Lasting longer in bed is overrated. Sure it feels good, it makes you want more, and if it’s good for you it’s usually good for somebody else too. But the people who successfully reach their goals leave the bed much, much earlier than average. Indeed, you can increase your chances of success by training yourself to last shorter in bed, not longer. Here are 7 tips on how to do just that.
#1 Put your alarm clock far away
By putting your alarm clock far away from your bed, you will force yourself to leave that bed. I used to have a friend who tried that and told me he was literally sleep walking his way to the alarm, turning it off, and going back to bed. Needless to say he wasn’t doing it right.
Give yourself time, you don’t have to run to the alarm. You don’t have to use a screaming sound either. There are tons of alarm clock apps out there that let you use a custom soundtrack. The best is to use your alarm clock app on an old phone you don’t use during the day. This way you won’t be tempted to start catching up on your notifications right away.
Once you’re up and standing, do not go back to bed. You made it. Enjoy and get ready for the day.
#2 Have a very clear reason to wake up
I used to wake up at 6am with a project but no todo list. I would drag myself out of bed, stretch and meditate, have breakfast, and then… nothing. I was missing a clear plan.
The clearer the reason you’re waking up early, the better. The best way to have a clear reason is to keep your action plan in check, with journaling. Every evening, write down:
- The top 3 things you need to tackle the next day
- The number one thing that needs to get done the next day
- What you will start with in the morning
There is a lot more awesomeness to journaling, but these are the basics. It is so much easier to get out of bed when you know right away what you’re going to do.
#3 Have a reward
On top of having a reason, having a reward will motivate you even more. I sometimes indulge in buying myself a muffin or a slightly unhealthy pastry, specifically to eat the next morning. Sometimes, I’m excited about a new coffee roast, or about trying a new fruit juice.
I also get excited about journaling every morning to check my priorities for the day and my targets for the ongoing week. Sometimes, I get excited about something that I know is going to happen later on during the day, not necessarily in the morning.
Setting small rewards for waking up early can help you get out of bed and start your day right.
#4 Go to bed early
In an article I recently released, Dan Moore mentioned that he shouldn’t get much credit for waking up at 5:30am because he goes to bed at 10pm. Well, he does deserve credit, and he’s also very right about going to bed early.
Waking up at 6am or even earlier seems impossible to a lot of people because they don’t envision going to bed earlier. Going to bed at midnight or 1 and waking up at 5 or 6 is obviously not sustainable in the long term. The later you go to bed, the harder it will be to wake up early.
If you want to get out of bed early, you need to go to bed early. And you still get credit, because only a few people wake up early in the morning to chase their dream.
#5 Have a wake-up light
This has been a game changer for me. A wake-up light gradually goes from zero to full brightness while you’re still sleeping. It usually wakes me up “naturally” before my actual alarm clock, and because the intensity grows very slowly, it doesn’t hurt my eyes at all. My brain usually wakes my body up around 50% light intensity.
The light I use is the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation. I find it awesome, but I’m sure there are other great products out there.
#6 Remove technology
I turn my phone off before going to bed, and don’t turn it on at least 1 hour after waking up. I know technology is the number one thing most likely to ruin my morning. I literally don’t need 99% of what my phone is going to feed me. More often than not the attention-sucking notifications will put my brain in a semi-conscious state, as if I was back to sleep.
I try to only use my phone for work-related tasks, and starting to use it when my brain is still booting up and not yet in work mode is a big no-no. Plus, the screen light burns my eyes in the morning.
#7 Sometimes, last longer
It’s okay to recharge your batteries sometimes. I usually sleep in one or even two hours extra on the weekends, because I know I deserve it after a long week.
The secret to long-term momentum is to have breaks regularly. It’s like a Pomodoro technique on a very long timeline, or like a Fartlek session. Fartlek runs are a very simple form of a long distance run: periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running. Essentially, continuous training with interval training.
If you want to stop lasting longer in bed, it’s not about constant constraint. It’s also about playing with timing once in a while.
There you have it. I hope those 7 tips to stop lasting longer in bed will make you feel more motivated about seizing the day tomorrow! Time saving and planning is one of the best ways you can invest in yourself. What you will lack and miss in the pleasure of lasting in bed, you will make in exponential return in the long run.
Next time you feel like snoozing, staying in and lasting, think of what you want to achieve.
Get out of bed, put on some pants, and know that you will reap the fruits of your hard work a couple years down the line.
Thanks so much for reading! If you want to take control of your time, stop wasting your energy, and prioritise the right things, my free tool The 168 Hours Spreadsheet will help!