If you’re running a start-up, then your start-up is pretty much on your mind all the time. Even if your thoughts are engaged elsewhere–making rent by working 30-40 hours per week for another company, for example–your own start-up is still crouching in the shadows, waiting to emerge when any tangentially related feedback is triggered. It’s like there are two streams, not one, constantly running through your mind: the one in which you’re part of the present moment, kicking ass at your job or conversing with a friend at a bar or walking your dog in the sunshine; and the start-up one, which is always on notice.
This is true with one exception: when you’re watching TV. In my experience, television is one of the only things that puts my brain into a nearly worthless state. I don’t even get that luxury when I’m sleeping, because I dream about The Great Exchange. It can’t be any television show, though; it has to be the most banal, coma-inducing nonsense on the air. I find that reality TV works great.
If you want further proof that The Great Exchange is always “working,” here’s a sample page of the notebook I keep next to my bed:
So here’s to you, Ben from “The Bachelor.” Thank you for saving my sanity by providing me with a much-needed 120 minutes a week of empty brain space. And the girls you keep sending home are too good for you, anyway.