Episode 198 - The Other Operation Paperclip
The Thursday Thesis - 9/4/2020
Here’s another little idea I use to help me manage myself and keep a lid on my own stupidity – Operation Paperclip.
Now, it’s got nothing at all to do with the real Operation Paperclip: America’s offering safe haven and jobs in government agencies to Nazi scientists at the end of World War.
My Version of Operation Paperclip just helps me to manage my coffee consumption and my Wing Chun martial arts drills.
Here’s how it works:
I have a cup and saucer next to the coffee machine.
I place a number of black paperclips in the saucer, equivalent to the number of double espressos I’m allowing myself to drink every day.
For each cup of coffee I have, I move a paperclip from the saucer to the empty cup, and – as the beans are ground and the machine whirrs – I perform my Wing Chun drill of the day.
If I’m drinking milk I’ll remove a black paperclip from the saucer and add a single white paperclip to take its place – representing my one latte for the day.
When all of the ‘clips have moved into the cup, I’ve reached my limit for the day.
To reduce my initial, ludicrous, cup-count, I just reduced the number of ‘clips in the saucer by one a week for ten weeks. The result was a gradual, manageable moderation of my caffeine addiction – without the headaches or cravings which accompany going “cold turkey”.
That’s how I got down from fifteen(!) double espressos a day to just five– that’s still a lot, but it’s less crazy than getting wired on thirty shots of seriously strong coffee.
You can use this simple idea to ease into or out of any repetitive action or habit – try it for yourself and see how it works for you.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2020
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