Problems Getting Up In the Morning?


Sure-fire strategies for getting out of the house on time in the morning.

Sandy Maynard

ADDitude Answers

First, if your main problem is whacking the snooze button until your hand goes numb, you need to buy a second alarm clock that is really loud and annoying and put it on the other side of the room.

If you are particularly adamant about crawling back in bed, take a look at the flip side of getting up. Do you go to bed at a reasonable hour? You may need to begin working on going to bed rather than waking up.

Next, take a look at what you need to do each morning (i.e. brush teeth, shower, dress, eat, let out the dog, etc.). Estimate how long each of those things actually takes. Also, consider the things you do each morning that aren't necessary (i.e. check e-mail, watch TV, make phone calls).

Design a morning routine with estimated times and write it down. Make copies of the routine and post it in several places where you will see it in the morning, such as the bathroom mirror, the closet door, and the refrigerator. Every time you find yourself doing something that doesn't need to be done, remind yourself that your goal is to get to work on time and those things can be done later.

Also determine things that can be done the night before to make the morning run smoother, such as packing your briefcase or bookbag and putting it by the door. Choosing what to wear the night before and laying it out can save a great deal of time in the morning. If you make your lunch to bring to school or work, make it the previous night.

Wanting to be to work on time because it is important and valuable to you, and not just to your boss, is probably one of the most important factors in helping you maintain the motivation needed to be diligent about following your morning routine. If you are successful in sticking with your routine for 21 consecutive days, it will become a habit in stead of a struggle. The key word is consecutive.

If your weekend routine is different, you will not be able to establish the habit of getting up and following the routine. Most of us like to "sleep in" on the weekends, but don't vary bedtime and wake up time more than 90 minutes from your weekday schedule, otherwise it will be harder to maintain your weekday schedule.

One last suggestion that may or may not be obvious is to have clocks where you can see them while you get ready in the morning. If you don't know what time it is, you can't really stick to your schedule. The other advantage of checking the clock frequently is to know if the routine you have designed is reasonable or if you need to adjust parts of it. Good luck with your efforts!

Posted by Sandy Maynard

A Reader Answers

Not sure if it is any help, but I use loads of alarms and give myself extra time.

So, one alarm goes off two hours before I have to wake up (which I turn off). Then the number two alarm goes off 45 minutes before I have to wake up (and I turn TV/radio on in my bedroom). Then the number three alarm goes off 20 minutes before I have to get out of bed (so I can snooze it once). Unfortunately, this could be a problem if you sleep wtih another person.

I think I have an alarm set for 10 minutes before I need to leave the house (at which point I’m hopefully getting dressed).

If I’m getting a carshare to work I have to be downstairs five minutes before we leave.

If I’m getting the bus I need to leave 20 minutes before it leaves (10 minute walk + 10 minutes in case I forget my phone/wallet/xxx and have to go up stairs three times before actually getting out the door)

Posted by ADHDquirk

A Reader Answers

The key to the change that you seek is first to find one vital behavior that will make the biggest difference, such as instituting a launching station (a single place where your wallet and keys go), getting out the door 10 minutes early, or finding something nice to do for someone else. The thing that worked for me was that I started bringing a cup of coffee to my girlfriend as she was getting out of the shower. That gets me up and going every day. The next thing you have to do is to measure how well you are doing meticulously. That is, write down how many times you do it each week. It helps to write it down in a place where you see it constantly. It should be something you really want to do.

Posted by

A Reader Answers

I’m 10-15 minutes late every day. I use the excuse that I take the mail to the post office after work which is uncompensated travel time. I am always late and have been teased for it my whole life. Even though I hit the door working instead of standing around gossiping for 15 minutes, I hate being late!

I use alarms on my phone, 5:30, 6:30 I turn those off. 7:00, I begin to stir — and 7:30 I finally get out of bed.

I would like to get up at 5:30 like I did when I smoked. Nicotine cravings will wake you up!

I’ve got to do better too!

Posted by motomyrtle

A Reader Answers

I have had the same problem my entire life. It has cost me money, respect and more where I have worked at a company that has an issue.

You must get to work on time. They have a record. It is not just between you and your superior.

It is not unreasonable for a school, for example, to want to see all there teachers accounted for 15 minutes ahead of class.

I understand this difficulty entirely but to most people, it is lame and worse.

Sorry for this frankness, but the only solution that has worked for me is to be on time. I must plan to be early to make it on time.

Posted by Barbwired

A Reader Answers

I like this blog post.

Posted by ReadReadWrite

Read the original discussion on the ADDConnect forums.


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Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.

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