How to sleep more (or, an algorithm for minimalism)

By dkl9, written 2023-197, revised 2023-197 (0 revisions)

There are three ways to sleep more:

That third option is a matter of sleep hygiene and environment. Look up other sources if that's the main issue. I will not help with that.

The second path is unusable for many people. If you have school or a job to go to at an appointed segment of the day, you probably already wake up close to when you're needed, and can't just shift that later.

The first method is much more tractable, and this is where the algorithm comes in.

  1. List everything you do or have done to you in a day-night cycle, including each item's time-of-day and duration, to Queue A. If that doesn't follow a routine, take one recent day as a representative sample. Don't leave anything out. Durations must add to 24 hours after accurate measurement.
  2. Sort those tasks and events of Queue A by their duration, in decreasing order.
  3. Repeat as many times as you get to, going thru Queue A:
    1. If the item is important for your health (eating, hygiene, etc), add it to Queue B.
    2. If the item is forced on you by important external incentives (school/job, etc), add it to Queue B.
    3. If the item is at least two of self-improving, fun in a way that lasts past the moment, or helpful to others (exercise, conversation, self-study, etc), add it to Queue C.
    4. Otherwise, drop the item.
  4. For each item in Queue B, consider if it can be reduced, made more efficient, or replaced with a better alternative.
  5. Sort Queue C in order of decreasing value and efficiency.
  6. Pick an earlier time to start sleeping and a time to wake up.
  7. Arrange items left unprocessed in Queue A into the waking hours.
  8. Arrange items from Queue B as necessary into the waking hours.
  9. Add items from Queue C into the waking hours. Stay close to the start of the queue, only going further as necessary to avoid boredom or resource deficits.

I presented the algorithm here for time-management sorts of concerns. With some substitutions, it is a more general algorithm for minimalism.

For example, you could instead load to Queue A the list of all objects you own, sorted by decreasing size. Then add a clause "or makes tasks meaningfully more efficient" to step 3.3, and replace the matters of sleep and waking hours with matters of storage space. The rest of the algorithm runs essentially unchanged.