I want to work longer, deeper, and feel amazing during & after. But how?
Who wouldn’t want more energy, a better mood, and better performance in all facets of life?
This has been my question recently as I’ve been working longer and harder in growing my new business Marketing The Universe.
Today’s post will NOT be some lame shit like “get more and better sleep.” That’s one of the obvious no-brainers out there. Sleep optimization is a MASSIVE key. We all know that.
This post is more about the subtleties and nuances of peak performance. In this post I will present certain things I’ve done, am currently experimenting with, and hypothesis for future peak performance to test.
The reason this is so important to me now is because I want to work more- more work equals more results. At the same time I observe that sometimes my work is finished, but I’m so burnt out that I have little energy to figure out a social hangout situation.
Whether it be for more work or feeling excited for social fun, I want to increase my energy and mood. Do you not also?
Let’s jump right into it and try to figure out what unique things we can do to get massive results.
Intermittent Fasting / Habit Chains
One thing I’ve decided to do is to do the hardest, most mundane stuff in the morning as soon as I get to work. I will not eat a main meal until AFTER the work is complete.
This creates a “habit chain” which makes you love the work instead of hating it. For example, most people hate sales, but if you do sales first thing in the morning and then reward yourself with delicious food after your subconscious brain will grow to love it.
This has been quite effective. One of the best moments of a day for me is when I got my first coffee, take a sip, get to work, and then earn my breakfast (technically lunch) 2-3 hours later.
Combined in this is “intermittent fasting.” This is when you only eat food within a certain window of time. For example, maybe you eat only between 5PM – 9PM. Then in all the other times you don’t eat.
Besides the fact this is quite healthy, I’ve noticed that my mental performance is SIGNIFICANTLY improved. In fact, it’s now getting hard for me to enjoy my food reward after my sales work because of the fact that I can notice a massive drop in mental performance immediately after eating.
Fasting of any kind seems to really kickstart your brain, make you clear, and make focusing easy. This is because you don’t need to use energy to digest food- you are leveraging the energy from food previously digested.
Since living in Thailand I’ve naturally avoided certain types of food, namely gluten. I’m noticing a trend between eating a big pizza and feeling shittier.
I already don’t eat any processed foods or things with added sugar, but I’m naturally starting to eat less bread and gluten-related products. I’m not gluten intolerant- apparently MANY (if not all) humans are gluten sensitive… It’s just not a natural thing for our caveman bodies to eat.
Morning Coffee… Afternoon Workout
I’ve noticed in the past that working after an intense morning run makes focusing really easy!
I might start to work out in the morning again for that reason, but there’s one problem with that and it’s that the workout high eventually fades and you need another kick.
Without consciously experimenting, I’ve made a variation recently: in the morning I drink coffee, and then in the afternoon I workout and go back to work.
This seems to be an effective method of focus/mood optimization. In the morning the caffeine gives a natural kick, and then in the afternoon (after having eaten) the workout releases endorphins that make me feel good and re-supply me with inspiration for the rest of the day.
My arms/abs workouts are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I notice also that the workout high can carry over until the next day.
I often do a quick hard run on those days also, though sometimes I do them on Tuesday, Thursday, or the weekend. That’s what I’m trying to do because I want to re-activate that workout high as much as possible without exhausting any singular muscle group.
This method seems to be quite effective and I’d recommend trying it if possible!
More Fruits… And Cacao?
My diet is lacking in fruits, which is a big no-no. Fruits are super healthy, I love ‘em, and they’re necessary to eat!
I started making sure I eat a banana per day, and I’ve also enjoyed an experimentation in which I combine the banana with Thai honey and 99% cacao/cocoa chocolate. The chocolate is too bitter for most tastes, but not for me because I don’t eat added sugar.
They say cacao/cocoa is apparently healthy. I don’t know. All I know is that the bar of 99% cacao chocolate has so little sugar it’s okay for me to eat.
I’ve noticed that eating a banana, cacao, and Thai honey makes me feel really good when combined with honey. I may continue to do this.
I’ve noticed that sometimes I’m not tired, I just think I am, and that’s because I’m actually sad or angry or something. Today was one of those days. I thought I needed a nap but got home and realized I just needed to feel out my emotions and let some things go.
Tiredness is often a sign that you are not emotionally flowing, assuming you’re getting the necessary sleep/correct diet requirements for yourself.
I find that releasing your emotions in an appropriate way (crying if grief, working out angrily if anger, etc.) is SUPER energizing after and you feel so clear once you’ve let that stuff go!
I’ve noticed that being socially fulfilled is a great motivator for success as well!
I guess you kind of need balance in this sense. It’s ideal to get laid, have a girlfriend (or close female friends like that), have great friends, and have at least one deep social interaction per day with someone that you care about.
