I love to sleep so getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle for me. In my opinion, however, it is the most important first step in having a productive day. So while I’ve shared general tips on being productive when you work for yourself, I want to expand on tip #1: Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day.
Since writing that post I have still struggled with getting out of bed after my alarm goes off. I’ve turned off my alarm in my sleep, I’ve overused the snooze button, and I’ve told myself ‘five more minutes’ every five minutes for almost an hour. While getting some extra zzz’s always feels good in the moment, the rest of the day I am left feeling groggy and unmotivated. Brushing my teeth is still a 100% effective way to keep me out of my bed, but the new problem is that I have trouble getting out of bed in the first place. So I’ve employed a few new tricks to help me get out of bed at the time I’ve designated the night before.
Set a bedtime alarm -- The new iOS 10 clock function, Bedtime, has been a game changer for two reasons. One: Going to bed at the same time every night is hard. But Bedtime has an alarm that will go off 30 or 15 minutes before my desired bedtime to signal to me to start winding down. Once I tell it when I want to get up and how many hours of sleep I want, it determines the exact time I should go to bed and sets the alarm accordingly. Two: I am a big fan of easing myself into being awake. (Well let’s be honest, I am a big fan of easing myself into everything: a new workout routine, a new project, a pool.) I don’t like to start my day off with a racing heart because of a loud or obnoxious alarm. Bedtime offers nine different alarm sounds than the regular alarm function. These sounds are much more soothing and when they go off they start low, working their way to their full volume over a few seconds. It is such a pleasant way to wake up!
Use the timer function on the coffee maker -- There is something so pleasant and comforting about waking up to the smell of coffee. It is even more special now that I drink coffee more regularly because it reminds me that I get to enjoy a yummy cup of coffee after my workout.
Keep the lights off -- I brush my teeth and get dressed for the gym in the bathroom with only the nightlight to see. Because these are both simple tasks, I can do them without having to have the light on. So I take advantage of having a few more minutes of darkness before going out into the light and the day. (Another way to ease myself into the day!) And if I’m not going to the gym first thing in the morning, I’ll even shower with only the light from a candle or two. My friend calls this a serenity shower and it’s a very meditative and calming way to start (or end!) each day.
What are your tricks for getting out of bed each day?