(Don’t) get an alarm clock

Before writing this post, I went to Google to quickly check if there is anyone who wrote about this before, and guess what: the first result is a video “Buy An Alarm Clock. It Will Change Your Life”. Anyway, I’m going to write my own story and experience with an alarm clock.

Best productivity advice for 2022: buy an alarm clock

After listening to Simon Sinek’s speech on the Millennial Generation, I decided to experiment myself a little bit. I was already an early riser and wanted to improve my sleep and recovery. So following Sinek’s advice, I created a device-free zone in my bedroom and implemented a “no devices after 8pm” rule.

There was only one problem – my phone. I used it for work, leisure, to read books, and as an alarm clock. So basically I would wake up with it, live with it, and go to bed with it.

So to remove this friction and avoid temptations, I decided to get an alarm clock. And I didn’t spend time on the research, scrolling online stores, and choosing one with 20 functions and best interface design. I just asked a couple of neighbors in the apartment building we used to live in and got the frigging alarm clock 10 minutes later.

And it changed my life… Really! Having a no-device zone and rules for using devices in the house. Leaving in another room, when I go to bed. Reading paperback books or using an e-reader. And waking up with the ugliest alarm clock in the world – really impacted my sleep, recovery, and productivity. I got more time for my family, too. Having less distractions also improved my reading speed and comprehension.

Don’t use an alarm clock

And this is a bummer. I spent 300 words convincing you to get an alarm clock, and now I am going to do something different. I have to be honest.

Having something external to wake you up every morning is also not very healthy. So recently I gave up on setting up alarms. Instead, I try to use “no device” rule 1-2 hours before the bed time, go to bed early, and wake up naturally. Sometimes I rise at 5am, sometimes closer to 7.

The main point here: is to be brave and experiment on yourself. Do little harmless adjustments to your habits, routines and schedule, see what happens. What works for you?
Where is the friction, or what is the obstacle you have to overcome?
What 20% of life you can tweak to impact the rest 80%?