Tools I Use: Alarms

alarm clock icon-black on white

Many people have the challenge of waking up in the morning. They often only have one alarm. With a single alarm noise. Many of us get used to our alarm and eventually ignore the sound it makes.

Some alarms have a snooze button.

Don’t use just one alarm. You can have unlimited alarms at any time using your mobile phone.

Here is how to do this:

  1. Sleep enough hours for the next day: 3 to 9 hours at a time. Don’t stay up for the sake of staying up. That is useless.
  2. Leave your mobile phone in the room you sleep in. Set the phone on airplane mode. Not necessarily at arms reach. You know why. Hint: Don’t use the snooze button.
  3. Add ALL the times you need to awaken on your alarm and leave all of them on the phone for as long as you own the phone. So add an alarm for 5:00AM, 5:15AM, 5:30AM , 5:45AM, 6:00AM, 6:15AM, etc. Keep adding times all the way from the earliest to the latest you need to awaken. Even if you take naps in the afternoon or early evening. Some people much older than I use naps strategically during the day to stay on top of things, often after meals or in the late afternoon.
  4. Add a different sound or chime that will awaken you. Not all noises will be invigorating enough, but alternating the sound for every alarm within the hour is key. Use a different noise for 6 AM, 6:15 AM, 6:30 AM and 6:45 AM, but you could recycle those same sounds for 7 AM, 7:15 AM, 7:30 AM and 7:45 AM.
  5. Leave the alarm volume at the highest level before you go to sleep. The only time I don’t is when I am on a plane while traveling.
  6.  Plug in your phone to charge overnight whenever possible.
  7. Turn on only the times you need the day before. Usually 2 to 4 times ahead of the time I need to be up.
  8. If you have a morning routine, and you know what time you want to awaken on weekdays, just program those alarm times for those days.

Tools I Use: One Phone


I only have one phone. Yes, one (1) mobile phone. It simplifies life.

No home phone. No one of any value called us at home. Killed off that phone line.

No fax nor telex (that is so last century). No paper to scan either (that’s for another post).

No office phone. If a workplace issues me a phone, I program the office line to automatically forward to my phone. Minutes are not an issue since I have plenty of them.

I am not a slave to a phone nor multiple phones. However, access and simplicity for myself as well as anyone trying to call me (for the immediacy) is key.

I believe that in the 21st century, we have no reason to have multiple phone numbers nor phones. No juggling phones necessary.

Work life balance

Most mobile phones have caller ID which identifies the caller, often by name. You can either take the call or you will not. That is the balance within your 168 hour week.

I do not need two or more separate devices to determine if it is work related or not. I have met people that have up to five (5) mobile phones (often executives). Where is the balance there? I call that a juggling act, not a balancing act. Most of these people are dead and not of old age. Simplify your life rather than cluttering it.

It is very simple. One phone number to reach me. Period. If you can’t reach me, you can leave me a voicemail or text me. All to my one phone. I will follow up when I am available.

I accept people calling me when it is not a robocall or some other useless call I don’t care about. I will tell you if you are wasting your time and mine very directly. I am not shy. People deserve honesty 100% of the time, even if it bruises their ego. They’ll live.

Battery life

Many people struggle using a mobile phone charged for the entire day. That is the top buying criteria when I get a mobile phone. It lasts all day, or I don’t buy it. I am not blind (yet) so I don’t need a big screen. I know how to dim my screen to save battery life. I put my phone on airplane mode when I am in meetings that don’t require internet access. I am conscious of what apps suck battery life. All cars I ride/drive in have a phone charger, and I carry a phone charger with my laptop just in case. Be prepared.

Global Calls

If I need to call someone across the globe, I either use tools like Skype or Google Hangout. Most people I need to speak with know how to use these tools. Otherwise, I use these tools to call their one phone. I am not the only one with just one phone.