The Snooze Button Evils

The Snooze Button Evils

We lead lives filled with bells and whistles. Unfortunately, they aren’t the kind that mean upgrades! Instead, I’m referring to the constant alerts that sound during our day starting with the alarm clock in the morning signaling that a new day has begun to the wristband alert at night reminding us to take our medication. The good news is that these alerts help us remember to do all the things we need to get done each day. Unfortunately, there's a "bad news" part too.

Incessant Noise Makes Johnny Less Effective

The most insidious feature of most alert systems is the "snooze" option. Disguised as a benefit, snooze buttons really only allow us to defer the inevitable. And, in doing so, distract us from what we were focusing on BEFORE the alert sounded. This may seem like no big deal, but here's an illustrative example of why we should stop availing ourselves of the snooze option.

Many people use an alarm clock to wake up each morning. Most who do set the alarm clock so they can hit the snooze button once ... twice ... thrice ... ? The oft-stated reason for this is that we can semi-consciously linger in the warmth of our bedding gradually preparing ourselves for the coming day. How idyllic.

Here's a different view of that same situation. Most snooze buttons are set to re-sound the alarm every nine minutes or so. Thus, we if set our alarms for 30 minutes prior to the time we need to get up, we can hit the snooze three times. In effect, then, what we're really doing is robbing ourselves of 30 minutes of Good Sound Sleep! And most of us aren’t getting the recommended eight to nine hours of sleep as it is!

Quit Deferring and Start Commanding Your Life

The message here? Stop relying on snooze. All it's doing is distracting you from getting something more important done. The best practice here is to set the alert time for the "right" time, whether it's for getting up in the morning or for the pre-meeting time you need to prepare for an upcoming calendared event.

You control many of the distractions you suffer. Snooze is one of them. Give yourself a break from the noise and see if you don’t just get more done and enjoy it more along the way.

Paul helps people meet the challenges of the modern workplace. His clients regain control of their day, get more done, and enjoy greater career and personal success. When not delivering presentations filled with time making suggestions, Paul is training and coaching people on how to customize his revolutionary QuietSpacing® productivity method into the way they like to work. You can learn more about Paul and his practice at

Image Credit: K. Yasuhara on Flickr