« All Episodes

Friday Refill: Always Keep Your Tank Full

Published 8/20/2021

If you wait until your tank is empty, you've created an urgent situation you could have avoided. Keep your tank full, early and often.


This applies to almost everything in our lives, but so often we sacrifice a full tank for some marginal gain. This leads to a scarcity mentality and a lack of flexibility.


What can you do to fill your tank?

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Happy Friday everybody, you're listening to another Friday refill episode of Developer Tea. These Friday refill episodes are always intended to give you some practical advice and to leave you energized to rest. This seemingly paradoxical idea of going into your rest period with energy. This is actually relevant to the bit of advice that I have for you today. The advice kind of comes from a lesson that I learned the hard way. Many times when I was a teenager I would put off filling up my tank, my literal gas tank in the car that I drove and on many occasions unfortunately it took me a while to learn this lesson. On many occasions I did end up running out of gas. Another version of the same lesson is to recognize when you're asking yourself should I fill up today or fill up later and to always fill up today. The justification for this is that if you have time to fill up today then you are doing it without stress. You're doing it under a flexible situation. So you have time to for example fill the car all the way up. You have time to go a little bit further down the block to save money on gas if that's something that you want to do. You're not making a decision in a stressful environment. So you're keeping your tank full rather than getting in the car and with slim margins to head to a meeting or head to pick up your kids from school and recognizing that you have no choice but to fill up before you go. Now of course we're not really talking about gas tanks in the literal sense. Instead I want you to keep your tank full. Instead of waiting until something becomes an urgent problem. Instead of putting things off until you no longer can and we're not just talking about procrastinating here. We're talking about solving problems but we're also talking about not living with the bear minimum. This principle applies to finances. You should always have some savings, some extra padding. This extra margin of keeping your tank full will change the way that you make decisions. In and of itself it provides a license of flexibility that you otherwise are without. Keeping your tank full is also not just about quantifiable things like money or gas in your car. Keeping your tank full can also apply to your mental state. Have you done something that is recharging for you personally? And just because you did that thing recently or even yesterday does it mean that you should abstain from doing it again soon. Taking time to take care of yourself is going to pay you back exponentially over time. Keeping your tank full doesn't just allow you to have margin. It changes the way you think. The fundamental level. Keeping your tank full requires that you think about your life in terms of capability and abundance rather than in terms of scarcity. Scarsity is over-pronounced in our psychology and if you can remove scarcity especially of things that matter the most. If you can remove that scarcity and you'll have a much more level-headed and peaceful approach to every decision that you make. So your weekend homework, we always try to give something for you to do at a practical level. Your weekend homework is to identify in your journal or in your notes on your phone wherever you take this kind of thing down and think through it. Identify one or two areas that you typically let your tank run dry before you do anything about it. Everybody has these. Something that you always let run you over. One example for me is that I tend to let my grass grow a little bit too high before I cut it and then I dried cutting it. Well if I cut it a little bit earlier I would be keeping my tank full in the sense that my yard would always look a little bit better. I would feel less dread. I would feel less frustration. Maybe a little less anxiety when I roll up to my house in the afternoon. So it's something as simple as that or it could be something as important spending time with family. Whatever those things are for you, figure out what those things are and make a specific plan to fill your tank again. Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. This has been a Friday Refill episode of this show. We do three episodes a week too. Kind of regular episodes and then on Fridays we do these Friday Re fills. If you have not yet subscribed, please go and do so. So you don't miss out on future episodes of this show. And of course if you haven't left a rating and review, that is the best way to help Developer Teagrow to new audience segments to help other engineers like you find the show. So thanks so much for listening and until next time, enjoy your tea.