I have struggled all my life with getting out of bed. I tend to hit the snooze button several times and waste at least a half hour if not a full hour each morning trying to get up.
Think about how much a waste this is. Even if it's just a half hour, this extra "rest" doesn't actually help. You aren't getting any more sleep, or if you are, just a few seconds nodding off. It's just wasted time.
Over a year's time, it will mean you will have wasted 7.6 days just trying to get up. Over a 70 year lifetime, that amounts to 532 days, or a year and half down the drain.
I've tried all sorts of things, from goals about getting up X times per week, to practicing getting up quickly, to setting the alarm on the other side of the room. None of it works, at least for me, and I think the reason is it puts all the focus on the last step (getting out of bed) and not the first one.
I've become a huge fan of Scott Adam's systems-approach to life, which I've written about more here. Screw the goals and make systems. I.e. instead of losing 20 pounds, make a goal to go to the gym each day. You don't have to work out, but you have to show up. Usually, when you're there (have taken the first step), you'll go ahead and just work out.
So I've taken the same approach to waking up. Make my system just to take the first step. I have to do the following each morning:
- I wake up to music, and I have to leave it on.
- I have to take a big drink of water (you wake up dehydrated, which is one reason you are tired).
- I have to turn my night lamp on.
Add to this I have the guideline of keeping my eyes open, although I can cheat on that if I want. I've thought about adding lying up on one of those pillow back rests or actually spraying myself in the face five times with a water fan like the one's people have at sporting events.
Regardless, I haven't needed those yet. As you'll notice, I have not goal here. I can stay in bed as long as I like. The only thing I demand from myself are the first steps; the things that will make me substantially less tired. Then maybe I'll surf the Internet on my cellphone a little. All these things start to bring me to life, whereas lying on my back with my eyes closed just delays the process.
By the time I get to the shower, the job is basically done. And I usually finish it with just a blast of cold water which will wake you up real, real fast.
Systems are great and can be applied to all sorts of areas in your life. This is just one, but it's huge. Since I've started doing it, I am consistently getting up within 10 minutes of my alarm going off. I'm basically saving myself a year of life!
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
Star Slate Codex
Consulting by RPM