Friday, November 18, 2011

The great Evil that threatens our World

Being an examination of the nature of this Evil, what must be done to Combat it, your part in said struggle, &c.

Many people have a ready answer to which one thing they'd like to un-invent. It can range from Pokemon (not that I have any use for the little blighters, but I don't begrudge anyone the fun they derive from catching 'em all) through automated phone systems designed to keep you from reaching a human (tempting...) all the way up to nuclear weapons. My prime candidate, though, is rather close to home, and almost all of you will have encountered it: the Snooze button.

Why is the Snooze button evil? Simple. It encourages sloth, it annoys anyone who can hear your alarm clock, and it's a device that trains you to do exactly the wrong thing. Alarm clocks are supposed to wake you up; they generally don't. They instead train you to smack the Snooze button several times, until you blearily raise your head, see the time, and realise with a scream that you should have been at work some unconscionable time ago. Why is this? Because you can't count when you're asleep. You don't realise that you've smacked that damned button ten times, because you never really wake up. Then, when you realise you're doing this, you decide "I smack the snooze button n times, so I should set my alarm n times the snooze timer earlier to make sure I get up at the right time". What happens next? You smack the button even more times, and you still get to work late. You're just more grumpy because your sleep wasn't as good, thanks to the regular rises to smack the damn button.

So how do we fix this? Step one: STOP HITTING THE BUTTON. That's trite, of course; how do we stop it? Well, first: go to bed earlier. You need enough sleep, and setting the alarm earlier doesn't help; try to work into a pattern so your natural sleeping habits wake you up around the right time. Second: set the alarm later. I'm not expecting this right away, but your objective is to have the alarm set to go off at your "get up or get fired" time, and wake up before it every morning. You do not want to know what your alarm clock sounds like. Try to break the snooze button reflex. Instead, treat the alarm clock as the last resort it's meant to be. If you hear it, if it goes off, you're doing it wrong.

Believe me, those who live close enough to hear your alarm clock will be grateful.

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