One of the worst habits I had in the past was procrastination, where I tended to postpone my important tasks until the last minute, and I know that I was not alone in having this issue.
To tackle this, I found out that I need to answer two important questions in order to be a better person. My first question was: why don’t I feel the necessity to change once I found out that I was not alone in delaying tasks? Then I asked myself: why do I procrastinate in the first place? To answer both questions, I had to profoundly analyse my attitude.
I started with a very simple action I used to do every morning, which is snoozing the alarm two to three times before I get up. For example, I set it at 5.45am then snooze it for five minutes two times before getting out of bed by 5.55am, which gives me ten minutes of “waking up”.
What I unintentionally tell myself is “I’ll wake up at 5:55am but I’ll give myself ten minutes of enjoying being and preparing my body and my mind to accept the idea of leaving my comfy zone”. Recently I realised that what I’m doing is completely wrong for many reasons. Firstly, every night while setting the alarm I’m telling my subconscious that whatever the time I sleep, it’s not enough as I’m planning to stay for an extra ten minutes.
Therefore, I’ll feel tired even after those ten minutes, and I’ll tell my brain “rest assured, I’ll be tired tomorrow morning”.
It’s known that we go through cycles of sleep states. The first state in a sleep cycle is light sleep, followed by deep sleep and a dream state. A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is normally repeated several times each night. The best time to wake up is when we are in the light sleep states. Without knowing that, we can’t keep a healthy sleeping pattern and once I snooze the alarm, if I’m not aware of my state, I might start my day in a very bad mood.
I’m not writing this article to show the benefits of having enough sleep – at certain times in our lives we tend to “snooze” important tasks, thinking “I’ll do it later”, but later might never come…or it will come at a critical time, leaving you in a stressful “do or die” situation.
We experience many examples such as this in life – ask yourself how many times you decided to start reading and postponed it until you have time? How about exercise? This is an unhealthy pattern.
We need to trigger our actions with meaningful and purposeful goals, on two levels: firstly, what gains I will get if this goal is achieved, and what pains I’ll encounter once I miss those goals. ‘Snoozing’ a morning alarm is no different than postponing actions that have significant impact on our future and the ability to achieve our dreams. I personally stopped snoozing not only my alarm but many other actions in life.
I would recommend you consider doing the same.