In a delusional spiral of self-sabotage, whenever I feel behind on something or need to push to get something done, I usually follow a pretty distinct & repeatable process:
- The first thing I sacrifice is sleep.
- Then it’s fitness routine.
- Then it’s food.
Almost always in that order too.
Protect The Asset
Table of Contents
In Essentialism, by Greg McKeown, there is an entire section on the concept of protecting the asset.
The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution.
Your body is the most important vessel.
Think of it like a computer.
If your machine isn’t running at top performance, how can you expect it to perform well?
We download everything, never filter anything out and just keep adding to the mix without ever taking the time to improve the system, question what’s downloaded or ask, “Is this really needed?”
We treat our body like our parents’ spam-riddled, toolbar-heavy computer still running Internet Explorer 6. We push harder & harder and get more and more frustrated when the computer starts to run slower and slower.
But if you want to speed up the performance, you have to change a few things.
Here’s how you go about doing that:
Set A Schedule
The first taste of freedom you get can be addicting.
It can be tempting to get rid of any and all rules, schedules and anything that resembles “the man” keeping you down.
But discipline creates freedom and the more discipline you have, the more free you are.
The more strict you can stick to your schedule, the easier it is to stick to the parts of your schedule that are hard.
It’s sounds made up, but it’s true.
Make It Non-Negotiable
When you have specific items in your schedule, make them non-negotiable.
In other words, treat the schedule like a job. Stick to it and make it an artificial boss.
This is messed up – but I find I constantly have to do this, otherwise I won’t do it. For the last couple years in the process of getting a business of the ground, I’ve felt the need to hustle and train. Anything that was outside that got sacrificed.
Lately, I’ve built fun activities like basketball, surfing and hiking into my schedule. No, they’re not exactly correlated with a business objective, but that’s the point.
Make Eating A Routine
The easiest way to do this throughout the week is to meal prep.
Without getting dogmatic about planning meals, I find that if I plan ahead to eat well – I do it.
Just like if I plan out my work week or workout schedule – I’m much better about actually doing it.
Somehow people lose their mind when it comes to food, but when I’m operating at my best, I get my meal plans ahead of time, go shopping throughout the weekend and then on Sunday, I spend a few hours cooking a few dishes that I’ll eat throughout the week.
Speaking of meal plans, if you want an easy way to plan healthy meals, get a free sample paleo meal plan here.
Being self employed, this is terribly hard for me.
I tend to look at sleep as lost time that I could use for working instead.
It’s a problem, but there’s only one thing that’s really worked for me:
Set a timer. Start a night-time routine at that point and start winding down.
Mine looks something like this:
- Throw on orange goggles at 8pm
- Take melatonin or New Mood
- 5 minute foam rolling routine
- Legs up against the wall & mini-mobility routine.
- Throw on Buff headband eye cover and sleep
Protect the Asset
Again, in Essentialism, McKeown states:
If we let our type A instincts take over, we will be swallowed up whole. We will burn out too early. We need to be as strategic with ourselves as we are with our careers and our businesses.
If you want to operating at your peak, protect the asset, take care of yourself. Schedule it out and stick to it.