I am a laboratory. A constant experiment in improvement, a forced evolution to make myself better week by week.
I am not the extreme of Tim Ferriss (author of The 4 Hour Work Week and The 4 Hour Body) in that I am not willing to go whole hog on pharmaceuticals and wiring myself up like I’m in the Matrix, but I am willing to run trial runs and tweaks on everything from my language with clients to my physical training to (gulp) even my See Food Diet (See Food, Eat Food!).
Improvement only happens by chance over hundreds of generations from genetic superiority for the environment if we let Mother Nature run her course. I don’t have that much time and neither do you. I’m going to give her a push, and not like the High Evolutionary from Marvel Comics. I am going to alter myself in a calculated and focused manner, stress the system (me) to see what results arise, and then evaluate and apply the lessons learned for the next cycle of growth.
Are you willing to force yourself to grow, or are you saying “Life is good. I’m comfortable. I could get better but it’s not worth the effort.”? Age and the evolution of the market should neutralize those pitiful arguments as the average person loses about 1% capacity (mental or muscle mass) per year after certain ages, and the world is going to keep moving forward even if you aren’t. Small consistent changes are needed to not fall behind, let alone grow and achieve.
Here are some little things I’ve figured out so far this year to save time, get in the zone quicker, or improve my mental acuity or physical condition.
- When the alarm goes off in the morning, get out of bed and turn it off. OUT OF THE BED. Mel Robbins Countdown from 5 and GO! if need be,
- After the alarm is off, sit on the bed, close your eyes and think about your goal for the year, then the month, then week. Then that particular day. Take one minute and visualize hitting the goal of the day. You are still only semiconscious so this is when your mind is most susceptible to self-talk, and convincing yourself you are hitting today’s goal is a great start to the day.
- Prep the coffee the night before. Run the pot so you have basically a cup (it will be strong), and turn it off. This way you have a cup ready to go, can turn the pot on and have the rest of the pot fresh and ready when you are done with the first cup, and be productive several minutes quicker each morning.
- Morning exercise compounds results. Even if it is only 2-3 minutes while that pot of coffee finishes brewing after your first few sips, it can make your body rev an extra 1% for the day easily.
- Studies show a little resistance training (squats, push-ups, planks, actual lifting) before eating will reduce insulin spikes so will help mellow out the peaks and valleys as well as increase fat burn. So a few minutes of air squats or isometrics before breakfast, lunch, and dinner are worth 2-3x the time invested.
- Use Youtube to feed your brain in downtime like driving.
- Do all your phone conferences while standing and walking back and forth. Steve Jobs and Frederich Nietzsche approve!
None of these are earth shattering insights. But they all help, and will help your mind and body and business for almost zero time cost. But be careful, once you start looking for little ways to improve you might start thinking about big changes like committing to coaching, eliminating junk food from your house, or actually reading books. It’s a slippery slope to self-improvement and metacognition so be careful!