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.