- The Rock created a motivational alarm clock called ‘The Rock Clock’ as part of a larger initiative called ‘Project Rock.’
- I used it for five days to help me wake up an hour earlier.
- In the app, you can set a project, a deadline, and select the sounds you want to wake up to.
- After one week of use, I realized that motivation starts with me — and without that internal desire to reach a goal, external motivation won’t have the the same impact.
Waking up is hard to do.
Sometimes I wake up when I intend to, but lay in bed for an extra 10 to 15 minutes staring at the ceiling, debating the value of those extra minutes, and coercing myself into actually putting my feet on the (cold) floor. Usually this happens somewhere between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m. — even though I tell my phone to wake me around 7 a.m. Usually I end up rushing and not actually checking things off my morning to-do list.
Ultimately, though, the problem isn’t my inability to avoid the snooze button — it’s that I really just need some extra time in the morning to shower, eat, dress, and chill out for a minute before getting on the subway and heading into work.
I’ve tested numerous approaches to my morning routine with the hopes I’d find something that sparked some inspiration to become that person that wakes up at 6 a.m. I tried some of the more sudden/scary Apple alarm sounds — like the one that sounds like a truck backing up — and I’ve made my alarm upbeat songs I liked (that have since lost their previous happiness-inducing power). I’ve also tried setting the time for drastically earlier thinking my snoozes would then equal out to the time I actually want to get up (that trick never works).
So when someone at work told me the Rock had a motivational alarm clock — well, I just couldn’t resist giving it a shot.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is a wrestler-turned-actor who’s equal parts funny and intimidating.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his professional TV wrestling debut back in 1996 on the Survivor Series. Since then, he’s won the WWE heavyweight title six times, and has gone on to be one of the biggest action and comedy stars. As of this year he is the second highest-grossing actor in Hollywood — and according to Forbes, he’s currently worth $65 million.
Over 95 million people follow his workouts, projects, and puppies on Instagram.
He released the ‘Rock Clock’ app as part of ‘Project Rock,’ a partnership with Under Armour to inspire people to strive for more.
In 2015, the Rock announced a new partnership with Under Armour called “Project Rock” — which officially launched in 2016 — intended to “bring you innovative and bad ass products that inspire men, women and kids to stay hungry, humble and always be the hardest workers in the room.”
As part of this partnership, the brand aims to create inspiring products for audiences hoping to reach their goals — and these products are referred to as “projects.”
The alarm is project number two of four to be released — the first was a backpack, and the last two have yet to be announced.
I downloaded the the Rock Clock and set it up for the work week.
Rock Clock/Hannah Schaffer
When you first open the app it asks you to type in your goal or project and select an end date — so I wrote “Wake Up Earlier,” and set the deadline for the upcoming Friday. I set the alarm for 6:30 a.m.
The first morning got off to a slow start.
6:30 a.m. I opened my eyes up to The Rock singing to me:
“Good morning sunshine. Yeah, that’s what the Rock just said. Open your eyes up! Get your candy a– out of bed.”
However, it was still dark — and cloudy — which meant that while I was was kind ofalready awake, being sung to did not help me resist the urge to lie in bed. And because there isn’t a snooze button in the app, I cleverly set my regular alarm for 15 minutes later.
I got up around 6:45, and thought it might be fun to give one of the other alarm sounds the app offers a chance the next day — even though I do get a kick out of listening to Dwayne Johnson refer to me a “candy a–.”
Day two, however, was a huge success.
This morning I thought I heard the alarm go off at a really, really low volume. I was still half asleep, and pretty ticked, so turned the volume up and sat it back down on my side table, internally debating if I should get up for real.
It wasn’t until I opened my eyes and looked at my phone, contemplating setting the iPhone alarm clock for a later time that I realized it was only 6:26 a.m.— meaning the Rock Clock hadn’t gone off yet and I was purely imagining/dreaming in a slightly lucid state.
I guess I would consider that as the app having a lasting impact.
So, I got up, showered, and was dressed by the time I normally wake up. I even had time to make myself a solid breakfast quesadilla and coffee — and I couldn’t resist feeling proud.
Day three was jarring, but effective.
I realized that, despite the lack of a snooze button, I could set two alarms within the app — so I did. One was set for 6:30 a.m., and the other for 6:40 a.m.
But I woke up before the alarm again, so clearly I anticipated hearing the Rock sing to me. I let the first alarm go and started to doze off, but I picked one of the other tones for the second alarm called “Iron” — yes, it’s someone hammering metal repeatedly — which was so loud and unexpected I actually jumped out of bed when it went off. So I guess job accomplished.
On day four, I got in trouble with the Rock.
My morning notes for this day were very brief: “Lazy morning but got up.”
Clearly I was uninspired at the time. I think novelty of it was beginning to wear off, and it felt like just another alarm. I knew what to expect.
I woke up and got in the shower before 7 a.m. but when I got back to my room, I realized I hadn’t turned off the second alarm — and I had a ton of notifications from the app. I’m not sure if it actually went off, or if it just sends those notifications when you close out of it — but either way, just reading them made me feel a little guilty.
My fifth day was the best yet.
Friday I woke up with the first alarm and was so productive, not rushed, and on time that I honestly couldn’t believe it. I washed the dishes, took out all of the garbage and recycling, got my lunch together, and walked to the cafe around the corner for a coffee — and walked back to my apartment again before getting on the train. I even had a minute to sit at the cafe and write out my to-do list for the day.
It was a great morning before I had even been awake for three hours. Mission accomplished!
One week later, I’m still using it.
Rock Clock/Project Rock
While the app is helpful, it hasn’t completely changed my life.
All the Rock Clocks in the world won’t be helpful if you don’t have a tangible, specific goal in mind.
The Rock Clock is just an alarm clock unless you actively decide to use it as a goal tracker. A lot of waking up earlier is personal desire to wake up earlier, and my half-hearted attempts to pull myself away from sleep have more to do with a struggle to remind myself WHY I am waking up earlier. Had my goal been tied to something a bit more tangible — like waking up early to make breakfast at home, write, or exercise — the Rock Clock would have been more motivational.
The app itself could use some iterating.
The app is fun and it’s funny — but it could be stellar. You have to keep it open all night and put your phone on sleep mode to work, which is somewhat frustrating, and the “Daily Motivational Quote” stays the same all week. It does not change.
And while it definitely helped me wake up — I woke up anticipating it — it mostly served the purpose of being something unusual and different to jumpstart the day.
But I’m still using it.
One week later, I’ve both used and skipped it. Sometimes it offers a nice alternative to the sound I usually hear coming out of my phone in the morning. And if I decide that I want to wake up early for a specific reason — I’ll have it at the ready.