When your timing is off, do this!

When your timing is off, you have to do the three things I recommend below… you will skate off into a world of connectivity if you do.

Do you ever get days or weeks where your timing is off?

It is nothing more than a fraction off, but it feels like you are just behind on everything by a second or two. 

Conversations feel like they are running a little ahead of you. You are left standing at the side, waiting for the opportunity to jump in like you would at a playground roundabout when you were a kid. Patiently waiting, nodding from left to right and watching the wheel of conversation spin around past you again and again. Things feel even more off as you seem to stumble up the top step that little more frequently or drop items just a little more often, or in my case, drop them, pick them up only to drop them again. There is no fun in that one little bit. The seconds it takes to pick something up again, after dropping it before, feels like the most enormous waste of time and energy – at that moment.

I know the root cause of being off on my timing. It is caused by the lack of sleep due to almost pulling an all-nighter so that I could stay up and watch the England and Italy game in the Euro Cup final. The kick-off was at three in the morning here in Beijing, and the game lasted through to six o’clock in the morning, which is, funny enough, the get up for work time for me. 

Crash Baggage – Pop up store in Sanlitun, Beijing.

I stayed awake throughout the night, and I managed to muster the energy to get up. Then, I had a typically hard Monday. When the day wound down that evening, I got back to bed, only to face that age-old problem of being too tired to sleep. 

How frustrating is that problem? Your body and mind are screaming, let me sleep, but the voice inside your head is asking you to do some calculations or to work out an agenda for your possible next video blogging shoot away in the distant days. This inner voice asks this of a very foggy brain, so both are fighting for something, but no one gives an inch, leading to the scattiness and dropping things the next day. 

Why?

Because I had another terrible nights sleep on Monday night, and that compounded the previous nights crap sleep, so all and all, come Tuesday, I was like an extra from the walking dead.

But then I found the cure. Tuesday night, I didn’t go to bed early despite every part of me screaming for sleep. Instead, I did these three things.

  1. I went for a casual walk with no purpose, and that emptied my mind. I had no thoughts, reflections and nothing to deal with other than a blank canvas where nothing would stick.
  2. I came back home and drank an entire bottle of chilled water in one go, and this woke me up from the inside out and filled my grumbling stomach, although filled with water, so I was not sleepy-food-sluggish.
  3. I put down my phone, turned off the television and flicked through the Tim Ferris book: A Tribe of Mentors. I stopped at previous highlights and dog ears to see if I could pick out moments of inspiration or insight. It was like scrolling through a hard copy of my Twitter feed minus the many arseholes that populate Twitter. To be honest, any book can be used for this time-consuming, brain relaxing exercise.

I slept like a baby that night, and my last thoughts were from a quote that I had read in the book;

“Skateboarding can change the world. Enjoy the ride.”

Tony Hawk.

I realised then, just before I nodded off, that I had never skateboarded in my life. Still, looking back at that moment as I entered sleep tranquillity, I understand now that I fell asleep trying to skateboard.


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