Want to get more done? Stop hitting snooze

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? If you’re hitting snooze on your alarm and going back to sleep, you’re setting the tone for the rest of the day.

It’s easy to justify; you don’t absolutely have to get up straight away and nothing bad will happen if you get to work a bit later. And it took you a long time to get to sleep, so you need to make up for it.

But here’s the problem; anything that’s worth doing involves some degree of difficulty or discomfort. There will always be reasons to delay or to avoid doing what you need to do, or to work on something else, and giving in to these temptations means you fail before you even begin.

To succeed in your PhD, you have to go far beyond the initial difficulty. Once you set your intention, you have to engage with the task and stay with it long enough to solve difficult and frustrating problems.

It isn’t always easy to get up when the alarm goes off. Sometimes you have to fight yourself and force yourself to do it. But winning that battle means you’re starting the day with a success. You’re ahead of schedule, instead of behind.

Likewise, it isn’t always easy to stick to what you planned to do in your work and start when you planned to start. Sometimes you have to fight yourself; fight the temptation to check email or do something else you’ve only just thought of. But winning that battle, following through on that commitment to yourself, gives you a chance to succeed.

This gets easier with practice. Start with the small things, and stop hitting snooze.

See also
The invincible mindset
Effective time management for PhD students (Online Course)

5 thoughts on “Want to get more done? Stop hitting snooze”

  1. Thank you so much for your informative post.

    Could I ask you a question why you spent 4 -5 years to study Ph.D ? What motivated you do it?

    • There are many reasons why I did it, many of them a bit stupid.

      1. I got a job with an insurance company after graduating from my undergraduate degree. I hated it, and doing a masters was a way out. This led to a PhD as a natural next step and a way of avoiding getting a proper job for a bit longer

      2. Many of my friends were doing PhDs, so it seemed like a normal thing to do… there was also the egotistical reason; if they had PhDs, I wanted one too.

      3. I had always enjoyed research and experimental work more than sitting in lectures, so I was genuinely interested in taking on a long term research project.

      So the reasons why I did it aren’t the best guide. With that said, I gained a lot from the experience because of the people I worked with and learned from. This was partly down to dumb luck!

      The best reason to do a PhD is if you want a career in research or to gain specific skills through your project. Don’t do it for status, for ego, or to relieve boredom or dissatisfaction in your life.

  2. Still struggling for studying. Doing a Ph.D. has become a daydream, how can it coming to reality. Kindly give motivation, inspiration, and cooperation. Enroll me as a Ph.D. student in the institute. I will follow all the terms and conditions. If possible give time to time suggestions and advise. Masters in
    Political Science and Journalism & Mass Communication. Nearest to 50 age mark. Working as an Indian State Government Servant. Fulfill family commitments, overcome laziness and fixed road map for Ph.D. are my important objectives. awaiting for your kind reply.

  3. what sort of an disciplined person uses an alarm? when I was working on my msters I couldn’t wait to get to the library. I’d gobble a quick PBJ and then walk the four miles with my laptop and settle in for the day.

    • What kind of disciplined person doesn’t set an alarm? If you wake up naturally, great. But why wouldn’t you set an alarm as a backup, just in case?

      Or what if you need to push beyond what’s easy for you?

      Let’s say you decided to train for a marathon as an extra challenge, but there isn’t time during the day to train. You’ll have to get up earlier and put the miles in before work. You’ll need to set an alarm to do this.

Comments are closed.