Why resetting an alarm clock might reset your life.

In 1974 Harry Chapin memorably sang about being the morning DJ at W.O.L.D.

32 years later, I’m happy to report that it’s now my turn, as I am the morning DJ at K.Z.S.U., well the Wednesday morning DJ, anyway.

KZSU is Stanford University’s radio station, transmitting across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Studio A, the main studio, of KZSU.
Studio A, the main studio, of KZSU. And yes, they do still have turntables.

I’ve now presented my first two shows and am steadily getting used to handling the controls without making too many catastrophic errors.

Presenting a 6 AM show means getting up at 4:30 AM, however, and although I am a morning person, I did end up feeling completely exhausted after doing the show last Wednesday.

I needed to do something about this, and I thought it was worth sharing my solution as it could trigger an idea or two for you.

One answer, I guess, could have been for me to throw in the towel and ask to be transferred to another timeslot.

I wasn’t going to do that, though, because I’m only too aware of how fortunate I am to have landed the (volunteer) job in the first place.

What I’ve decided to do instead is reset my alarm clock for that same early start every day.

I seem to do best with regular structures in my life, and I think what was killing me was breaking up the routine.

I’m excited about my earlier starts as it was something I used to do, actually.

Some years back I instigated a daily routine which involved rising early to spend an hour thinking and planning: what I’d done (and achieved), what I was going to do, and things I needed to tackle but was prevaricating about.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m often not as logical as this about tackling a change in circumstances, but so far things seem to be working out well this time around.

Maybe something is changing, or about to change in your own life?

If so, it could be worth thinking about what other alterations you could make, not only to accommodate your new circumstances, but to actually make the most of them.

You may need to think laterally, as I had to.

But – who knows? – something great could come out of it.

And, oh yes, I’ll be presenting the show this coming Wednesday (and every Wednesday in fact) from 6 AM to 9 AM PST, which is 9 AM to Noon EST, and 2 PM to 5 PM in the UK.

KZSU streams live online (but with no “listen again” service) at kzsu.stanford.edu/live and I’ll be happy to have your company.

I’ll even do my best to not sound sleepy.

8 thoughts on “Why resetting an alarm clock might reset your life.

  1. Hi Jon, how exciting, I going to try and listen in. I have never been a morning person, but I admire anyone who rises regularly in the early hours. My husband often leaves very early in the morning and he always says its the best part of the day…..peaceful.
    Like you, change in routine, for me can sometimes be challenging, but I know we have to test our resilience from time to time in order to grow as people.
    Good luck with your shows Jon

  2. Sigh. Turntables. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Sounds like a fun addition to your week. Now that you mention getting up earlier for thinking time, it did make me realise how well I use my early morning time if I find I’m unable to sleep so end up getting up at say 4am instead of remaining frustratingly awake in bed. When I choose to get up I often sip a hot drink and simply sit and (thinking about it) almost meditate. It’s a very relaxing time. …..which is why I then climb back into bed at around 6. I’m not sure how I’d cope staying awake for the rest of the day. ……but I’ll certainly play with the idea. 4am is so much more pleasant than 6.30am when my body insists that it should very much asleep. 😉

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful e mail. I hope you don’t get too tired starting at 4:30 everyday Jon? I don’t think I could hack it! Good luck, I’ll listen in soon.

  4. ……” things I needed to tackle but was prevaricating about.” Jon, did you confuse prevaricate with procrastinate? Prevaricate means to tell an untruth (to lie) and procrastinate means to put off what needs to be done.

    1. Thank you Fran.

      I had to look up the definitions myself, but you’re quite right—I was wrong. Strangely, though, I’ve gone through life talking about prevaricating when I meant I was “shilly shallying” about something, which isn’t really procrastinating. And according to Google, I’m not alone in having this misconception.

      Oh well. Now I know.

      Thanks again Fran. I think sometimes we all have our own version of the English language.

  5. Thank you for this post Jon- really interesting. I like the idea of doing something like this that other people would think wouldn’t work, like getting up very early, but doing it because it’s right for you. I think this post was running through my subconscious yesterday leading me to think more seriously about moving further from work, giving me an expensive and longer commute, in order to live somewhere with more space, physically and mentally. Moodnudge indeed. Thank you

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