"every day, getting out of bed is one of the hardest things I do"
"Every night, when I crawl into bed, I’m exhausted by all I’ve done that day."
Your body may be telling you that you need seven hours of sleep. Or eight.
How would your life change if you went to sleep an hour earlier, but you woke up feeling good?
I do get what you're doing here. By making an external commitment to people, you simultaneously get up on time to meet your commitment, feel better about meeting it, and get a little exercise. And $35 a week can pay for a round trip ticket to Hawaii at the end of the year.
EDIT: OK, a lot of people talking about that below.
I still haven't started using a CPAP machine, as I have developed other coping methods (sleeping on one side helps dramatically). I have considered doing another sleep study though, to get some more information and start with a CPAP machine for backup.
Then you go back to your doctor, discuss your need for a CPAP or APAP machine right now, and possible longer-term treatments.
Depending on insurance specifics, it may be much cheaper to buy a CPAP from an online source than via a full-service insurance-covered medical equipment company. Saving 50-75% is not unusual.
I was diagnosed with sleep apnea at around 20, which is rare for a young, healthy person. In my case I think it's just genetic because my dad has it. But I figured out something was wrong because I would sleep 10-12 hours and still wake up feeling exhausted. I wore the CPAP machine for a few years and that helped, but now I don't think I need it anymore. I sleep about 7 hours without it and feel fine.
She told me to take a sock, put a tennis ball in it, safety pin it to the back of a t-shirt, and sleep in that.
But a lot of times you'll get scheduled for a clinic anyway...
After about a month, I merely felt normal, averaging about 7 hours of sleep a night.
- wake up after ~6.5 hrs of sleep, use the bathroom, grab something quick to eat and drink a pint of water
- go to sleep again and wake up after ~7.5 hours
It's a hard one to do, and sometimes I can't fall back asleep after the first waking up, but when it works I feel pretty amazing.
Don't ask how I discovered this, I'm not sure myself.
A couple of years ago I was driving back to my office and a difficult programming problem which I had been avoiding. It was early fall and the weather was beautiful. On the way, I passed a field of Chile peppers and a crew was gathering to pick. It looked like so much fun to be out picking chile peppers in the sunshine instead of sitting in front of a screen in my dark office. So, on a whim, I stopped and asked the boss if I could get a job picking peppers for the day. He almost fell over in surprise but said yes, I could on Saturday which was the next day.
So, early the next morning I got up all excited and went out to the field. One of the underbosses gave me a bucket and explained in broken English how the system worked. I was paid 55 cents for each bucket of peppers and I was to leave no peppers unpicked. Ok, no problem. I was assigned a row and off I went. After about half an hour I realized my error of judgement. It was really hard work and not nearly as romantic as it looked. To make matters worse, everyone was way ahead of me and had to keep coming over to my row to help me stay up.
But I wasn't about to quit and get laughed at. So I stuck the day out and make like $40. I then went home and slept for a day and a half and could barely walk. I don't know what the point is. But this was a good article. More people should do stuff like this.
The first one was while I was working for the federal government. I commuted one hour each way and after spending two years in a mid-sized bedroom community I still had no friends where I lived. I got a job at a local coffee shop filling in where needed which was usually either opening up from 6 to 8A.M. or closing up from 6-10P.M.
I immediately got to know a lot of locals from the college students and young people who worked alongside me to the professionals who came in earl to the stay-at-home moms and dads that came in mid-afternoon.
I learned how to make a great espresso made some spending money and a bunch of friends. It was a great experience.
The second job was while working remotely as a developer in a tiny rural town. I took a job as a fitness instructor at a local studio and, again, met a lot of people I wouldn't have otherwise and got to make a real personal impact on many people's lives helping them get fit and stay healthy.
The author does a great job summarizing the benefits of this kind of job. There's so much more than money that can add tremendous value to your life.
Thing is, no matter how much satisfaction I get from a problem solved, elegant or just effective code written, etc - it isn't quite the same thing as when I could look back at a yard/park/complex etc at the end of the day and say "Yep, that looks good. I did that." Something that not only I could appreciate, but everyone driving by would notice on some level.
