That heading will have made this post sound far sexier than it is.

Then again, Google Analytics tells me that this month I’ve had several visitors who have found thisgeeksgoals.com through keywords which make me think that they thought it offered geek-themed adult entertainment (and I guess I hope it does… but just not THAT kind of adult entertainment!)

I digress.

I’ve been thinking about one of my goals for 2012 – to Sleep Soundly  – and I realise the goal is just plain wrong.

Here’s why.

Earlier this year I outlined my six personal goals for 2012. Here’s what I had to say about a new goal in the mix for ’12, a goal of improving my sleeping habits:

Hoot. Hoot.

I’m a Night Owl.

Which is fine when you’re a youngster. When you’re an early twenty-something, pulling an all-night’er and making it to work on time is par for the course.

But I’m not that guy anymore. I’m the guy who is still wide, wide-awake in the wee hours and a complete zombie when the alarm goes off.

I’ve mastered the art of disarming multiple alarm clocks with both eyes closed and I’m pretty sure I’ve developed a reputation as a sloppy waker. Which sounds rude, but isn’t.

It’s just unprofessional.

So, I’m aiming to get at least 7 hours sleep most work nights this year (200 good snoozes will do it) and to arrive at work on time as the rule, not the exception.

Five weeks in to this particular challenge and I can see I’ve set myself up for a failure.

It’s clear now that I could spend the entire year trying to reprogram my body clock and maybe, just maybe, see some results by the end of the year. I expect any such results would be minor. I really am a Night Owl.

So setting myself a KPI of getting 7 hours of ‘sound-sleep’ (a number I pretty much plucked from nowhere) on at least 200 work nights now strikes me as deeply misdirected.

I think that what I need to focus on is turning up to work on time.

Honing in on the real result I want, to improve my punctuality which has long been my professional Achilles heel, will make me feel like I’m really making a change.

I also suspect that by focussing on the real outcome I desire, I’ll probably end up making better progress towards getting more hours sleep anyway. The former will surely lead to the later but the point is now, at least, I’m being honest about what I really want to achieve.

In short, I realise that where I went wrong was thinking I needed to sleep soundly.

I don’t.

I need to sleep responsibly.

In even fewer words, I don’t need to be a better sleeper, I need to be a better riser.

It feels good to have thought this through.

Hopefully this example might help you think about facing any real targets you need to tackle to meet your own goals.

And yes, there is some irony in the fact that I’m posting this after midnight…

Useful Stuff

Here’s a link to an interesting article on this topic I recently read at lifehacker.org > “Early Riser or Night Owl: Why It Doesn’t Really Matter