Productivity hacks are insanely popular right now. People flock to sites like Lifehacker and MarcandAngel because they offer tips on how to do more with our limited time each day.
And who doesn’t want to do more in their day?
When was the last time you said “I wish I had more things to do today”? It’s the opposite of course as we try to jam in our jobs, commutes, meals, errands, chores, cooking, kids, and hopefully a little time to unwind in front of the tv before crashing and starting it all over again.
If you’re the typical 9-5 desk dweller, then I can safely assume that you probably lack in the motivation department and most certainly in the energy department. As it turns out, siting on your ass for 8+ hours and eating processed lunch meat every day isn’t all that conducive for feeling vibrant and alive.
Who’d of thunk it??
The Key To Getting More Shit Done
But getting more shit done isn’t just about hacking your time management and looking for ways to skirt traditional means of doing things.
It’s about having the motivation and energy to do it all.
But having energy and being fired up to tackle your day comes at a cost. It will require you to get off your ass and make changes to your routine. It will require you to be healthier than you are at this moment. It will require you to get out of your comfort zone and be willing to challenge yourself.
Here are 7 ways you can get more shit done and look and feel better in the process:
1) Train. Hard.
You don’t need to be an athlete, be in a competitive sport or look like an Adonis to train hard. Training hard is a subjective term and different for everyone. For me it means doing 12 mph sprints coupled with 42 inch box jumps and plyometric pullups, but to you it may be jogging on the treadmill, doing p90x, or riding your bike for 30 miles.
It’s all about pushing yourself to your capabilities. It’s about going from an intensity level of 3 and taking it to an 8 or 9. And speaking from 19 years of experience as a fitness coach, most people don’t do that. They don’t even come close.
It’s a lot easier to just show up at the gym and work out for the sake of working out than it is to actually train with purpose. Training with purpose will require focus and determination and you should try to push past that barrier when your mind says you’re done.
Believe me, your mind will give out far sooner than your body.
Training hard is good for you. It gets the blood flowing, heart pumping, and if you’re doing it right, makes you feel fucking awesome. And if you don’t believe me, read these 40 reasons why you should do it.
2) Go outside.
Everywhere I look I see pasty people. We are spending far too much time in office buildings, malls, and on our couches. Our skin is turning gray from all the incandescent lighting and artificial environments we subject ourselves to each day.
The solution is incredibly simple. Go out and get some sun. I’m not going to list all the benefits of getting a limited daily dose of sunshine because you already know them. Just make a conscious effort to spend 20 minutes or so each day taking it in.
Plus, being outdoors has a way of calming us, freeing up our minds, and giving us a renewed sense of energy.
Do it. You will feel better.
3) Stop being fat.
Believe it or not, for 95% of you, being fat is a choice.
You and only you can choose what to put into your body every day. Only you can decide to stop drinking those Big Gulp’s and binging on Taco Bell Volcano Nachos every Tuesday night. And only you can peel your ass of your couch cushion and exercise.
It’s a scary statistic, but the average American has an average body fat level of 28.7%. That’s pretty fucking high. To put that into perspective, a person is classified as “obese” at 30%.
The solution? Stop using your stomach as a wastebasket. Clean up your eating for fuck sake. Try those weird things called vegetables. Onion rings do not count.
As a side note, don’t use BMI calculators to determine your body fat. They are useless. Instead use a tool called AccuMeasure or have a trainer do it with skinfold calipers at our gym.
4) Drink a shitload of water.
Every one of us is walking around in a constant state of dehydration. This limits all processes in our bodies, including losing weight. And you do want to lose that last 10 pounds, don’t you??
As a general rule, try to drink .5 ounces of water for every pound of bodyweight you have. I’m 188 pounds, so my goal is 94 oz. If you are exercising hard or training in the heat, you’ll want to up that number.
And if you think drinking that much water (especially if you aren’t used to it), will have you pissing every 20 minutes, you’re right. I have the world’s smallest bladder and when I started drinking a lot of water, I wore a path on the carpet from my desk to the bathroom. But my body adjusted and so will yours.
And if there isn’t enough evidence of why drinking water is vitally important, here are 12 unexpected reasons to start.
5) Stop being an asshole.
Do you feel better or worse when you are an asshole to someone? If you say better and you are not Tucker Max, you have serious issues.
Think about the last time you were in line at the grocery store. The person behind you is tapping their foot and rolling their eyes waiting impatiently for you to hurry up and check out. The cashier gives you a flat stare and barely acknowledges your presence. And your face shows all the disdain you can muster as you can’t wait to get the fuck out of there.
This scenario plays out many times in our every day lives and makes us think the world is filled with assholes. Your job is to not be one of them.
Your job is to be the person who smiles in the face of anger. Your job is to be the person who looks past the annoyingly slow person driving in front of you and shrugs it off instead of screaming obscenities at them. Your job is to rise above and be better than that.
