Head melting, saying no and staying alive.

Sat no

I have just got my breath back, now this.

The end of 2012 I had a mental breakdown and felt like I had been in a tied to the underside of a roller coaster at peak time at Disney Land. Being tied to a roller coaster is fine – it is the being in Disney that really horrifies me. 

I am better now and on a mission of doing less and working to keep my head in the same place as my body.

In the last week I have had my most crap few days for ages, it is worth noting that in comparison with most of 2013 they were sweet as honey. I walked away in one piece with a sore head and learnt deep lesson about myself.

I’ll document the ‘strategy’ below, it has taken a lot of trail and error and a huge leap of faith and a search for my self-confidence. Oh and reading Life Hacker and Buffer App blog non stop for about 100 years.

I am really organised. Do not adjust your set.

Everyone jokes ‘Bernie is all over the place’ or ‘he’d be late for his own funeral’ and I go along with this for a laugh. However,  I have worked really hard to arrive in the same place and time as I advertised. In the last few weeks I have been very on time and seen visible shock in the faces of people I am meeting.

All my life I have struggled with time and focus, after a year and a half of therapy and gobbling anti depression pills I am starting to notice and be able to take action.

So I had finish a project to, actually I had done it and needed to edit it. In the end I ended up sitting at my desk in my coworking space until I had done it.

I sat there for over 36 hours (and slept) until I had done it. I would ‘black out’ or ‘forget’ where the file is – in fact everything apart from editing the paragraph that is directly tied to the pay cheque that will pay the mortgage.

Then I start to hate myself and the depressing nose dive begins, I am better at dealing with it now – much better – but I still feel really annoyed that I am in this situation. I just want to pull the pin and the grenade and be somewhere else.

This is when I hope that wind outside will blow the building over so I have a really good reason I have not edited what I am doing.

Sure there is comedy value – But. No. 

When I was talking to people about this weekend it was funny, I make a point of being able to laugh at myself, I think it is an important quality to have. At the same time I was really, really, really upset and full of headaches and the frustration of ‘not being able to finish’ – Oy! not like that!

As you know over the last six months I have made a point of saying no to everything, so now I am at a place where have enough time for everything I need to do.

For a long time before that I thought I was saying no, but there was no real conviction in it, I wrote down a long list of why I get stressed and why I get energized.

Main reason is my head never stops, so being quiet and on my on slows it down.

Even as I write this I am nearly falling asleep because my head is still slamming about last weekend. It was as if a super natural force was making me sleep against my will.

In Bernie world this is agony, However, of course my sense of agony would evaporate very fast if a school teacher from Gaza asked me to help them call the class register.

I struggle with that too, not reading a list of names but the way we seem to be able to ignore the horror of war.

What have I got to complain about? Where is the line?

I always hope I am writing this type of blog post without sounding like I am crying into my Champagne and while waiting for my chauffeur driven air-conditioned BMW to pick drive me home. In the last few months my tolerance of the imbalance in the world has started to reach a boiling point.

This week I there is a HUGE FUCKING screen at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford by the Underground Station the shows pictures of children in Gaza and pleas for donations. At the same time the UK Government is ok with UK firms supplying weapons to both sides. “Well that’s business” and so is walking past a screen of people dying as you go to get your next pair of trainers and hair spay before popping into TGI Friday’s for some wings.

About that Strategy – and you are back in the room!

Where was I?

I used Rescue TIme to map where my ‘energy’ is best and just been honest about the amount of work I can do everyday. I have to do a lot of thinking – that really is not as impressive as it sounds – and the real work is writing,posting, podcasting and booking things in.

I am VERY easily distracted, which again has a lot of comedy value but is a complete Cu%t when you are trying to get things done, or someone is trying to hold a conversation with you.

Me and ‘my team’ analysed the data and worked out that getting up early and working then was the way to go.

I was forever in this battle to leave home early and get to 90 Mainyard to work, often this did not happen like I hoped and I was struggling to find the time in the morning and then would end up working in the afternoon when I don’t really do any work. The times I am alive, absorbed and thinking fast are all before 1pm.


I decided to get up at 5am and just start writing, then at 6:30am start to get ready and take #Babybernie to nursery then I get to 90 Mainyard some time between 8am and 8:30am. I have set aside two hours for getting ready, ‘school run’ and travel, when I have dropped #Babybernie I start listening to blogs or books that I need to read so I am still using the time.

The morning is 90 minute chunks followed by a 30 minute break in which I chat, walk or meditate:

1. 5:am-6:30am – write 750words.com and draft blogs.

‘Get ready, drop #babybernie, go to 90 Mainyard

2. 8:30-10am  – 30 minute break / walk / meditate

3. 10:30-12 – 30 buffer / break / walk

12:30pm lunch – I have this with someone or do something – I often used to eat standing up checking my email. No more!!!

13:30 – plan the next day and review where I am.

14:30 Swim

15:30 Go and get #babybernie

16:00 – Hit the park!!

This is how Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday work, Friday is similar but without #babybernie run

Thursday I am with #babybernie all day and I am both mad and unfair to try to do anything.


Finishing work is energising and (amazingly) I sleep better, I am less of a stressed, moody, desperate, over-anxious head case and nicer to be with.

Also I can write fast, but this takes a LONG time to connect in my head, and then I have to read a zillion things that confirm what I think I think, I have yet to reach a stage of true conviction on some of the stuff I write about. Also I constantly play a scenario out in my head where I get challenged on something I have written and someone discredits it even though my point is valid. Of course this has never ever happened and when people have come to ask me about something I have written it has turned into a beautiful learning curve. I love to make a joke about being wrong and then pointing out what I learnt.

This is where both meditating and walking really work for me, going forward I am will to MAKE myself meditate everyday, it is like drinking 10 pints of Alka Zelter and suddenly being ready to run a marathon after a messy night at a nightclub in Ibiza.

Sitting still and letting my head settle is energizing and more importantly calming, when I am calm I think faster and I am happier – I might even be funnier.

Now I really need to sleep – thanks for reading – questions welcome.

Sent from my mobile device 😉







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