I'm awake, please God, STOP!" button. Guaranteed you'll be there, dot on, everyday. Obviously, watch out for the clocks changing. That could get messy. I offer this with love and don't wait for a thank you ;-)

kim said...

My god, the depths of your evil depravity really are unplumbed, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Ok, here is an idea that might increase your chances of getting up in the morning. I used to be the same, dozing away i would almost subconciously hear my alarm and my hand would instintively hit the alarm clock to make it shut up, I would not even open my eyes.

Therefore, try placing your alarm clock on the other side of your bedroom. At a point clearly visible but actually requires you to get out of bed to turn it off. This in itself may not work, after awhile i sometimes somehow sleepwalk to the clock, turn it off and collapse back on my bed. Therefore try and have 2 or 3 alarm clocks, you could have and alarm clock in every corner of your bedroom, and by the time you've got out of bed and turned them all off your brain might just might be able prevent you going back to bed. Make your alarm clocks of a different variety aswell, so along with your alarm clock your can also use the alarm on your phone, your wristwatch, anything! Give it ago. Ever since ive managed to force myself up at 6am each day ive noticed an amazing change. I am now incredibly surviving on as little as 3-5 hours sleep. Previously id get double that and be double as tired during the day!

Anonymous said...

How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off

Takes self-discipline. Above link is helpful tho.