I'd not want to go back to that full-time. Intellectually my work now is far more satisfying (mentally designing algorithms while walking behind a bobcat tends to result in both poor algorithms and a poorly cut lawn). And it's easy to forget the long days, paychecks at the mercy of the weather, being constantly sore and always finding dirt and the damndest of places...
But I am thinking about finding some part-time work in landscaping this year for just that reason. I enjoyed it, I was reasonably good at it, and it felt good to be doing. With my hands.
I worked retail as a teenager, and the managers would give more hours to an older employee because she needed them (I was told this explicitly). I was fine with it at the time, because yeah, I was still mostly living on my parents' dime. Working in a corporate setting now, if I was told someone else at my company was getting a big raise only because they just had another kid or bought a new house, and not due to the quality of his or her work, I'm not sure how I would feel. I guess it just breaks down to whether you think like a capitalist or a communist.
* If OP doesn't do this, then he's a spoiled and far-removed brat who has no idea what it's like to be a real person working a normal job.
* If OP takes on a small and humbling side job, then he's obnoxious and selfish for taking away this job from someone who needs it.
* If OP volunteers for this job, then he's self-righteous and still selfish for taking away someone's job just so he can feel good and wake up early. Doesn't he know some people have no choice but to wake up at 5am and work all day to feed their family?!
Really, this issue isn't specific only to tech circles. You can get used to your own surroundings in any job and forget that a wider world exists.
It is extremely important to stay grounded so that you don't lose touch with the world around you. I think this guy's approach is admirable, though perhaps he should be getting more sleep.
Having a hobby that is not associated with tech is the most typical route people take, but getting paid to do something different is a great idea.
Is it wrong of me to mow my own yard? Is it wrong of me to not eat out every day? Is it wrong of me to check the selection at the local Goodwill before buying clothes new? Is it wrong of me to not donate what I earn above the median to charity (or alternately, to not spend that amount on buying frivolous-to-me low-skill things)?
"Doing this lowly job [that you've done for years] has really given me a greater understanding for all the little people [like you]"
For every job out there, there are [x] people more qualified and more desperate for it.
When the only way for you to disconnect from the work environment and get in contact with the bigger outer world is to get another job and connect to another work environment, something is definitely wrong with you! When you need commitments to other people, like a morning job, to wake up, you have an even bigger problem.
People need to learn to self-motivate and expand their world outside of work!
Almost every day--like clockwork--I got up slightly late, threw on some clothes, and went out with my bike. Half-asleep, cold, and worried about missing the ferry, I pedaled my heart out through Seattle's hilly downtown streets and past morning-rush buses.
It sounds miserable. But y'know what... By the time I reached the ferry--usually with only a few minutes to spare--I felt awake, full of energy, and ready to take on the day. As someone who's usually slow and tired in the mornings, this was an immensely refreshing feeling.
(To say nothing of the commute back, biking up a series of brutal, steep-grade hills...)
While I never lived there myself, back when my parents were newlyweds my dad transferred when he was working (for NASSCO I think) up to Washington and my parents lived there for about 5 years and my dad worked as a welder in the shipyards (my two older sisters were born there before my parents moved back down to Southern California...my mom couldn't take the cold :-).
Low paying: check
Early morning: check
Exertion requiring: check
Not that it's not extremely worth it of course.
Each one of his "issues" for me, are helped by kids.
They "help" me get up early, they keep me grounded and my tech-world concerns mean nothing to them.
Being woken up at 7am and getting that daily dose of smiles is exactly the same if not better!
As someone who works out regularly but never cycles, this seems difficult to believe. Surely the cardiovascular benefits outweigh any negatives from "muscle shortening" (first I've heard of this) compared to no activity.
Unless your point is "some types of exercise are better than cycling" in which case, sure.
Fact - cycling creates short leg muscles, hamstrings in particular. For those of us who have tight hamstrings, which is most males (according to my subjective, biased observations), this is not good. Creates back problems later on.
I agree that some cycling is better than no activity. But I would say that going to a hooker every night is also better for you health wise than staying in and watching tv, as long as you wear at least 2 condoms.
Keep it up champ!
I am not saying it is worthless but some people praise this as the second coming of Sparta its legion training sets.
