HOW I TRAINED MYSELF TO GET UP EARLIER IN THE MORNING
am not what you would call a morning person. I’m a writer, for heaven’s sake! Butrecently,when I’ve had a lot of work stacking up and I’ve added a blog into my daily routine, it feltas if there simply weren’t enough hours in the day. So I decided to make a habit of getting upearlier. This is how I did it:
Decided what time I wanted to get up
. In my case 6am so that I could do a coupleof hours, write my blog and catch up my email before everyone else started work (andstarted sending me emails and phoning me). The point is to set a time and stick to it.
Set myself a goal
. Initially, I aimed to get up early every weekday for a month. I readsomewhere that if you can make a new routine stick for a month, it becomes a self-sustaining habit. It proved true in this case.
Promised myself a reward
. I always wanted to learn clay pigeon shooting so Ipromised myself I would book a day’s shooting if I got up early for a month.
. The more I use this little website app, themore I like it. I used to track these kinds of routine, habitual things using recurringtasks in Outlook but it was a bit fiddly and, addicted as I am, I didn’t have Outlook openall the time. I also used a little Post-it note on my monitor and ticked off the days,convict-style.
Get clothes, computer and breakfast ready the night before
. Don’t want to tripover everything trying to do basic tasks when I’m half-asleep.
. I set my beside alarm for 0600 - and this is the clever psychology - I also setmy telephone to ring at 0605 but I put the phone on the other side of the room so that Ihave to get out of bed to stop it ringing. In the UK, you dial *55*0605# to do this. Whathappens is this: either I wake up and cancel the alarm or I get up and answer the call tostop it ringing. First, we’re strongly programmed to answer the phone*. Second, I’mvery strongly programmed not to wake my wife up! A ringing phone will do this so Ihave powerful motivators at work: guilt and fear. This technique works every time but Ihad previously reserved it for early morning trips to the airport and things like that.