You start to lose track of days when you are trying polyphasic sleeping. Remember when I was talking about all of the social norms you’re up against when trying non circadian sleeping habits? Well, they’re a lot more pervasive than I thought.
I think I finally got into a groove, but I’m not sure how I can hold this up for very much longer. Here are some initial thoughts about the experiment in alternative sleeping styles:
I’m not a recluse (okay, sometimes I am). But it’s REALLY nice to be able to be awake or alone and focused on your stuff with no distractions from other people. I only wish that this was during the day. Most of the time that I am distraction free, it’s late at night when everyone else is sleeping. Night isn’t conducive to work. At least, not creative work, I’ve found. Try listening to tunes while you’re awake and no one else is awake — Trance and Bollywood dance remixes always wake you up and help you have a nice steady cadence.
Optimal sleeping time is about 24 minutes. If you go past about that long, you’re essentially screwed. You will absolutely not wake up. Don’t even try.
Invest in two helpful devices, a yoga eye pillow, and get one of those eye masks that strap to your face that they give out in business class at most airlines. Use the eye mask when you have to take a nap sitting up, the yoga pillow is really nice when you can lie down.
You will probably lose track of days. Which could be terrible depending on what your job is.
This one is particularly insidious because you don’t really notice it at first: I feel much less creative and more groggy. I guess that doesn’t work so well for our profession. Rats.
I fell asleep while doing work / chatting with Jeff last night. Sorry Jeff! He reminded me of the story of Max Levchin of Paypal fame from Founders at Work. See, I’m committed, dangit.
Probably the worst part of all of it is that it ruins your ability to exert physical effort. I lost almost all concentration at Bikram Yoga for about 2 days in a row. I think this might be the reason I give up the experiment.
I’ll update you again if I continue with this experiment.
This is embarrassing, but I have to admit a remarkably cheesy thing about myself.
When you’re working on a somewhat crazy, new to the world idea, and your primary intention is to “make meaning” and to improve people’s lives, people doubt you a lot. “Why would I use that? That doesn’t make sense to me… Well, isn’t this just like Facebook? Or is this like Twitter or something? It’s never going to work. Why don’t you just go find a job?”
I call these people the “love-to-haters” or LTHs. If you’re an LTH, have fun working on someone else’s idea for the rest of your life, if you can hang on to it, that is. I sincerely hope that the idea you align yourself with truly matters and enriches people’s lives and yours. Most of the time, I am emboldened by these LTHs and try hard to explore ways that they could use Bettr@, but sometimes the aggravation they cause and the perverse impact on my psyche is just too high. So sue me, I get emotional.
OK, now on to the embarrassing confession. Sometimes when I get ground down by the LTHs, I have to watch my favoritest scene from my favoritest movie of all time, Gattaca. The music score, if you like it, is by Michael Nyman. Listen to the song “The Other Side”. Gives me chills everytime I listen to it or watch the scene and I feel like getting “back on the saddle”.
Sorry Ya’ll. I’ve been watching my repeat customers on my blog go down over the past few weeks as my posts have been less frequent. No excuse, I know, but I have been super busy with work (I’m taking 5 ID classes, including 3 workshops, and one B-school class, international business)
I thought I’d at least let friends and acquaintances know what I’ve been toiling on lately:
Design Synthesis: Continued work on making the new harvest of prefab modernist dwellings more appealing to potential homebuyers by creating new conceptual directions.
Advanced Design Planning: Energy independence. We’re crafting an innovation agenda for the next POTUS that will be published in the October issue of Esquire
Design Entrepreneur workshop: Can’t share much here, but I’m pretty happy with the way things are going. I’m realizing how making the concept a platform (rather than just a standalone product) makes it so much stronger– but just how hard that is to do when you’re doing it on your own without the resources that a large company might have.
Prototyping workshop: New Options Initiative. Defining what a venture/incubator model might look like for out of school youth who are creative, talented, and are capable of contributing to the creation of wholly new enterprises
Social Human Factors: Observe through a social HF lens, Vella Cafe, a coffee shop under the Western blue line subway stop, and report about it on a weekly basis
Strategic Design Research: Emerging Markets/BOP. Establishing a framework for success in emerging market entry for companies. How do companies work with NGOs and foreign governments to create an ecosystem of development and collaboration? We’ll try to figure it out in a workshop that will take place on May 1st and 2nd.
International Business: My 1 obligatory B-school class this semester. Calculating trade-gains and forex rates. Yikes, what did I get myself into?
The other stuff that I’m inextricably tied to:
- the design research conference content committee– Finding speakers and workshop facilitators, defining the theme for next year’s conference.
Because I have too much going on, I had to drop Jeremy Alexis’ Problem Framing (I’ll take it next year). Sadly, I’ve also stepped down as organizer of the Chicago Futurist Meetup. It’s entirely possible that I could pick this up again if I have more time this summer.
As a heads up to ID folks, I am giving a lecturette on blogging at the Institute of Design on Thursday. I will be covering the basics of setting up a blog, why people should (maybe) blog, and Vince LaConte will be talking about wikis. And I might throw in a few other random tidbits. So, if you’re around, come. And eat the free food.