Thursday, September 27, 2012

Polyphasic sleep journal #4 - disruption & deep thoughts

We interrupt this Everyman 2 sleep project to bring you unavoidable business travel and mistimed discussions.

Business travel jacks up Everyman 2

I just did a 2 day trip to San Diego.  In making it a low cost trip of 2 days duration versus higher cost and longer duration, the schedule included awkward hours.  My shuttle trip to the Portland airport began at 2am.  Waking was relatively easy given that 4am was kinda normal, and I exercised the good discipline to NOT have coffee until much later so help me sleep on the shuttle and on the first flight.  However, my 11am nap and 4pm nap were wrecked and my trip home included a delated flight (...and missed shuttle, and unplanned overnight in Portland).  Basically my sleep was wrecked for a few days.
Lesson: pay more and travel during normal human hours, and make the semi-uncomfortable declarations (where you can), that you're simply unavailable during nap times.  I wouldn't do this with clients but could do it with my business partner.
Your rest pattern, and the inertia of maintaining it, is an asset.  Don't squander it by conforming when you don't truly have to.

Deep thoughts interrupt sleep

See the arrow?  That's where my wife and I started discussion Thanksgiving and Christmas, raising our children and other heady, heavy issues.  In the context of sleep time, this is also known as 'not sleeping'.
Lesson: Plan time for this so it doesn't land at bedtime.
Protect bedtime.  This often looks like making explicit time for other things.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Polyphasic sleep journal #4 - sleep discipline

Lessons for the day:

Go to bed on time.  This concept - polyphasic sleeping - does not come without costs, and one cost is basic discipline.  That's not really a downside, and its the commonest required discipline among the worthy rewards in the world, but it's unforgiving.  Sorry, that's a little dramatic.  Here's the data.

I went to bed (sleep anyway) at 12:24 (accuracy courtesy Sleep Cycle app on my iPhone), normally this has been 10:00pm.  I pushed my wake time from 4:00 am to 5:00 to partially compensate.  I was thinking this was within the reasonable latitude afforded by the relatively less aggressive Everyman 2 method.  Bzzz.  I pushed it too far and blew past my 5am alarm and woke at 7:10, in a start.  Not an auspicious start to the day.

Weekends.  By the way, my normal sleep in on Saturday protocol (as much as you can with eager kids) is no more.  Same schedule every day.  That means the days that start with S are still early days.

Observe.  Looking at my chart, my body was ready to wake at 3am.  I noticed that the other day I awoke naturally at 2:30am but chose to return to sleep until my scheduled 4am time.  So, while I biffed it last night going to bed late, perhaps I'm planning too much regular sleep.  Not sure about this yet.

Communicate.  I stayed up late last night because my sons had a sleepover at a friends house and had a date with my wife.  We stayed up late for kicks but now I pay the price.  I should have more clearly communicated my need to go to sleep with  my wife early on, instead of waiting until 10:00pm last night and making up reasons why it was ok to stay up later.  I could have shared the discipline burden a bit without making her my sleep police.

Coffee shop WiFi review - WEBbeams

Annoying.  The problem with WEBbeams, to be fair, is only secondarily the fair gripes about undefined speed and a timer that distracts.  (Really, a timer?  Every computer has a clock in the corner.)

No communication

The problem is that there's no communication to the user to let me know what kind of system I am walking into.  Why isn't there a countertop card that says: "Using WiFi?  We use WEBBeams - 2 hours free and premium speed available."  That way I know.  Instead, I turn on my trusty mac that connects easily 99% of the time and I think my web is failing.  Yeah, I know it's a tiny bit of a cheap shot to go after WEBbeams for this but hey, impressions count and it doesn't look like they've addressed this.  Maybe no one has, but my regular shop has a better option for handling WiFi.

Low tech

What is it?  People and culture.  I mean handle it with people, with human interaction.  My regular shop is so friendly and personal, does not have a rotating door for teenage employees that spend their time texting.  Instead, it's open and inviting IMO, everyone wants to contribute back (buy coffee and stuff) when they are there using the WiFi, because they are there for the ambiance and people, not just the coffee and wifi.  I've never sat there and not paid for anything long enough to find out how long they'd let me, but I also don't think anyone has.

WiFi squatting happens differently in different places and my shop might essentially just not have this problem due to its location, but I stand by my argument for a non-technological solution (people).


