A foolproof way to get up early every morning

Takeaway: If you have trouble getting up at a certain time, try scheduling a costly social media update to go out at the time you’re supposed to get up. This will motivate you to get out of bed and reschedule it.

Estimated Reading Time: 58s.

My friend Thomas Frank deploys a hack I love in order to wake up at 5:55 each morning.

Through the service Buffer—which lets you schedule future tweets, Facebook updates, and other social media updates—each day he loads up a tweet to go out at exactly 6:10 a.m. the next day. It reads:

  • It’s 6:10 and I’m not up because I’m lazy! Reply to this tweet for $5 via PayPal (assuming my alarm didn’t malfunction). Limit 5 #SleepingIn

When his alarm goes off at 5:55 every morning, he has 15 minutes to reschedule the tweet to go out the next morning. Wash, wake up, rinse, repeat.

We’re loss averse, so using negative reinforcement to solidify new habits works. Losing what we have brings a lot more sorrow than the happiness that comes from gaining an equal amount. This wakeup strategy works for this same reason: every morning we have $25 and a whole lot of pride at stake. Getting out of bed is the only way to not lose that pride and money.

If you’re having trouble waking up on time, loading up a similar social media update or two should help.

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