I've known about Shortcuts in a while but have never really found much use for it. But I saw the potential when they added the Automation feature; basically allowing Shortcuts to be triggered automatically when certain conditions are met. Combined with the new iOS 14 Bedtime mode, this opens a possibility for a set of actions to be run whenever I wake up.
How can I use this to help me wake up earlier?
On most days, using the phone alarm is the way to go. But on most days, it isn't enough. I needed something different. But I don't want something rude or too loud, and I know that something gentle won't do the job. What about something in-between? Something that can slowly onboard my being to embrace the morning? Maybe something stimulating?
I thought of what may be stimulating for me and I realize that a slow constant stream of information might do the trick similar to the experience of having someone to talk me out of sleep. And nothing is more human than the voice of our trusty assistant Siri, right?
With the new iOS 14 Automation for Shortcuts and Bedtime mode, I set a condition for whenever I 'Wake Up' to trigger Siri to do the following:
- Greet me good morning!
- Inform me on the current weather outside and the forecast for the day
- Remind me for the first agenda of the day
- Say a random quote of the day
- Tell me to charge my phone - if my battery is below 50%
- Wish me a nice day
And it would end with playing a random episode from my favourite podcast from Roman Mars. Here's a demo of how it all comes together:
There is an bug that prevents the automated Shortcut to run due to failure in fetching Weather data. This happens intermittently and it's annoying.
On the days that it runs, it works. I get up feeling slightly more awake than usual. And I do end up processing the information spoken by Siri. Sometimes, I would even let the podcast run and I would listen to it for a while.
But I sometimes find myself waking up too early. Not knowing what to do, I would decide to then go back to sleep. Sigh. I think this is the root problem, and one that I would need to solve some other time.