A hodgepodge post: Gap year sources, Fast Company links, a worksheet

My brain is too fried from counting Excel cells to write an essay right now. Instead, I have a motley mix of things to cover today.

First, I’m writing a column about young people who take a gap year between high school and college. I need to talk to some people who’ve done this. If you took a gap year, or know a young person who did and would be willing to be interviewed about it, I welcome referrals. As always, I can be reached at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.

Second, I have a few links to some recent Fast Company pieces: “Yes, you do have time to mentor — here’s how to make the most of it,” with advice from Laurie Glimcher, dean of the Weill Cornell Medical College, and also “5 things your favorite high school teacher taught you about leading a great meeting.

Third, James Chartrand of Damn Fine Words produced a (free) worksheet on how to make time to write, based on a phone interview the two of us did. Click on this link for the worksheet. There’s a link to the interview in there too. And since James is a much better marketing copywriter than I am, I’ll just include Chartrand’s description:

  • How to find time to write when your schedule is so packed, it’s spilling over
  • Do people really have all the time they need to do the things they love?
  • The tricks Laura uses to find time to balance life and write her own books
  • The best (and worst!) times of the day to write and be creative
  • Laura’s top technique to get work you hate out of the way fast
  • Tricks to shave hours off your week so you can free up time to write
  • Whether Laura ever hates her own schedule – and what she does about it
  • Valuable insider secrets you can use to create the time you need… like magic!
  • Time challenges you’ll face while writing, and what to do about them.

Whew! I want my own advice! 🙂

And today’s final item: I got up at 6 a.m. again today, so that’s three days in a row. I’m continuing to make progress. One thing I will say is that it’s not that easy to get to sleep around 10:30/11. Not so much because I’m doing other things, but because I’m not that tired. Body clocks don’t change that easily, and I know that I’m not a natural morning person. If I don’t get to sleep by 11 I definitely will be tired at 6, and the day will not go as well as I want. It’s definitely taking me longer to drift off than if I went to bed around midnight. Has anyone else found this with a shifted schedule?

10 thoughts on “A hodgepodge post: Gap year sources, Fast Company links, a worksheet

  1. I find that every year it seems a little harder to adapt to the time changes. It’s been 10 days now and I still feel startled and reluctant when 6am rolls around.

  2. I had a gap 8 months due to switching from the northern hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere school year. Not that I did anything particularly exciting with my time – I worked full time in a supermarket and bookstore (I used the money to travel during university breaks to Vietnam & New Zealand)

    It’s more common here in NZ to head off overseas after university and working for a few years. About 90% of the engineering grads I worked with in my first consulting job worked for 2 to 3 years to save money and then went off to do a ski season in the US or Europe and then worked in UK or Ireland for a few years before coming back to NZ or Australia. Quite a few have ended up back at the original consulting company too. It’s such a big part of the culture here – far more than Australia.

  3. I don’t have that problem. I can pretty much go to sleep whenever. However I suspect this is due to chronic sleep deprivation than some God given talent. Try focusing and counting your breaths. I find that helps me when I toss and turn.

  4. I have had issues shifting gears. I slept at about midnight and woke up (after many alarms set apart at 15 minutes from 05 am onwards) to be up at 06 am. The good part about it was that we have a loft bedroom and once I get down from it I feel too lazy to climb back upstairs. I started work at 06:30 (after attending to morning calls and coffee) and worked for an hour. I’m using Pomodoro to manage my work. But today was better than the last two days.

    1. I use Pomodoro also — the technique is easy and it can be used on any area of my business. It would be helpful in my personal life it it were applied.

  5. I read somewhere that if you fall asleep instantly or <5 min it's because you're not getting enough sleep. Apparently when you're well-rested it can take up to 20-25 min to fall asleep and that's perfectly normal. I try to remember than when I'm lying there wondering why I'm STILL awake (though in my case, it's usually because of some caffeinated drink too late in the day).

    1. @ARC – it is nice to drift off to sleep when you’re not worried about it (i.e. watching the dwindling number of hours between now and when you need to get up). Also nice to drift awake when possible! I’m still trying to figure out exactly how much sleep I need.

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