Morning Prep

I’m usually breakfasted, showered, packed, fed, and ready to start work around 0700, but our Beijing office doesn’t even open up until 0930, and people file in about a half hour later. Rushing to the office will only find me cooling my heels in the tobacco smoke-filled 20th floor corridor or hunting in vain for an early morning cuppa at the mall across the street.

So I mainline my caffeine ration with a double espresso in the hotel lobby while pounding out a few hours of work before hailing a cab. I can be high-strung, but this enforced pause in my day has done a lot to chill me out. I cannot tell if I am more productive than I would be otherwise – I usually get to the office with at least three, and sometimes four, hours worth of work done.

Yet I approach the whole day with a wider smile, my deltoids are less rock-like and my neck less stiff, so if the price for such blessings is a higher per-ounce cost on my caffeine, I cannot complain.

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