That’s actually one of the reasons I went back to Bulgaria from Thailand- I wanted to enjoy my pre-established social circles and not have to battle another front by constantly having to make new contacts, etc.
Knowing that you’re going to a fun event with friends in the evening makes working SO much easier because you understand that no matter how hard or painful it is in the moment you will feel great that evening!
In general having emotional stability, a safe home, and actively “releasing” and “letting go” with an amazing social circle is so key. It’s the yin-yang here- work and hustle hard, but make sure you handle your fun too.
The one downside for me coming back to Bulgaria from Thailand is that I do not have any close female friends here. One of friends said, “dude we need to get you laid ASAP.”
As much as I’d like to completely ignore the dating aspect of life in favor of spending that time hustling, I think there’s truth to that actually- it relaxes you, fulfills you, and is just a source of great emotions.
Such is the struggle of being human. You can’t be linear and say “first I get money then I get a girl.” No, you kind of have to tackle everything in life at once without neglect of anything else.
This has been a personal struggle for me, and not having any lady friends around plus being back in the place where I had my first & deepest relationship has kind of made me sad in some ways again, missing what could’ve been, missing the past that I had with my former flame.
In addition to this segment I’ll add in having a “home base,” though this won’t apply to most readers. For serial travelers like myself, I need to seriously ground and have a primary “home base” to travel from because traveling in and of itself is still quite difficult (jet lag, culture shock, etc. make it hard to work and sap energy).
Finally I can’t overstate just how important it is to have amazing friends or an amazing social circle. It’s so crazy how that fills you right up with so much energy. Meeting girls isn’t even my priority but with so many amazing friends by me I find myself often having the confidence to approach beautiful women easily.
I’ve never consistently done this but I’m considering afternoon naps, specifically after eating a meal in order to digest it and reset.
I want to try to find some way to reset my mind to the degree of clarity and freshness that I have in the morning after I wake up.
Sometimes when I nap I just get more tired and then sleep for an hour or longer! Then I feel groggy and fucked up the rest of the day. On other naps it’s been like a reset switch.
This hypothesis needs future experimentation from me, the one pro I love about it is that it allows me to eat, then nap, then workout. I eat after doing my sales work, and it would of course be better to work out before eating but at least if I can nap between food/workout then it gives the food a chance to digest.
A slightly obvious one here, but I have never found a way to have an effective break. I prefer to just work until burnout, then relax after and have a “large break” until the next period of flow.
I seriously don’t understand how there are people claiming to work “25 minutes on, 5 minutes off” or something like that. It takes me 30 minutes just to get into flow then I can flow for the next 1-2 hours!!! And what the fuck do you do for just 5 minutes? Ugh, the “pomodoro method” has received way too much unnecessary hype.
Anyways it completely breaks the concept of “deep work” to have a 5 minute break, or any little break like that. What are you gonna do, check your Instagram feed? Suddenly then your brain is distracted thinking about that.
I guess the ideal break would be something like a short 3-5 minute walk, but only after a longer session or when the moment calls for it (ie. you’re switching between tasks). When you’re focused on a single objective I find it best to flow until it’s fucking done without distraction.
If you distract yourself you have to first wind down and then re-engage after so you lose a lot of time. A good book on this is “flow,” or “deep work.”
Still, I think I’d do better with some breaks… Somehow. Right now I take macro breaks. For example, hustle 2-3 hours then eat. Then I work again for 1-2 hours and then take another longer break.
Improving Focused Work
One thing I’ve been doing recently is logging the amount of hours I spent per day in “focused, deep work.” I turn on a stopwatch, work, and then when I’m done I record the time.
This gamified method on my excel sheet is motivating me to focus longer. It also reveals the true extent of my efforts. For example, most people can only spend 3-4 hours per day in flow, if that. Most people work 8+ hours per day yet probably only spend 1-2 hours per day in flow.
My ability to flow is improving each week, and my brain is getting more and more trained with this method of timing myself and recording it.
A Better Environment
For so long now I’ve worked in cafes n’ stuff like that. Sometimes that’s good, like if it’s a work-style cafe, but often times it is distracting.
More importantly is that it prevents me from going for a walk, eating my own snack, or something like that. I’m highly considering a home base soon just for the reason that I could get an actual office with a proper ergonomic set up (ergonomics being another motivating force).
Once I have a real office I’ll be able to take actual breaks because I can leave my office without fear of someone taking my laptop or something. There also won’t be annoying distractions like bad cafe music.
Recently I had to stop using my laptop, and buy a new one. I made a bad, shitty purchase decision which is SO frustrating!
When your laptop is not able to immediately and efficiently open every tab, or it needs time to load various things, it disrupts your flow, angers me, and is overall just a time-sink.
