Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Journey: Life without Coffee

This post is going to be short because honestly I don't have the brain capacity to do more than spell my name right now.

For the benefit of my health I've decided to give up caffeine. So decaf coffee only, decaf tea and no soda. NOTHING.

I understood that this would not be easy but OH MY GOD. I had an easier time quitting smoking.

So here's the basics.

I'm one of those people who's constantly doing a hundred different things at once and usually on very little sleep. I don't drink massive amounts of coffee but usually have at least 2 in the morning and at least 1 or 2 tea's during the day with the random soda. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things but when you're and insomniac, coffee keeps you going when you're pretty sure that your brain is going to ooze out of your ears at any given moment.


I know caffeine in medium to large amounts is bad for you. So I decided to give it up.

I've been told I will sleep better (YAY), my skin will look better (DOUBLE YAY), it will be easier to manage stress (WOO HOO!!!) and a bunch of other things.

So there I went. Off to live a caffeine free life.

Mistake #1) I started on a Monday. A busy Monday at that.

Mistake #2) I went cold turkey. No weaning myself off the coffee, if anything I had more coffee than usual on Sunday while having a chat with my friend.

Mistake #3) I underestimated the power of the caffeine.

So now I'm on Day 2 and honestly I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I'm tired. I've got a splitting headache and am generally a bit of a stressed out spazz.

I'm being strong though and haven't buckled and had some coffee.

My only hope is that the caffeine withdrawal wears off by the end of the week.

Wish me luck!!

Cheers,

Ash

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Millennials: The National Geographic Special

I'd like to start everyone off by taking the following QUIZ to determine "How Millennial are you?"

So how'd you do?  I personally got 96%.  Which considering I AM a millennial should have been a given.  I think I lost points somewhere because I have a landline and my parents are still married.  The landline is because my apartment is in a 100 year old walk-up that is a black hole for cell reception due to years worth of lead paint.  As for my parents?  Well them still being married is hardly my fault.

For anyone who doesn't know,  Millennials aka. Generation Y are those of us born somewhere between 1980 and 2000.  We are mostly the children of the Baby Boomers and have unofficially been dubbed the Net Generation.

Who cares you ask?  Well marketers care.

Millennials are a huge demographic that will eventually dominate the workforce and be the largest source of consumer spending.  For marketers, this means we're a generation that they need to understand because like it or not they're going to have to deal with us.

Copyright - Zits - Jim Borgman
The funny thing about Millennials is that we think differently than previous generations.  We've pretty much grown up on the Internet and with cell phones sewn to our heads, our parents are divorced workaholics who sheltered us as children and over scheduled us with a million after school activities and to top it all off we're headed towards being the most tech savvy, educated, liberal and indebted generation as well.

I work for a market research and consulting firm so I'm constantly hearing this information tossed around.  Millennials are a huge deal for many companies who want to ensure that they know how this group thinks and feels in order to properly target them.  The funny thing about it is that as a millennial, the whole process kinda reminds me of a National Geographic documentary.

Whenever I hear people discussing Millennials I hear a stuffy British guy in my head saying, "And here we see the very rare tener humanus in her natural habitat.  Be careful not to startle her while she multitasks engaging in a conversation on MSN, updates her Facebook status, does her homework, text messages her friend and listens to her iPod while eating a granola bar.  Notice her typical pale colouring, tattoos and Converse running shoes.  Although she displays all the typical traits of her species she continues to baffle scientists with the presence of a landline in her habitat."

It's like we're a different species that needs to be observed and dissected.

Now I don't want anyone to believe for even a second that I think understanding any influential generation is a BAD thing.  It's not.  It's actually a great thing.  For while we're a large and influential group, Millennials still have a lot to learn and it's from the Baby Boomers and Gen X that we're learning it from.  These are our parents and bosses.  Our teachers and co-workers.  The better we all understand each other the better.  Hell, as a Millennial myself I am more than willing to enlighten anybody.  Ask me a question.  Pick my brain.  I'd love to help.  Just leave the stuffy British guy at home because if it was up to me, my documentary would be narrated by Frank Oz.

Cheers,

Ash