Cardio & Bite Sized Meals: The Secret To Billing Long Hours (Nightmare Mode #2)
I began exercising in a serious manner after reviewing studies suggesting that there was a direct correlation between physical fitness and learning ability.
So I exercised, I kept my diet clean and did everything that Alex Becker told me to do. I still found myself falling below the standards that Mr. Becker said he follows: 12 hour workdays.
Recently I landed a contract which permits me to bill up to 60 hours a week. This led me to a frantic search for a solution to boost my mental and physical performance. After some quick experimentation, I found out what the issues were and started implementing the following:
- Cut food (especially meats) into tiny pieces: It was necessary for me to eat bite-sized meals, especially protein, while working. For meat, I use a kitchen knife to chop it up into extremely small bits. The smaller the pieces, the more surface area these pieces are exposed to stomach acids. Coupled with #2 below, this has helped me reduce the number of minutes I feel lethargic after a meal to virtually 0.
- Small bite sized meals: I would eat a tiny amount of food, just enough to not feel extremely weak, until daily billing is done. Digestion occurs almost immediately for a smaller meal.
- Exercise immediately after working after another bite sized meal: physical fitness enables me to maintain posture for the longer hours.
- Always include cardio: There are two activities that I hate most in life. These are cardio and stretching. However, including sprint laps after the exercise has doubled my mental alertness during my work hours. Even chess champion and Sports Tai Chi Push Hands World Champion Josh Waitzkin talks about this.
In his book “The Art of Learning” Josh discusses “Cardiovascular Distance”. This means that he will work at a high intensity and take continuous short breaks. Supposedly this strategy can help relieve stress rapidly and restore my mind rapidly. Josh talks about exercising intensely and regularly, to relax more effectively when needed during competitive events. If it’s good enough for Josh, it’s good enough for me. Sprint laps it is.
As much as I HATE intense cardio (I feel like dying during sprint laps), I can’t help but notice how much better I feel during the workday.
5. After exercise, perform the “plow” yoga position obligatorily for 5 minutes. This position decompresses the spine, after 8–10 hours of billing.
6. Clean room after plow position and drink Tim Ferriss’s famous Apple Cider and Honey mix to prepare for sleep. Discussed in his book “Tools of Titans” this drink truly ensures a great night of sleep. The formula is two spoons of apple cider vinegar, one spoon of honey + hot water. Make sure to drink it using a straw, as the vinegar can damage your teeth.
So those software engineers or embracers of the 80 hour workweek, who are implementing Becker’s Nightmare Mode, make sure to implement above discussed tactics which are summarized below:
- Do sprint laps
- Chop up food (especially meats) into extremely tiny pieces using a kitchen knife and a cutting board
- Eat bite sized meals while working/billing. (barely enough to make you not feel week)
- Exercise immediately after filling your billing quota
- Always include intense cardio (like sprint laps)
- Do the plow position for at least 5 minutes
- Drink the Apple Cider + honey drink that Tim Ferriss reccomends
- Clean your area thereafter. If your area is beautiful, according to Dr. Jordan Peterson, you develop a relationship with said beauty which you will encounter every day. I’m not sure if I relayed his message correctly, but that’s basically how I understood it.
Hope this helps someone. I will cook a bite sized meal and keep billing.
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