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Make Bedtime a Deadline

As part of Tools to Life, a free self-help program Iíve been working through for the last year and a half, I was required to have a set bedtime. I usually get up between 5-5:30 every morning so I chose to make my ideal bedtime 9 pm to get a full eight hours of rest. Thatís the goal, but I have yet to make it. A typical night for me ends at around 11 pm. And even if I make it to bed by 10, which I sometimes do, Iíll watch a movie or read until 11 or later.

Getting the appropriate amount of sleep is very important. According to the National Sleep Foundation ďwhen we sleep well, we wake up feeling refreshed, alert and ready to face daily challenges. When we donít every part of our lives can suffer. Our jobs, relationships, productivity, health and safety.Ē

Further the foundation states that more than 39% of American adults get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight and more than 37% are so sleepy during the day that it interferes with daily activities.

I need to get more sleep! I wouldnít dream of being careless about getting to work on time. Iím never nonchalant about completing a project by the deadline, and Iím certainly not lackadaisical about my childrenís bedtime, so why canít I be diligent about my own?

Hereís what Iíve decided. Iím going to employ some of my well honed time management techniques so I can get the sleep I need. Perhaps these can be helpful to you as well. Iíve listed a few below.

Keep your eyes on the prizeóand the clock I havenít been able to make it to bed on time mainly because I havenít deemed it as important as other things I manage to accomplish by the deadline. I need to make bedtime an important goal and not forget about it. In the morning when Iím getting everyone ready for the day, I keep a careful eye on the clock. I do not lose track of time. I can be just as vigilant in the evenings.

Plan to go to bed on time When I get a new project, I usually start it right away so if thereís a snag or a problem, I can find out about it as soon as possible. Iíll approach bedtime the same way. Instead of getting ready for bed fifteen or 20 minutes before hand, Iíll start a few hours before Iím scheduled to hit the pillow.

Make a list and a routine Iím a huge fan of lists and routines. If your evenings are chaotic, it will be harder to get to bed on time. A checklist can help. What needs to be done in the evenings? Ironing clothes for the morning, washing dishes, signing childrenís permission slips etc. Write it all down and create a routine for getting these things done on time.

Speed Up Suppose I fall behind on a project--like writing one of these articles for Bellaonline. I donít just throw up my hands and say ďIím running late, oh well Iíll get it done whenever I get it done.Ē Instead I light a fire under and I complete the article on time. So from now on if Iím running late for bedtime, Iíll rush to get there.

As I work on this goal Iíll post my progress on the life coaching forum, and perhaps youíll join me in making sure you get enough sleep each night.

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