While the 14 hours days may feel long in the office, 10 weeks go by incredibly quickly. The days feel long, but life is short. And I am reminded of that today, as I return home from my second summer in San Francisco.
Last summer? Great. Challenging. At times lonely. Formative.
I approached this summer with a mindset I have picked up over the past few months, and it’s that I want to be all in and present at whatever I am doing.
At work, I wanted to be 100% at work. At a bar, I wanted to be 100% at a bar. And so on and so on.
Being present is the easiest way to get your time back because you always feel like you are making the most out of what you are doing. For me, it leads to the most productivity, the most fun, and the most happiness.
With that as my ruler, I tried to line up my priorities in a similar fashion. If I was going to be “all in” on something, I wanted it to be something i enjoyed/learned from/helped people with, and so on.
While last summer, I met with lots and lots of random people (probably 2 a day) (another blog post on that later), this summer I focused more on meeting people and forming stronger relationships.
And yes I still did have lots of phone calls, probably 5 a week. Which is a big number.
But I felt like this time, I was not wasting so much time just “talking to people.” Instead, I was only doing calls to provide value or learn something tactical and new.
For those reading this that didn’t know, I worked at Uber this summer as an intern on the growth team. Surely it is an interesting, “movie-like” time to be working at the company. In fact, I do not think I could have asked for a more unique and pivotally important climate to be working in.
I am really happy I worked there — I have learned a ton! Mainly around people. I am becoming more and more invested in understanding and empathizing with others. I was surrounded by great leaders, people who really understood how people work and what makes people tick.
I think that the power to understand people is under-prioritized and will become increasingly important, especially as technology scales.
I worked from like 7:15 am to 7:30 pm most days. (I ate breakfast lunch and dinner at the office).
That left me tons of time outside of work to do things I cared about. Some days that was build awesome side projects. Other days it was to go to an event (I went to much less of those this year). And often it was to go to the gym before work, meet up with friends after work, and some combination of everything else in my other time.
I tried to squeeze the most juice out of my day.
Outside of my work day:
I did lots of new things — like camping in Oregon (Crater Lake) or trying new types of food.
I prioritized having fun and always doing.
I am not sure why I have such a strong sense of urgency around doing as much as I can. Perhaps it is a product of fear, I fear that I am missing out on life when I sit around. Perhaps it is an ego thing, I always want to be doing.
But I think more realistically, it is an affinity towards what I enjoy.
I enjoy being on the move.
It is a similar product of what I dislike: which is stagnation — standing still.
I dislike picking restaurants. I dislike waiting for my Uber. I dislike logistical planning nonsense.
I am trying to cut these little moments out of my life because I feel like they add up. I think that we spend far too long in life on these tiny moments like “changing clothes” which tend to be stretched out for just “10 minutes.”
Those “10 minutes” add up throughout the day!
So yes. Tried focusing on things that I like and that worked pretty well.
I also lived with friends from school — that was great! Reinforced the idea of the people you hang out with most often will have the most influence on you. Learning to live with others and make compromises was also a bit of a learning curve, but luckily I was with people who tried to do the same.
As you can tell, many of these thoughts are not very well thought out as I’m scrambling to get home now.
Just wanted to say thank you! a) Thanks for reading and b) thanks to everyone I met this summer. A wild ride it was.
The next 10 weeks will be even better. Just you wait.
Originally published at gonen.blog.