QUIT: Hitting the Snooze Button

[Part of my mission to “live deliberately” involves ruthlessly cutting out anything that saps my time, energy or money to no good end.  I’m calling these things my “Quits,” and this is one of the many items that have found themselves on my Quits List.]


I already hate myself for this one.  But once I hit publish, there is no going back.  And I know it’s for my own good.

The hard truth is that not all my quits are going to be things I don’t like that I’ve always wanted to quit anyway.  Some of them are going to be things I dearly love but that aren’t good for me or aren’t getting me anywhere I need to go.  I won’t enjoy giving up these things.  But it needs to be done.

You, beloved Snooze Button, are one of those things.

One Last Farewell

I’ve always known you aren’t good for me, but that’s part of your allure.  I know I shouldn’t keep turning to you.  I know I’m supposed to be strong.  But you beckon to me in my half-asleep haze, encouraging me to forget the resolutions I made the night before, and in my blurry state of mind, I always listen.

Come on, you know you want to,” you call sweetly over the beeping of the alarm.  “You work so hard.  You deserve 10 more minutes.  It’s only 10 minutes…

But the thing about you, Snooze Button, is I always want more.  It’s never just 10 minutes.  It’s another 10 minutes, then another, and suddenly I’m late for work and rushing and the whole day starts off on a bad note.  I always feel horrible after giving in to you, but somehow I just can’t help myself.  You know how to play on my weakness for warm, comfy beds and avoiding going to work for as long as possible.  You’re a bad influence, an aider and abettor, and you only make things worse.  The brief joy you bring isn’t worth all the hassle that follows.

I’ve tried to quit you so before—oh, so many times.  I’ve set the alarm 30 minutes ahead so I don’t have any spare time to gamble with.  I’ve set the alarm to blare out rock music very close to my ear.  I’ve moved the alarm to my husband’s side of the bed so that I have to physically get up and walk around to the other side of the room in the chill morning air if I want to hit the snooze…and somehow I still manage to stumble, zombie-like, back to my side of the bed, climb back in, and fall into a deep R.E.M. sleep in the approximately 9 ½ minutes left until the alarm goes back off again.

Sometimes I do this several times in a row.  This is completely ridiculous.

I clearly have a problem.  I am the person they were thinking of when they invented the alarm clock that physically launches itself from the nightstand and rolls away to hide somewhere you can’t find immediately.  I love the idea of getting up a little early, having time to enjoy my coffee, and easing into the day with some quiet time to myself.  But what I love infinitely more than this idea is sleeping. For a really long time.  And then sleeping a little longer.  When it comes time to make the crucial decision, this option will always seem like the sweetest possible thing known to man.

Cordelia Makes a Desperate Proclamation

If NaNoWriMo has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes my self-discipline is worth shite, and one of the few things that have the power to compel me to stick with it is telling everyone I can think of that I’m doing it.

Call it what you will: accountability, a support system, the fear of being mocked and taunted if I fail.  Whatever it is, it’s a priceless motivator.  If the only person holding me to my more difficult goals is myself, I may not necessarily “fail,” but I will certainly let myself slide enough times that it can’t qualify as a resounding success.  So, sometimes I need to bring out the big guns.  I need to boast far and wide about my intentions, so that when I desperately want to go back on them at 6:30 in the morning, I’m stuck, with nothing to do but suck it up and grumble at my own unfairness.

And so I, Cordelia, do hereby officially proclaim that from this day forth, I will not allow myself to resort to the snooze button. I will do jumping jacks to force myself awake.  I will keep an ice cold glass of water next to the alarm with which to splash myself in the face immediately upon awaking.  And when that still doesn’t do the trick, I will put a sticky note on the snooze button that reads, “Ha-ha!  You already told everyone you were quitting this!  Sucker!”

And if I still manage to give in to my weaker tendencies after all that, then I will let you know, and you have full permission to taunt and mock me in such an event.

I apologize in advance to the me of tomorrow morning.  But you know, deep down, that this is necessary.

Image: Flickr

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  • Clare

    I am SO guilty of this as well. Becoming a morning person is on my life list but my love of being asleep still seems to win out. I’d love to hear an update as this progresses.

  • cordelia’s mom

    Ok, hon, enough is enough. I will call you and make sure you’re up in the morning.

    Oh, wait – I have a snooze button, too. I might be calling you just a little late.

  • 2blu2btru

    It took me a LONG time to conquer the snooze button. I was late to work enough times that I was warned about it, and the thought of losing my only source of income set me right. Good luck with conquering the button!

