The Snooze Alarm Effect

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a morning person. I’ll always opt for the snooze alarm if possible. After hitting the snooze alarm, what’s next? Clients come to me saying they have no energy because they use it up all day every day at their jobs. When we talk about their day, I find most of them start their days the same. They wake up, rush to get themselves ready, shove down a small amount of food, and head out the door.

I can say from personal experience that the snooze alarm syndrome and then the rush out the door is the biggest way to kill our energy and ultimately our inspiration. It becomes a pattern after months of exhausting ourselves day in and day out. We have the intention of doing our morning differently but just feel too tired to actually try. The problem is that the constant rush of stress in the morning sets a tone for the rest of the day: we are just trying to catch up. We react to our days instead of creating them.

One of the keys to success is being centered and having a laser focus on what it is you wish to achieve. If you are really busy running around and always playing catch up; you may miss out on the clues that are within you. How do you tap into that source? Create a new morning ritual for yourself. Something in which you are not reacting to your alarm, your e-mail, or the other list of to do’s in the morning.

You can start by giving yourself a few moments each morning. It can be any amount of time that works for you: fifteen minutes or just two minutes. Make this time a priority. I’m not telling the snooze alarm addicts to go cold turkey, but limit it to one or two, as opposed to four. Use this extra time to figure out what you really want and how you are going to get there. Don’t force yourself to come up with a plan, just allow yourself to be.

What do you do with these few moments? Here are a few ideas, but feel free to invent your own:

1) Read inspirational text

2)    Write a few things you are grateful for

3)    Look at some goals you have planned, what’s one thing you can do today to meet that goal?

4)    Take a few deep breaths

5)    If you’re into it, meditate

The point is to let go of all the forcing you do in the morning. Allow yourself a few minutes to do something quiet, calming, and unforced. What does this do? It clears your mind for the day. It allows you to intentionally create your mindset, regardless of circumstance.

How does this help at work? A relaxing morning ritual will actually start creating new neuron pathways in your brain that will help you start to handle situations at work differently. Since you will have shaken off that residual morning stress, you will be less inclined to react with defense and more likely be able to see new angles in approaching all kinds of situations. Your mind will be more clear and open to new ideas, which will allow you to be more successful. Will it happen right away? No. But as you make it a habit it will slowly change how your approach your entire day. Instead of being a habit it may become a ritual that you can’t live without.

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