More common lessons

My last few blog posts have been in the realm of “things i am tired of repeating to everyone I care about” so let’s just go for it. None of this is new information, I didn’t come up with any of this.

Learn the real meanings of “introvert” and “extrovert”.

Don’t lie to me, you’ve done dozens of Myers Briggs tests, at the very least just to see which Harry Potter character you would be. A lot of really smart people get hung up on these. If you take a test and it says you are an “introvert” but you really like being social and hanging out with friends, it might be discombobulating.

Extrovert doesn’t mean outgoing and social, introvert doesn’t mean lonesome and likes-to-read-in-a-quiet-corner. These are side-effects, not the cause.

An extrovert is someone who generates energy when in a loud bustling social setting, and expends energy when they’re quiet/alone.

An introvert is the exact opposite. Someone who expends energy when in a social setting, and recharges when alone reading a book in a dark room (preferably with a cute cat).

If you define the words this way, being a huge introvert who is a social butterfly makes sense and seems less contradictory.

Knowing how you recharge is a godsend. When stressed, tired, etc, you can say “oh, I need to be alone”, or after 5 days of 8 solitary work hours you can say “I need to go out this weekend to feel more alive”.

Knowing in which situations loved ones / friends and family recharge and in which they expend energy is a godsend too.

The people who understand this in my life know that when they invite me out and I say “fuck I really want to but I really can’t, I need to be alone right now” — I’m not insulting them, I’m not lying to them, I am legitimately in need of solitary time to recharge. I love them.

There’s a lot to gain just from labeling something. Whether it’s a new relationship (Are we dating? Are we fucking?”), your own self (it took me until I was 24 to learn I had ADHD, but then a lot of what I felt were personal shortcomings started making sense), or the habits of you and those in your life.

You don’t do good work when you’re tired or stressed.

It’s 6:30 PM on a Thursday. Your entire team works faster than you, knows more than you, and could’ve finished everything you have spent all week doing in their sleep. What do you do?

GO HOME.

If your answer to this was “that situation doesn’t happen to me”, yay you might not have awful imposter syndrome. This is rare in my friend groups. Pat yourself on the back.

If your answer is “stay late at work to finish just this one last thing” or “go home and continue working” — I feel you, trust me I do, but we both need to realize this is bad.

I’m lucky enough to have the experience and real memories to say “haha I can’t believe I spent 4 hours trying to finish that one-last-thing, got super angry and stressed, went home and shouted at a wall for a while, then when I came in the next day I looked at the problem from a different angle and fixed it in 30 seconds.”

This feels good to do, vindication and solving a hard problem is great, but it should not be happening at the expense of your sanity.

It might take you until you experience this enough to really believe me, but you don’t do good work when you’re tired. You just don’t. Go home, relax, read a book, play some video games, cook dinner, sleep. Be a full human.

If you feel that you’re constantly behind on schedule and failing, try figuring out if the failure is really a failure, and if it’s your failure then learn from it. Don’t just keep spiraling. Leave work when you leave work. Don’t bring it home.

You need a snap-on strainer.

Okay this isn’t really in tune with the other pieces of advice but holy shit look at this thing:

There’s a bunch of different products like this, the one I use (and the one in that stock photo) is $12 on Amazon. That’s not a referral link. Buy this, or a cheaper one. Please.

It makes making pasta a lot easier, it makes blanching broccoli a lot easier, that’s 2 major food groups right there.

I also strongly recommend silicone pour spouts. They just attach onto anything and let you pour liquids easily without making a mess.

I was talking to one of my good friends about how I need to get a new big-enough saucier with lip so I could pour things from it into containers easily, I went on a huge rant and sent him 4 options to help me decide and he said “ok hold on what’s your actual problem” — turns out the solution was $7! I use these things at least 3x a week. There’s some lesson here about “stepping back and looking at the real problem, not your possible solutions”.

Okay. That’s all I got for now. Text or tweet me your Harry Potter character.