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Break the Snooze Button Habit

5 December

I struggle with this time of year. Dark mornings make me feel like hitting the snooze button several times and hiding under the covers, grateful for another ten minutes putting off the inevitable.

I, like most people, thought that snoozing my alarm in the morning a couple of times should make me feel better, however research tells us that dozing after the alarm has gone off makes us more tired because we don’t have long enough to fall back into a deep sleep so we actually feel worse. In general, our bodies do better when they get used to a single clear rule – get out of bed when the alarm sounds no matter how tempting it is to crawl back under the duvet.

So I tried it. It wasn’t easy breaking my snooze button ritual (and some mornings I still can’t quite resist the temptation) but I started to find that I felt better, less rushed and more ready to face the world.

Feeling energised, I started to wonder if I could apply the same logic to other aspects of my life. Instead of putting things off and procrastinating about them what if instead I simply just took action? I looked at the tasks I tend to move around my to do list and tried to work out why I was putting them off.  Some of them were just a bit boring and I simply needed to get them done without thinking about it. That was the easy part. Other tasks were bigger projects that I was avoiding because they were in the ‘too difficult’ box and I needed to take a different approach. I’d pick them up, think about them for a while then put them back down again only to do the same thing a few days later resulting in more time wasted.

So I started to practice some techniques for dealing with these more difficult tasks or big rocks that you might like to try:

Proper planning – rather than having a general to do list, use a diary or planner to actually plan time in to work on the big rocks like you would with a meeting. Block out small chunks of time in your diary and stick to it.

Break it down – don’t think of it as one huge difficult task, break it down into smaller more manageable steps and select the time of day when you have most energy to focus on just one or two steps. That way, the task won’t turn into a monster in the corner that you are scared to tackle.

Avoid distractions – it’s easy to become distracted by emails, social media, cake, anything frankly that seems easier to deal with than the task itself but if you’ve followed the first two steps then you shouldn’t be tempted by distractions. Put your phone on silent and turn off email notifications.

Reward yourself – make sure you take the time to celebrate successes, even the small ones.  Treat yourself to that cake if you tick a big rock off your list.

Just take action – it only takes ten minutes to make a start so next time you are tempted to hit the snooze button in the morning, think about what you could accomplish in those ten extra minutes you’ll have by starting your day earlier!

For more tools and techniques to help you maximise your time, Delve can support you through one-to-one coaching or bespoke development sessions for teams.

Written by
sarah

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