And if you choose not to take the job, then by all means continue being an asshole. But that won’t help anyone; least of all, you.
I truly believe that good things happen to good people. Not in a karma type of way, but in a general sense. You never know, you just might have a life changing impact on someone who really needs it.
6) Commit yourself to something worthy and be accountable to it.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be about getting in shape. It can be anything that will make you better, smarter, sexier, happier, or stronger as a person.
Find something that is important to your intrinsic core values and make a commitment to seeing it through. Of course, this is much more challenging than it seems or else everyone would have all great habits and no bad ones.
I suggest finding someone who you can be accountable to. A friend, brother, spouse, or coworker. Hell, you can even hire me to help you 🙂
Once you commit, put your ass on the line. If there is no punishment for failure, you have a much higher chance of failing. Try this: offer someone $100 cash if you don’t do what you say.
For example, if your goal is to not drink soda for a month and you are caught drinking one (in your coffee cup, you sneaky bastard!) then you need to fork over $100. This works.
And it’s not about the money either. It’s about saving face and not publicly looking like a failure. People rise to the occasion and you will too.
Just make sure you commit to a worthy goal. Committing yourself to getting your Elf Wizard character to level 50 in World of Warcraft is not a worthy goal. It might be fun and definitely addicting, but will not better you as a person.
Last year, I committed to running the Army 10-miler race in Washington D.C. Why? Because it was a challenging goal and I was going to do it regardless of how much I hate running. And believe me, I fucking HATE running. It was about pushing myself out of my comfort zone and it worked.
And as a side note, my girlfriend and I were so late that we were literally the last people to start the race. Imagine us sprinting through the empty Pentagon parking lot towards the faint sound of music, trying desperately to make it before it was too late. The starting gun went off 30 seconds before we got to the starting line and we made it by the skin of our teeth.
Coincidence? Good things happen to good people, remember?
7) Read nonfiction (i.e.learn something).
Just because you graduated college 25 years ago, doesn’t mean learning has to stop. It’s a sad fact that 23% of Americans didn’t read a single book in 2014!!
And for those of you who are readers, put down that fucking Harry Potter novel and read something that will make you better. There is so much to learn and if we are not continually striving to grow as people, then we die slowly.
Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power (when applied) and I’ll ask you to challenge yourself to reading one book per month. Put down your iPhone and stop fucking around online. Sit and read. Go outside and read. Just read.
And if you’re interested, I have a ton of suggestions for great books.
When I first got separated and was away from my daughters, my life was a shit storm of emotion. I had every bad habit imaginable. I ate like shit, drank all the time, stopped exercising, beat myself up, thought negative thoughts, didn’t sleep, and didn’t do a single thing to make myself better.
It took time and I changed. I started small and worked every day to feel better about my situation. After I started feeling better, I started doing more positive things, including exercising again. And then I started to look better.
You see, it’s all intertwined; looking good, feeling good, and doing more with your days. Start making small changes to your daily routine. Add a good habit and drop a bad one. Do something different.
I want you to succeed in whatever endeavor you choose. I want you to be happy. And I want you to start today.
So tell me, what things do you do that make you look better, feel better, and get more shit done?
Awesome list. 2 things I do to keep me feeling like my best self:
1. Setting little challenges for myself every month. Last month it was to take a cold shower every day (and I’m still doing that now), and before that it was to meditate for 10-15 minutes every day, before that it was to keep a gratitude journal every morning. I still do all of those things and am always looking for new ways to challenge myself. It goes back to what you always say about pushing your comfort zone.
2. Be deliberate in everything I do. I strive to always be present in every moment and make my decisions consciously. This includes what I eat, how I spend my free time, how I relax, how I work, and even how I communicate with other people. It’s a constant process to NOT live life on autopilot.
Great article. I especially like #5 – Don’t be an asshole. Stay aware and in control of your mindset, emotions, and actions and you can’t lose.
I separated last year from my wife after 18 years together. I was cheated on. 2 kids under 8 years old. I was deflated, in a similar situation as you. Drinking too much, feeling sorry for myself, poor diet, blaming everyone else. Then one day I said to myself, she actually did me a favor, she set me free. I started eating better, exercising every other day, taking pride in myself, realizing that I am the only one who can make myself happy and so it began. Strength, confidence, I began to realize how much she had changed me, and I started becoming myself again. Confident, a good dad, my kids are with me more than her, I love myself, my kids, my life. I am stronger now and more confident in who I am than I have ever been. And once you believe in yourself, everything I mean everything else will fall in place if it’s meant to be. I am on top of the world and it would have never happened without being set free. You can either sink or swim. I chose to swim and God willing I will swim across any obsticle in my life now.
Thank you for sharing, stories like yours give hope to those still treading water.
Hey Jeremy, it sounds remarkably like my story! Good for you for getting your life back on track and living the life you deserve.