Saunders’s idea is simple but brilliant. She makes this point about habits:
Habits reduce the amount of time that you spend deciding what to do, lower the energy needed to take action, and ensure that you’re spending time on what’s most crucial.
Applying the idea to the decision we make each day as to when to go to sleep, she writes:
How do you make going to sleep a routine so you have fewer decisions to make and more hours resting? (This is the question all parents ask about their children’s bedtime routine but rarely direct toward themselves.)
A very simple approach is to set a “Why are you awake?” alarm on your phone for fifteen to thirty minutes before your ideal bedtime. This reminds you what time it is and prompts you to get ready for bed, unless you’re doing an activity that’s worth losing sleep over.
I set this new alarm in my phone just minutes after reading this section of the book.
Speaking of which… my “Why are you awake?” alarm just went off five minutes ago–sharing such a simple but brilliant idea is surely worth losing five minutes of sleep over… but off to bed now!
Thanks to HBR Press for the review copy of this awesome, succinct ebook. Find it here on Amazon, here at HBR’s site, and learn more about the book here at Elizabeth Grace Saunders’s site. Full review forthcoming!