The Five Step Snooze Proof Wake Up Strategy

Waking up is HARD!!!

It takes discipline and effort to throw those covers off early in the morning, but doing so can mean big changes in your life. One trait that many successful CEOs and entrepreneurs have in common is the practice of waking up early.

Why early matters?

Waking up early allows you to get a jumpstart on your day. It helps you get more done, and be more focused. Another important benefit is that it begins to build discipline into your life which spills over into other areas and starts to snowball.

Undoubtably, the first question people ask me about getting up early is how early is early? Well…it depends. For me, it’s between 4:30 – 5:00 am. For you it might be different. The time doesn’t matter that much. What matters is that you are getting up sooner than normal to focus on a) improving and growing you or b) an important, valuable project.

Your Worst Enemy

The snooze button. It can derail your progress in a flick of your finger.

I host a podcast show, Taking Life Head On, for my friend Hal Elrod. A few weeks ago he was on vacation and we did not have a chance to pre-record an episode. We decide that I would do a solo episode talking about Hal’s Five Step Snooze Proof Wake Up strategy.

I think you will find tons of value in that episode so I highly encourage you to check it out below:

5 Step Snooze Proof Wake Up Strategy - Nick Palkowski

The Five Step Snooze Proof Wake Up Strategy

        • Step 1Set Your Intentions The Night Before
        • Step 2Keep Your Alarm Clock Across the Room
        • Step 3Brush Your Teeth and Wash Your Face
        • Step 4Drink a Full Glass of Water
        • Step 5: Get Dressed


Comment Question: Do you have other strategies that help you beat the alarm clock in the morning? Share them below.

Three Components of a Task Management System

The Ninja Tactics video series is a weekly post where I talk about tactics, techniques, or tools that are designed to help you manage your day, do more impactful work, and live a more enjoyable life. Our focus is to become the master of our lives. Find all the Ninja Tactics here


Your life is busy. At times it can feel like you are being pulled in a hundred different directions all at once.

How can you manage all of those tasks without letting anything fall through the cracks? You need a task management system.


Each persons task management system is going to be unique to them. You need to create the one that fits best with your workflow. The one that is most intuitive and seamless for you. However, every task management system needs these three components in order for it to function at a high level.

  •  Capture
  • Assign
  • Review

Start experimenting with your system. I know it may seem like a chore when you are first starting out but your productivity will multiply in a short time once you have one in place.


Want to achieve your goals faster….?? Check out The Accountability Advantage System

A tool to help you wake up easier

We talk a lot about being productive here in the Ninja Tactics series. How to get more out of life out of each hour, and how you can go from working in your life to becoming the master of your life.

Thinking that you can be more productive through shear effort and willpower is a mistake. That’s why I started this whole series was to share some of my experiences and the tips I’ve learned to help me get the most out of my days.

One trap I fell into back in high school and college, and to be honest still struggle with is the amount of sleep I get. Your body needs sleep. Enough sleep. Roughly 7 to 8 hours is ideal. Yes, you can function on less and actually for short periods of times, I would encourage you to, when you need to put in that extra effort to see something through.

Today, I want to show you a cool app that I can help you monitor your sleep and help make it easier to get up in the morning.

Sleep Cycle

The best tool I’ve found to stop distractions and increase focus

Focus is your most valuable asset. With it you can produce amazing results. But it can be difficult to control. It can be hard to put it to work.

One way to take your focus, and thus your productivity, to the next level is by listening to music while you work. But if you are like me that means first creating a playlist out of the 3,000+ songs in your iTunes account…decisions, decisions, decisions. But then you find out they can’t be just any songs… When I am working on something creative, especially writing, and a favorite song of mine comes on I get even more distracted and will even end up writing song lyrics instead of what I meant to write! Not good.

The solution…Focus@Will


Recently, I found a new tool that solves these very problems while helping you take your focus to a new level. It’s a little webpage called Focus@Will. This tool is a music player that has been designed very specifically to increase your focus.

Running into the Storm

I once heard a story of a man who made an observation on the plains of the west. He noticed a very peculiar difference between cows and buffalo.

Out on the plains you can see a storm coming in from miles away as they form just over the Rockies. Cows and buffalo react very different when they see these storms heading their way.


When a heard of cattle see the storm coming, they turn and run from it. I don’t know if you have ever seen a cow but they are not exactly built for speed so the storm eventually catches up to them and they continue to run until the storm passes over. All their running really does is keep them in the storm longer, extending the pain and uncomfortableness.

One Essential Component For Your Productivity System

To become more productive one of the most important things you can do is to set up a system for managing your tasks and projects. There is no one perfect system that works for everyone. It’s a continued process of refinement and figuring out what serves you best in your life.



Right now, I am experimenting with a new system. It has many of the same elements that I’ve used in the past but will hopefully allow me to focus more on important needle moving tasks and be more efficient with all the other need to get done tasks. I’ll be sharing the results of this experiment in the future.

But today, I want to focus on one piece that has been in my system for years with great results.

The WaitingFor List

#017: Take your productivity beyond the to-do list [Podcast]

Productivity is more than to-do lists and calendars. Do you know what being productive really looks like? This week’s episode of the Ninja Leaders Podcast will dive into that.


To truly be productive you need to go beyond the to-do list. Erik Fisher does just that on a regular basis with his podcast Beyond The To-Do List. In this interview we don’t just talk tactics and tools we go into what productivity really looks like.


Here are a few essential points we cover:

  • The most underestimated productivity tool
  • Learn how to do good work well
  • Discover what productivity is really about
  • 1 quick way to re-focus and gain momentum when you find yourself off track
  • An effective way to make major changes in your life
  • A common misconception about productivity systems
  • How to create your ideal morning
  • How to stay productive with a social media life

One way to stop the “What did I get done today?” feeling…


Ever have the feeling that you are day is extremely busy, you’re being productive getting stuff done but when you look back at the end of the day you only have a few items checked off?

Perhaps the problem isn’t your work effort, it maybe your work flow.


Your focus is key to really moving the needle. We already talked about taking breaks with the 50.10.50 strategy, now let’s look at the way you structure your to-do list.

You structure your list and day for Batch Processing.

Our brains work best when we are not jumping back and worth. They can really only focus on one thing at a time, which is why multitasking is a horribly bad idea I you want to produce meaningful work.

Batch processing helps eliminate the mental switching of tasks and effort wasted physically while switching tasks.

Here’s how it works.

You take all the tasks in your to-do list and organize them by likeness. (Telephone calls, emails, video recordings, etc). You than do those tasks in an allotted time frame, all together.

How to conserver your willpower tank

You only have a limited amount of willpower in your tank. Are you wasting it? Learn how to conserve your willpower fuel.

The 50 Minute Focus Finder

Ever feel like your mind never stops?

You are busy! Ever feel like you are being pulled in several directions all at once? You are not alone. And those thoughts bouncing around and distracting you, are your free range thoughts. Find out how to get rid of them and get focused.

This is originally from Dean Jackson