  • Meg B

    Oh this post is so true for me!! Every night I drift off to sleep with the best of intentions to get up AS SOON as my alarm goes off and every morning I hit the snooze and lay in bed until it has become a desperate time situation. I know you will be successful and I will endeavor to see if I can make some progress as well 🙂

  • Oh you brave, brave soul. I love my snooze button. LOVE IT. I tried to give it up once by making my boyfriend (who leaves for work absurdly early in the morning) turn on all the lights in my bedroom and the TV on loud in order to drag my ass out of bed without 17 snoozes. Now, I just sleep really well in really bright and noisy environments.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I set my alarm early just so I can snooze.

    I wish I was one of those people that just get up on time feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed and don’t even need an alarm.


  • Kristine

    You are starting with a tough one, brave woman.

    I used to have a serious snooze button problem. So bad I’m surprised the man didn’t stage an intervention. Like Pruis Envy above I used to purposely set my alarm twenty minutes early so I could press it at aleast twice. Sometimes it was the only thing I had to look forward to, was pressing that button each morning.

    Fortunately, it can be done! I am a recovering snooze button junkie and have been clean for three years now. In fact, I’m so clean, I don’t even need to use an alarm clock at all any more to drag myself out of bed. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments.

    You can do it!

  • Karen

    Ohh, I don’t know if I could do this one…I’ve been snoozing for over half my life. I also set my alarm earlier than I need to get up so I can hit the snooze. Keep us updated on how you’re managing it!

  • Here is the original article from the original personal development blogger, Steve Pavlina, on waking up early.


    Be sure to give us the update a month from now…

    Supposedly a habit is formed, or gotten rid of permanently, in a month’s time…


  • Jamie

    I am the WORST when it comes to snoozing. My problem is that it’s become such a habit, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I once snoozed for just short of 3 hours! Apparently I was hitting the snooze button every nine minutes for almost 3 hours without ever waking up enough to realize what I was doing. Maybe I should try moving my alarm across the room so I have to wake up and get it.

    • cordeliacallsitquits

      3 hours?? Alright, I don’t feel so bad, then. 😛

  • Mia

    I have this problem, too! Good luck, I am having a hard time with my empty promise to myself to not hit it…I even put my alarm clock on the other side of the room…I still get up and hit it, and then go back to bed to sleep for 10 more minutes. Sometimes, I don’t even remember getting up and out of bed to do it…

  • mel

    wow, kell, i am right there with you. my inherent sloth is compounded by the fact that i don’t have official “work hours” and that my husband is way too nice to follow through on threats to push me out of bed. even when i ask him to. i applaud your fortitude in making this commitment–binding yourself to the mast, a la odysseus. how did the first morning turn out?

    also, i had never heard of the runaway alarm clock, but after reading this post i promptly ordered one for myself. i’ll let you know how it works out.

    • cordeliacallsitquits

      Please do! I would totally get one myself except I worry that the husband wouldn’t appreciate also being woken up by the alarm as I bang around the room looking for it.

      First two mornings–not so successful. Hit the snooze both times, but each time I only did it once (rather than the usual 2-3 times), plus I managed to successfully rouse myself from bed before it went off again through sheer force of guilty conscience. So, there’s work to be done…

  • Not to sound rude, but maybe you are simply (or not so simply) sleep-deprived? You may need to sleep a lot more than you are allowing for, so your “snoozing” is your body actually trying to tell you something important.

    I slept badly last night — awoke at 6:47 (8 hours) but fell back asleep for two full hours. I work at home so I do not need to rush to someone’s office, but when you’re tired, you’re tired!

  • This is really so close to my heart. We don’t know whether to thank or hate the person who invented the “snooze” button.

    I never get out of my bed without hitting the snooze button. I wish that I am able to get rid of this habit too. However, it doesn’t seem to be easy!

    We’ll work together and I hope you succeed.

  • totomix

    I see you got talent in writing posts. Waiting for more articles

  • Michelle V

    When I have to wake up for things I normally have 3-5 alarms. In different locations. Some across the room… and I still manage to have absolutely no recollection of snoozing/turning them off. If I have a new job or something really important or just because I have to buy another alarm clock b/c I get to accustomed to the sound. That and stay up late- sounds counter productive, but I’ve discovered that if I don’t fall into too deep a sleep I can get up easier for the really important stuff.

    My mother and brother are insomniacs and wake up if the floor creaks. My father and I literally have slept through earthquakes.

    One alarm that I did get and quite like is one of those wacky sounds one… not for the sounds mind you, but because it literally shakes… hence that one goes under my pillow or in the corner of my bed. But I think I may definitely have to check out the one that runs away from you like you described.

  • GoingDeafOneMorningAtATime

    I have 6 alarm clocks, timed to go off between each other, including the sonic boom alarm clock that is 113 db AND shakes my bed. You would think that would do the trick, but it does not.  I’m just able to sleep through a shaking bed and lots of noise better.  I do have special alarms for days I HAVE to be somewhere; I think the change in routine helps.

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