Do you have a sleeping problem?
My goal is to fix it in this article with an unorthodox approach.
But fix it I will.
If you were to interview most very successful people, they wake up early. Very early.
Let’s take Lorne Girard for instance, the CEO of St. Thomas based vinyl windows manufacturer, North Star Windows & Doors.
For 20 years, the man has woken up at 3:45am consistently and is at his office with coffee and newspaper in hand by 5:45am.
He’s a very humble man, a true 5-star leader, but don’t let him understate the influence this rigorous discipline has had on North Star’s growth and success over the years.
The manufacturer has grown from 10 staff to 280 over three decades, and is now Ontario’s largest vinyl windows manufacturer and producer of 5% of all Canadian manufactured windows in Canada.
How does he do it? It likely started with discipline and is now stoned in as a habit.
If you’re engaged in this article, you’re waking up early likely isn’t a habit so telling you how Lorne does it is probably as effective as an apple asking a banana out on a date.
So I’ll give you the quick, sure-fire way to wake up 2 hours earlier than you do now.
1. Find a friend (perhaps a work colleague or business partner) that you can be accountable to and share with them your plight;
2. Tell them this (in no uncertain terms): “If I don’t wake up by [X] time, I will give you one hundred dollars.”
3. If you roll in cash, then up that amount to the amount that will make you squirm and feel deep inner remorse to hand over the fresh notes.
4. If you do this right before bed, then text your Accountability Partner simply, “[Insert time] or [$penalty].” Do this every night (take weekends off if you desire). Do it until you don’t need your Accountability Partner anymore and it’s ingrained in your way of living.
Do this once, and you’ll feel the difference. There’s something deeply gratifying about experiencing a victory at the start of each day.
My personal story:
I had a self-admitted sleeping problem. I used to wake up at 7am. 7am is early to most, but I wanted to wake up earlier. 7am was okay because I started work at 8am, but I was missing out on being able to read and write more.
I did exactly what I transcribed above. Melissa McInerney (the Queen of Creation at tbk Creative) was my selected Accountability Partner.
I’ve been doing this exercise for 4 months now, choosing each day to wake up at 4:30 or 5:00am. Only twice have I dropped the ball ($200 penalty).
Considering the hundreds of hours I gain now each year as a result, the $200 get-up-late penalties is worth the toll.
Some additional tips to leave you with:
1. Don’t give the money to charity. If you do, you might start to feel good about the difference you’re making. That’s not the point here.
2. Don’t lie. To yourself or your Accountability Partner.
3. After you wake up late, don’t weasel or justify your way out of it. This counts as lying.
4. You’ll want to quit. Don’t do it. The goal needs to be turning this courageous new action into a habit. Trust me, it gets easier over time.
Good luck with your voyage. I wish you much renewed energy and time on your hands.
Andrew Schiestel is the Chief of WOW! Projects at tbk Creative, a national award winning web design & social media marketing agency based in Toronto & London Ontario. Andrew can be followed on Twitter here.