You Snooze, You Lose

The other day, as I was making my way toward work, I found myself wishing I had just an

extra half hour that day. I was going to miss getting so many things done, so many little
projects, all left slightly uncompleted, that could have benefitted from an extra few
minutes of time. Where was I going to find that time.

Then I remembered how I had used my morning, and the title of this post immediately came to

That morning, and let’s face it, most mornings, I hit the snooze bar not once, not
twice,but between three and four times. Some mornings I have been known to hit the snooze
bar a half dozen times, sometimes more.

My rationale for this semi-destructive action stems from two common justifications. The
first is my bed time. I am a notorious night owl, and find myself not going to bed until
after 11:00 regularly and sometimes not until well after midnight, depending on the
projects that I am working on. The second is my spouse. I love to spend that few extra
minutes in the morning cuddling up to her and enjoying that uninterrupted time, which is a
true rarity. However, as I think about these two justifications in the harsh light of day,
I am forced to admit what they truly are. . . excuses for laziness. I can get just as much
romantic value from a short cuddle as I can from many hits of the snooze bar. And quite
frankly, if I were to go to bed just 15 minutes earlier and set my alarm slightly more
thoughtfully, I can get better rest than I would acquire with an hour of snoozing the

With that in mind, I offer the following three suggestions for getting more from your day.

1 – set the alarm thoughtfully. One of the hallmarks of being a man of substance is the
thoughtfulness with which one approaches each and every day, indeed, each and every
activity. Setting the alarm should be no different. Before turning in for the night, take
a moment to think through the things that you have done during the day. Did some of them
make greater demands on your body than anticipated? Perhaps setting the alarm for an extra
15 minutes would be wise. Do the same with the plans for the next day. Do you have a
meeting or a special workout that makes getting up any later than a particular time unwise?
With these two ideas in mind, set the alarm for a specific time and resolve not to hit the
snooze bar at all.

2 – Prepare for the morning. Take a few minutes and consider the tasks and the time of the
day. Can you prepare a meal tonight and have it ready to grab in the morning? Can you
pack and lay out the clothes that you will wear so that you save precious seconds and not
feel rushed? Can you check the weather now and not take extra seconds rushing about the
house before you leave, making sure that you have thought through your choices while you
are unhurried? Do this before going to bed, and watch the morning not only yield extra
sleep, but far more restful sleep.

3 – Get up when you wake up. I can’t count the number of times that I have woken up five
minutes before the alarm and felt rested. And yet, I sometimes find myself closing my
eyes, waiting for the alarm and then hitting the snooze bar when it goes off. why? habit,
most likely. But my body was sending me a clear message that it was ready for the day. If
you wake up within 15 minutes of the alarm, get up and get moving. Turn off the alarm and
start the day with an extra few minutes and watch as positive things unfold.

These three ideas can help anyone get a little more out of a day. What do you think? Have
I missed anything?