A complete full circle to the point now where to gain an authentic real world experience means to step outside of the echo chamber to do real work just to feel something real.
When they spoke of hipsters in 2001 this... this is it.
While it seems to me that the 'ideal' (hugely qualified and highly subjective, that word) answer is to practice that self-control (and with that, go through the ups and downs of succeeding and failing at exercising it), the solution that Jesse has found is effective and doesn't have too much overhead. I like it.
She was selected as Carrier of the Month one time and was asked to answer the following questions so that she could be profiled in the paper:
What do you want to be when you get older?
What to you use the money for that you earn delivering the newspaper?
What are your favourite hobbies?
What is your favourite subject at school?
I only remember her answer to the first question, "wiser."
I have to wake up at 4am and I'm done for the day at noon. It's been a week so far and I'm loving it!
I wake up, put on some Nujabes and make myself a cup of coffee. Then get to work (I work from home). It's magnificent! By the time I have to pick up my son from school at noon, I'm done for the day with the entire afternoon free to me.
I'm going to have trouble switching back to a regular 9-to-5. Waking up early is almost pure pro's and minimal con's.
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTH7XefE85A
Or maybe, in a funny way, a member-owned co-op is a lot like open source, more than anything else. People who are there, are there because they choose to be. Maybe that's the most important thing that informs the different sort of interaction. We assume unhealthy things about people who do not choose to be serving us.
Or maybe that's not the take-home. I'm still thinking on it :)
I would like to try this at some point. But I don't how I would start finding a job like that without contacts. Any insight on that from the OP would be great.
Out of curiosity, how do you handle conflicts?
Like, say you have an important customer who wants to meet in the morning, or things have fallen behind and DEAR GOD I NEED THOSE HOURS TO MAKE IT WORK?
I'd assume lots of get-things-done-in-advance so things don't get to that stage, but if that fails and it becomes one-or-the-other, how do you handle it?
The couple times that I have had to back out, I either got my roommate (and co-founder) to take my spot or my employers have been understanding.
I believe each person has to find what works for them in terms of getting a healthy amount of exercise. For some that involves a gym membership, fitness classes or team sports.
Myself, I mostly run and enjoy training for a marathon once or twice a year. I am thankful that I usually do not have to start work before 9 AM, which usually allows me to get a morning workout in without waking at a ridiculously early time.
I find this energizes me for the rest of day, provided I did not stay up past midnight the night before and also gives me some alone time to think about anything: Work, problems, or just plain day-dreaming.
Some people hate running for a variety of reasons and I can understand that. You're much less likely to stick with an exercise routine if it feels like yet another chore in life's long list of chores. Experiment and find some activity you can do regularly that offers more than just physical benefits.
I totally agree with you, it's absolutely a great thing if you can find an exercise method that you enjoy for more than its benefits. [I personally think bicycling is tons of fun, and wish I could bicycle-commute to work, but it depends a lot on the specific context of your job as to whether that's practical...]
However I do find that I've had pretty good success with simply being pig-headed: I just force myself to go to the gym, no matter how tired I am after a day's work, no matter how much I just want to grab a bite and veg out, no matter how nasty the weather.
It really helps that I know from long experience that I'll feel absolutely great after I'm done with a session, no matter how tired I was to begin with. It's like the "chore" aspect, while very palpable at the start, is merely an illusion that I have to will myself past...
[Or maybe I'm just nuts. :]
People are commenting that this steals a job from someone more deserving but it's not a zero sum game. By keeping his sanity through his personal way of staying grounded, he can spend more energy on his startup which very will might result in more jobs being created. This increases the benefits to the world more than letting someone else deliver bagels.
I think it says a lot about your character that you want to try to maintain being a real person rather than another startup founder with his head in the clouds.
As someone who would love to work from home / run a business again someday you've given me an idea on how to instill a little structure. I struggled with it when running my own company before.
I know that, like the article, if I have a reason to get up, it makes it so much easier for me!
Defiantly a tactic i'll employ if one of my ideas starts taking off!
So ... I still have to go?
Get 8 hours of sleep. No exceptions.
If this works for you, and makes you more effective for your company, awesome!
Have you given any thought to the long term effects of sleep will be for you?