Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I Learned in that Seemingly Meaningless Job - Get Outa Bed!

I've held plenty of positions at jobs that I knew were not going to be my career. Let's recap:

Starbucks Barista
Paper Boy

In all of these, as well as others, I've loved and loathed certain elements of the job. The commute, the working conditions, the boss, the heat, the cold. But I've also tried to learn something from each as well. As I see it, if you don't learn from the experiences you've had, the job was a waste of your time.

I was thinking about the concept of life lessons this morning. I woke up around 6am, and rather than throw my phone and curl back up in my warm bed, I actually got out of bed. I showered, shaved, dressed leisurely, and even had time to read a book and get some work done on this blog. All before I got to my 8am meeting.

As I was doing this, I realized that I am able to get up at ridiculous hours because of my exhausting stint at Starbucks. As an opener, I was generally at work by 4:30am, half consciously cranking out lattes and quaffing espresso like shots of whiskey. Not an advisable method of existence for any prolonged period of time, but during that time in my life, my productivity was through the roof!

The take away is this:

Get up early, produce your craft, whether it be knitting or music, and start your day feeling as if you accomplished something!

My friend Brian and I often discuss the benefits of working early in the morning. He once said something to the affect of,

"The best things are accomplished before the day starts. It's those who get up early or stay up late who make things happen."

I may have butchered my wise friends sentiments, but you get the gist.

Practicing Preachers

So this is all fine and dandy, but how do you convince yourself of this when it is 6am and you are faced with the Bed vs. Brain dilemma?

I tried writing a note on my phone. It read,

"Get up. Go for a run. Eat breakfast. Do laundry. Read. Blog. Podcast. DO SOMETHING!"

That has worked about a third of the time.

I've taken advice from the guys at Radiolab and attempted to combat the immediate gratification of going back to sleep. My half conscious brain rages,

"You'll feel so good if you get up and accomplish something!"

"You've need to get a blog posted today."

"Work out, lazy ass."

This has also had a limited affect. Jad and Robert, in an episode entitled "Help!" argue that you have to replace your weakness with an immediate gratification. Something that will be so jarring that it will overwhelm your desire to play it safe.

"If you don't get up, RIGHT NOW, I (you) will give $100 to the next drunk hobo you see!"

Nothing against drunk hobos, but I don't have a hundred bucks to throw around like that. I'll try it tomorrow and let you know how it works.

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