It’s 5:30 in the morning and my Google Home is blaring an alarm at me. I crack open an eye and the room is still dark. “Hey Google, stop.” I manage to call out. My eyes close and another hour slips by. Now I’m behind schedule.
The early morning has gold in its mouth – Benjamin Franklin
Waking early is perhaps the most direct aspect of control you can wield in building your polymathic mindset. Mind you, what is early to me is downright crazy to another. Bottom line, we all know the benefits of waking early, whether we chose to follow the advice or not. So what do you do if this is your goal, and you fall short? Let’s take a look at my schedule for today.
I know, normally I try not to uber-schedule my day, but I’m in experimentation mode right now. So, what is the effect of that extra hour of sleep? Well, everything I wanted to get done from 5:30 to 6:30 get’s pushed back. Admittedly there’s not much between 5:30 and 6:30, but I really like my leisurely coffee, breakfast, shower, and other success habits that make the rest of my day. Instead, I’m rewarded with rushing, a quick dowse of hot water for my shower, and a choked down breakfast. Why? Well, I have to meet my 6:50 AM obligation of grocery shopping. Don’t scoff, I know you all do the same thing. Rush through the items you’ve missed in order to catch up to the schedule. The result? Pandemonium, anxiety, and next… Full blown freak out. So how do you stop it? Three steps:
- Halt the Freak Out
- Find Your Inner Stoic
- Get Ahead of Your Next Task
These steps are in a specific order. You cannot get a head of your next task or even find your inner stoic if you’re in full freak out mode.
Step 1: Halt the Freak Out (Objective: Recenter in the Now)
Alright… You overslept… You’ve managed a quick shower, burned your breakfast, attempted to make your bed, ate the burned breakfast, and now it’s 20 after 7, a full 30 minutes after you planned to start shopping. This is going to set back the entirety of your day, everything will need to be pushed back. The anxiety is building as you rush, and forget. You pull out of the driveway, pull back in, run inside to grab your wallet. It goes on and on (this actually happened to me this morning with an additional trip back home to grab my mask). How do you stop? Break the future rush and recenter in the now.
- Take 3 deep breaths. Breath in, hold for ten seconds, breath out, hold for ten seconds, and repeat.
- Look at your hands. Your hands are your most direct connection to the world. Touch a wall, or some other object to ground yourself.
- Say out loud what it is you are doing, right now. If you are touching a wall say: “I am standing in the hallway, touching this wall.”
These steps sound silly, but it is the fastest way to stop a freak out centered on future (or even past) thoughts. Recenter yourself in the now.
Step 2: Find your Inner Stoic (Objective: Control Your Response)
Now that you’ve managed to find your center and your ground, it is time to put it into perspective. Accept that you overslept, and that the time is gone. You cannot control the past, but you can control your reaction to it.
- Affirm to yourself: “I control my response to the world around me.”
- Review your schedule for the current task and reschedule or cancel if necessary.
- Look to the next item on your schedule.
Step 3: Get Ahead of your Next Task (Objective: Get Back on Track)
You’ve stopped freaking out and found your peace of mind. The next step is to get yourself back on track. Adjust your schedule to get ahead of the next task in line. By getting back on track the rest of your day will fall in line and you’ll find yourself just as productive as you would have been had you rolled out of bed on time.
What are your thoughts on oversleeping? How do you recover, or do you not recover at all?