One way to nail it is the simple Because Barnes and Noble/Starbucks model, which shows it can be done by big companies.  In Thousand Oaks CA recently, I was working at the Barnes and Noble there in the Starbucks cafe.  Busy place.  When I'd been there a while, the man who worked there (who has for years) asked me politely if he could get me something from the cafe.  When I said no thanks, he politely reminded me that the cafe tables were for customers only to let me know if there was anything he could get me later.  I don't remember his words exactly, but he nailed it.  Polite, efficient.  I bought something asap, happily, and remarked at his method.  I'm not sure if it was his method or if it was Barnes and Noble or Starbucks standard operating procedure (never had this experience at another Starbucks) , but it was good.

So, sorry WEBBeams - requiring me to go through the annoying (but commonish) terms of service page and reminding me (right away, before going online) that there's a 2 hour limit... annoying.

Coffee Bean has the 2 hour limit also, but it worked more easily and didn't get in my face with a paid option.  Hey - I paid for the coffee and stuff, why pitch me on faster web.  Just give it to me and you'll see me come back, a lot.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Polyphasic Sleep Journal #3 - What You'll Need

Polyphasic Sleep Journal #3

Things that you will need for polyphasic sleep (that you didn't think of):

While these observations may not apply to everyone, they are things I found useful and they also point to the practice of thinking broadly about a change. This is meant to be both practically useful and thought-provoking.
Have your clothes out the night before – when you take your showers at night or in the morning, have your clothes ready in advance. I know this may be easier for some than others, but even if the clothes that you have ready are only for your "extra" morning phase, and you put your real clothes on later save yourself the time of rifling through your closet in a dark fog. To extend Ben Franklins famous statement, I'll add that a minute saved is a minute created.  Granted, this is only true when saving a minute can be done without haste, but that applies here. I have found that having my clothes out the night before not only saves me time in the morning but it is a signal and reminder to myself and the world that I'm doing things in advance (moving the action upstream) and those are vitally important to me. 
Have a flashlight handy – I use a yellow Eveready model, because it has a broad top and is easy to balance on a table surface without rolling away. Also, the fact that it sits up vertically makes it seem more like something that is waiting for me on purpose like a tool, as opposed to just yet another thing laying on the table. 
Have slip on shoes available – in my polyphasic sleep scenario, I have chosen to go to bed at a regular time and to wake up exceptionally early. This means that I'm walking around the house in the wee hours when my wife and kids are asleep. I'm a "shoe person" that wears shoes pretty much always, even in the house. This is mostly personal preference but as a 40-year-old (is that the reason?) I find that standing barefoot or in sock feet on hard surfaces or for extended periods (I work standing up)... hurts.   so, walking around the house wearing shoes on hardwood floors, and up and down steps is fairly obnoxious. I wear slip on shoes with soles. So when I walk around the house are up and downstairs I slip them off and walk in my socks but when I stand to make my breakfast or work, they are on. 
Have a book ready – I'm currently reading the Monk who sold his Ferrari. A gift from a friend that is very focused on self-improvement. I'm not a very fast reader, and typically make virtually zero time for books other than nonfiction business books, but having time to read alone in the morning has been awesome. Guilt free, because I'm working within time that I literally "made" for myself with my foray into the Everyman 2 sleep project. 
Dirty Dishes – As business owners and parents, and with my wife homeschooling our kids, we don't get a lot of time together and my wife has been tired and frustrated on some days that are particularly trying (you know what I mean, parents). So last night we got pizza and watched a show on TV as a family indulgence and together time. Everybody was tired so we went to bed without cleaning up the kitchen. As it turns I don't mind doing the dishes so much when I'm in the morning zone and I can do it alone and peacefully.  While I didn't plan this in advance, I know that as I type this at 5:24am, that my wife will be very pleasantly surprised when she awakens to a clean kitchen.  Win.
To make this one clearer, the way that I'm actually making this happen is that I'm simply going to be aware that I have this time and I will leverage it, sometimes, to facilitate being spontaneous the prior our next day, or to do something nice for somebody else. Or maybe to write a blog post when I haven't for a long time. 

If you're not sure what polyphasic sleep or Every man 2 is, check out my page on trying Everyman 2.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How do you change when you've tried it all?

Audacious goals, I'm thinking.  

I have the same goal types that everyone does:
(The rest are really only subtypes of the above... yes?)

So here I am in lateish November with a few abandoned projects on this blog.  My 30 day plan to get organized with Toodledo crashed.  I've since started using another tool, but abandoned it also, tentatively, if you can abandon tentatively.

So, now what?

I set some bigass goals.

Now what?  All I have to do is keep them.  What that really means is somehow avoiding the seemingly inevitable pitfalls that have beset progress in the past.  How do you really make it different this time?