I’m trying to fix my previous laptop, or I will buy a new, better one, now that I know what to look out for when it comes to purchasing a laptop.
I underestimated just how important it was to have proper gear. It’s really worth the investment for top-notch high-performance laptops (or whatever your respective gear is).
I already meditate so didn’t think to add this, but I’ll quickly add it. I meditate every morning minimum 10 minutes and now sometimes 15-20 minutes. Sometimes I meditate before bed or in the day also. It helps a lot. Just do it.
Meditation During Work
I find that focusing on the breathe in addition to whatever I’m doing is super relaxing and flow-inducing. This method is very nice. Otherwise it’s easy to get burnt out.
In addition to that I’m trying to consciously relax while focusing on the breath. It’s all too easy to get stressed, or try to rush the frustrating parts of work as quickly as possible.
The problem then becomes that you get stressed and burnout faster. Slow(er) n’ steady wins the race because you go at a pace which is sustainable!
Coping vs. Thriving (Abundance Mentality)
I observe in myself also sometimes a rush or need to “get to the future,” especially when it comes to goal-setting. My new business goals are more ambitious, so I’m trying to remind myself to enjoy the present moment as well.
It’s hard not to get jealous when you have these goals. When you’re just in the present moment enjoying life you don’t get jealous or feel bad.
Success is a fine mix of presence while also moving forward towards a goal. I’m still figuring it out as I’ve been too much of this or too much of that.
One guy I recently called with said he does something called “gratitude checks” where before embarking on a task he mentions a few different things that he’s grateful for.
Gratitude is scientifically proven to be a very effective method of state control because it forces you to be happy with what you already have!
I’ve been trying to do this.
Another positive habit I started doing recently is morning/night affirmations. I have a note paper with different affirmations I’d like to say.
They include everything from health, sleep quality, dating, and of course finances. I’ve actually noticed that as I’ve said these affirmations I’m finding it easier to do certain things to make them become a reality, and I’m also noticing them becoming.
For example, I have dating-related affirmations even though I’m only focused on finances and I’m now finding myself easily approaching and talking to girls.
Not always- a couple days ago I didn’t approach a girl on the metro who was clearly checking me out (and struggling not to beat myself up over that perfect opportunity). But in general I’m doing better than before.
NoFAP (for men, not sure if it applies to women) is when you do not masturbate or orgasm except with another female partner.
I actually wrote a very lengthy post on this but haven’t published it yet… I am not certain yet whether I should publish it.
Basically I did it in Thailand (twice) and experienced INSANE dating results. The goal at the time was dating- not finances.
I observed that within a VERY short period of time I found myself dating all kinds of girls and becoming very sexually active. I went from no girls to nearly hooking up with 3 in one day- and it was only two because I ran out of condoms by the third.
At first I believed this to be “placebo” but it seems there are two forces at play in NoFAP:
The first is physical. Perhaps it releases pheromones that attract more girls to you. It also is a giant kick in the ass because you’ve decided that the only way you will receive sexual pleasure is from another partner, so you are instantly motivated to get girls.
The second is spiritual. It feels like girls are more easily drawn to you and things come easier.
In my lengthy unpublished post on it, I wrote that focusing on work and making progress in that seemed to become a lot easier. I however was not tracking how long I was spending working, etc. so I can’t confirm any suspicions.
There was certainly a huge benefit in my dating life when I did this, and I’m not sure if I’d experience the same with business (though I feel it would be so).
The way it works in business is you channel your sexual masculine energy into work. You basically “fuck” the work with all your energy, mental/emotional/physical.
I haven’t tried it yet here in Bulgaria. Though I am heavily flirting with the idea, and especially considering that I should probably more prioritize dating and find someone to hook up with while doing this so that my sexual energy isn’t too chaotic/distracting and also for the simple fact that it is a natural human need.
Levels of Consciousness
I observe in myself varying degrees of consciousness as well, and when I am more in a “giving” abundance mentality everything seems to come easier.
Sometimes I feel trapped in desire, obsession, anger, and grief. On those days it is quite hard to work and I feel tired easily.
On the days where I feel loving & compassionate, everything seems to come much easier.
Presence Checks & Anti-Stimulation
Sometimes I’ve been pausing recently to enjoy the beauty of the architecture here or nature, such as flowers that have planted along the streets or colorful autumn trees.
This is quite relaxing and helps “refill me.” I also notice that anti-stimulation (ie. no phone) seems to relax me, though it is hard for the dopamine-craving brain.
Practicing & Experimenting
I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of different things. I started this post yesterday, and today I am finishing it. Today I took a nap. It seemed to help. Yesterday I worked out hard, which really helped.
If you have any suggestions, feel free to send them over and I’ll make a part 2 with your suggestions in it!
In the meantime this is everything I can think of now to optimize my energy levels & mood for peak performance in business.