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How I get out of bed in the morning & Updates

·3 mins·

New habit: Getting out of bed in the morning #

Place your alarm out of reach, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

When my alarm rings in the morning I’m ready to go. Despite this even I will stay in bed if I have my phone right next to me. Staying in bed means no starting my day. It cuts into my most productive work block and sabotages my body clock1.

The only “reason” why I have my phone next to me is so I can adjust the alarm to maintain 8h of sleep if I’m going to bed late. This is circular reasoning though. If my body clock is properly attuned, then I will go to bed on time (because I’m sufficiently tired) and I won’t have to adjust my alarm. The justification for having my phone there are irregular sleep cycles, which are caused (or exacerbated) by not getting out of bed when the alarm rings.

The habits to tackle this, starting with the preparation in the evening:

Stash my phone #

  • cue: Wash my face and brush my teeth
  • act:
    • (Go find your phone.)
    • You go to the hall.
    • You check the next mornings alarm.
    • You place the phone in it’s spot.

Getting up #

  • cue: Your alarm rings.
  • why: You want to turn it off.
  • act: You go to it.

Once I’m in the hall there is no turning back. It is now easier to put on my clothes (which are right next to my phone) than going back to bed.

I started with these habits on Wednesday and have been going flawlessly.

Update for the No Complaints challenge #

There was a lot of switching the bracelet this week.

I actually thought I was a pretty positive person2. This challenge showed me that there actually is a lot of room for improvement. The challenge actually made me conscious of these little negative behaviors that always went by unnoticed. Without this self-awareness there can be no change.

From “victimless” crimes like complaining about some terrible drivers and Berlin traffic in general, to getting mad at Heroku for some unexpected behavior or talking shit about our neighbours and an obese woman at the pool.

These are “only” creating a negative mood. More harmful I found the instance were I was enumerating the shortcomings of a colleague. How is this gonna effect my work in that team? Negatively.

If I only look at how they don’t live up to my standards, I’m going miss what they can bring to the table. And everybody has something. Focusing on others strengths instead of their shortcomings is going make me a better leader, team player, brother, friend and husband. Especially when the person in question is very different from me or has very different priorities.

Another not great thing I caught myself with was discouraging my wife. She is very uninhibited and playful and was customizing her pizza (by putting a whole, uncut ball of mozzarella on there) and instead of letting her enjoy it I have to comment on how this is going to go wrong. And even if I’m right, I still made it less fun for her for no good reason.

Le Masterpiece


  1. Because I’m postponing light exposure. When I get to my desk I beam 10k lux into my eyes to tell my system that it’s the beginning of the day, which then programms my body to wake up at the same time tomorrow and get sleepy at the approriate time at night. Doing it later will shift the sleep/wake up times away from my biological ideal. ↩︎

  2. Everybody thinks they are better than the average driver. But that’s not how averages work. You are most likely average or very close to average in a lot of things. ↩︎