“Prepd” – Mutual accountability

~ 4 minute read.

It’s been close to three weeks since my busi­ness parter Flo­ri­an and I de­cid­ed we would send a “Prepd” mes­sage each night short­ly be­fore go­ing to bed.

“Prepd” means you pre­pared wak­ing up, aka, chose the clothes you want­ed to wear the next day and stacked them up to be ready when you wake up. But why pre­pare?

The first 15 days of this year I spent pow­er­ing through my bach­e­lor’s the­sis, 15 hours per day, no ex­cus­es, su­per con­sis­tent­ly. I pre­pared ev­ery morn­ing by stack­ing my clothes for the next day to­geth­er with a sec­ond alarm and my phone in the bath­room. This way I had to get up with my first alarm to turn off the sec­ond be­fore it would make up my neigh­bor­hood or my room­mate.

And no: My dead­line was on the 5th of Feb­ru­ary, not the 16th of Jan­u­ary. I will tell the sto­ry on why I did this in to­mor­rows blog post.

I al­ways knew I was a dif­fer­ent per­son in the morn­ing, yet for long I failed to re­al­ize that de­cid­ing for my­self to wake up in the morn­ing as who I was in the evening does not work. That’s like de­cid­ing for your friend that he will quit smok­ing de­spite him hav­ing no in­ten­tion to do so.

You need to force the ini­tal min­utes of wak­ing up in a way that you would even fol­low through with in your in­stinc­tu­al state. As far as nec­es­sary to get your ra­tio­nal self back in con­trol.

But isn’t my method over­do­ing it a bit? For me, no. Let me il­lus­trate this with a cou­ple of fun­ny but fright­en­ing be­hav­iours of my wak­ing up self:

Since many years, my alarm is in the cor­ner of the room op­posed to my bed. All that does is cause me to stand up ev­ery ten min­utes and go back to sleep for 2-4 hours [sic] un­til my alarm gives up or I do and turn it off to go back to sleep un­til noon.

Should I make it out of bed, take a cold show­er and have break­fast, it can hap­pen that if I see my bed and can’t re­sist on the more tired days, lie down again and eas­i­ly fall back to sleep.

Lack of mo­ti­va­tion for life? Hate my job? Miss­ing ful­fill­ment? Ab­so­lute­ly not by any means. The struc­ture (no com­pul­so­ry at­ten­dance and/or late lec­ture times) of Uni­ver­si­ty and my love of cod­ing that kept me awake far in­to the nights short­ly af­ter grad­u­at­ing at school made it a huge willpow­er chal­lenge to get up in the morn­ings. Fail­ing at it for four to five years built such a strong hab­bit that fight­ing it would be­come one of my big­gest strug­gles in life and the bat­tle I will be most proud of win­ning.

The mo­ment I breath in the fresh air with the first step out the door, I feel a surge of dopamine: I made it, it’s go­ing to be a great day.

Many thanks go out to Flo­ri­an, who al­so had dif­fi­cul­ties get­ting up and came up with this. With “Prepd”, pride is now con­nect­ed to pre­par­ing the morn­ing through mu­tu­al ac­count­abil­i­ty and I do it even if I don’t feel like and as­sume it’s not nec­es­sary.

Writ­ten in 45 min­utes.