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How I get myself out of bed

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal

Hey friends,

One of my main struggles in life is getting up in the morning. It's easy enough on work days, because I know that I have to be out of the house by 6:50am or I'll be late for work and that would be bad.

But on days off, where I've got a tonne of things planned (filming videos, preparing for physiology supervisions, meeting friends etc), it's too easy to hit the snooze button.

Recently, I've started to tell myself a different story about this.

I tell myself "You can go back to bed, but only once you've had a shower". That thought gets me out of bed and into the shower, and of course, once I've actually had a shower and sang some Lewis Capaldi, I'm wide awake and ready to start the day.

This is similar to the classic "5 minutes" productivity hack.  To combat procrastination from a task, we tell ourselves that we're just going to do it for 5 minutes. Of course, once we've started, we tend to be able to continue, but the lie of "I just have to do this for 5 minutes" helps us overcome the activation energy needed to start doing the thing.

Have a great week!

Ali


This week on Not Overthinking

Not Overthinking is the weekly podcast hosted by me and my brother. If you enjoy these emails, you’ll hopefully like that too. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Castro (my favourite podcast app) or any other podcast app - just search for ‘Not Overthinking’.

Does travel really broaden our horizons? | Not Overthinking

In this episode (recorded on a car journey, sorry for the audio quality), we discuss the extent to which travelling, and living in different countries for extended time periods, actually broadens our horizons. Our guest Suhail talks about his experiences moving to the UK from Pakistan, and then Suhail and Taimur discuss the ways in which living in the USA has (or hasn't) broadened their own life perspectives.

My Favourite Things this week

1 - Audiobook - Last night, I finished listening to book #4 of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan on Audible. Naturally, it didn't disappoint, and I immediately moved on to book #5.

2 - Podcast - I really enjoyed this episode of the Tim Ferriss show, which was a solo recording of Jocko (ex Navy Seal) answering a tonne of questions. Some pretty good life insights as usual, and I've also now subscribed to Jocko's own podcast, along with his podcast aimed at kids. I'll report back to let you know how they are :)

3 - Article - Earlier today, I read this excellent article from Harvard Business Review called How Will You Measure Your Life?. One line that resonated - "People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness".

Kindle Highlight of the Week

But don’t forget, it’s basically impossible to not get hurt in your relations with other people. When you enter into interpersonal relationships, it is inevitable that to a greater or lesser extent you will get hurt, and you will hurt someone, too. Adler says, ‘To get rid of one’s problems, all one can do is live in the universe all alone.’ But one can’t do such a thing.

From The Courage to be Disliked. Resurfaced via Readwise.

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Ali Abdaal

Junior doctor, YouTuber, web designer, aspiring musician. Trying out this blogging thing.