20th November is my youngest brother’s date of birth. Of late, surprisingly triggered by our mom, we all, including my two brothers, are into the fad of wishing each other in the family on birthdays at the stroke of midnight. Habitually, I had set an alarm for myself, to wish him, a couple of days ahead. I had to do the time zone math as he lives in California and I am in Mumbai.

Fast forward. Last Saturday afternoon, I was at a shopping mall (Yes, the first time since the first lockdown in March 2020!) and the alarm went off. I used a couple of snoozes to reach the exact time and then wished him a happy birthday on Whatsapp. Mission accomplished!

What is interesting is that when I had set the alarm, I had no idea where I would be in the afternoon on that Saturday. The shopping mall would have not been even in my guesses.  Had it not been the alarm, I would have missed this fun of surprising him at his midnight!

Things miserably fail when we try to time some work without alarm. We forget! We miss!! That is how our mind works and that is how our life is. As it turns out, our entire time management system has to take care of this single limitation of ours, but more about it later!

Alarm clocks have been waking us up since time immemorial, however, the form has been changing from a mechanical clock to a digital clock and now to the App on our smartphone. Now that our “alarm clock” is so portable, we could and should use it for more than just waking us up. Nothing complex, but this is the recipe:

  1. Set the alarm as soon as you plan to do something at a certain date and time in the future. Most Alarm Apps should allow you to set it for a certain date.
  2. Set the recurrence pattern, if you need the alarm on a specific day or days of the week.
  3. Don’t forget to name the alarm, lest you find yourself wondering what is this ringing for!
  4. Always factor for a few minutes of preparation time so set the alarm for a few minutes ahead.
  5. Snooze the alarm till you actually execute the work. Believe me, if you shut off the alarm, you would easily forget the task, although you may think you wouldn’t.

I have set up alarms for so many things for a guaranteed execution. Here are a couple of examples. When you are on a course of Vitamin D pills, you need to follow a complex frequency over a span of a few months. It might also help to set an alarm if you have a hard time-stop for a meeting.

So keep those bells ringing and wear the confidence of being in control of your plans!

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