Earlier today I tweeted about an article by Scott H Young titled “The Laziness Paradox: Embrace Your Weaknesses to Accomplish More”. It started something inside me, about improving stuff that I’ve wanted to change but failed or just didn’t do yet.

I’ve created a list of stuff to change. The first one is related to sleeping. I’ve noticed that every night, I take my phone with me to bed for some late night blogreading, catching up on Facebook, etcetera. I also developed a habit where the first thing I do after waking up is reading e-mails. This sounds harmless, but it’s not:

1. In my experience, reading right before sleeping triggers all kinds of new ideas and things to do. It does certainly not contribute to relax or shut down those brain cells.

2. Your brain associates places with activities. So if you are reading in bed every night, your brain prepares to get some reading done instead of shutting down to get that sleep you need.

3. Reading e-mails right after waking up can give extra stress at the very start of the day, if there are complicated questions and other things that are urgent at work. Most of the time they can wait until working time starts, which is at least after breakfast!

So, this is what I want to change:

I want to quit catching up on social media at night and in the morning, as well as reading e-mails in bed (following GTD you should not read your e-mail from your bed in the morning/evening without actioning it anyway. Before taking the appropriate action you have to re-read it, so that costs you valuable extra time). I’m not allowing books, my laptop and my phone inside the bedroom anymore. This morning I bought a very cool and cheap digital alarm clock, so iPhone alarm: you are dismissed. This way I am training my brain to associate the bedroom with sleeping again. The ultimate goal behind this is to get more energy from sleeping to spend during the day.

Following Scott’s blog I will commit myself to this plan for the next month. I might even post something about my progress.