I Spent The Last 5 Years Biohacking My Way To Insane Productivity. Here Are 33 Tips I Believe Can Make A Big Difference In Your Life.
This was the big daily habit that allowed me to start to change my life. In getting your bare eyes and skin exposed to the sunrise, outdoors, a healing hormone cascade is triggered and allows us to build vitality.
It allowed me to restore deep sleep, raise my dopamine levels, improve my mental clarity, and turbocharge my motivation levels. The suprachiasmatic nucleus is our master circadian oscillator. It needs to be set every day, and the sunrise helps us to do that. There is no UV light present at sunrise, so you won’t need to worry about burning.
If you’re looking to improve how you feel and function, getting regular light breaks throughout the day is tremendously supportive and is how a lot of important hormones are made – melatonin, serotonin, dopamine, and IR-A (Infrared) light are nature’s healing frequency.
Mood, mental health, brain function, and clarity all come as a byproduct of this habit. For most of our species’ existence, we lived and worked outdoors, bathing in nature’s medicine, and full-spectrum light, which brings health, calmness, robustness, and rejuvenation of the mitochondria.
Like the sunrise tells our brain and body that it’s morning, watching the sunset anchors our circadian biology and allows our system to begin to unwind, relax, de-stress, and heal, and allows us to optimize sleep over time.
Awareness of the Light Environment
After the sun has set each day, ensuring all devices are on night shift, and that we’re limiting artificial light (in particular, blue light, which tells our brain it’s noon) allows us to really anchor our circadian biology by keeping our melatonin levels topped up.
By exposing the photoreceptors in our skin and eyes to information that tells them we can progressively wind down, and avoiding blue light (which destroys melatonin), we can access quality sleep and regeneration which is where we can rebuild health. function, and performance.
A tremendous healer for us is sleep, it is one of the most powerful tools we have available to us. The big driver of cognitive excellence is sleep, and what will destroy our focus and performance like nothing else is poor sleep. Poor sleep weakens executive function, and impulse control, and turns our mind into a wild stallion that refuses to be tamed.
As mentioned above, for us to sleep well, we need to preserve our melatonin levels. We can do this by maintaining a dark environment after sunset and sleeping in a pitch-black room.
For us to have sustained focus, mental acuity and clarity, and stable energy without crashes, we require good insulin and leptin sensitivity. Sensitivity is destroyed through repeated snacking and has negative consequences for health, energy, and performance.
As a habit, it was important for me to stop snacking so I could regain leptin sensitivity and have stable energy that will last – cravings fell away surprisingly fast. Fasting helped clean my system out a lot and regulate my metabolism.
Fasting & Autophagy
The biggest reason why I got into fasting was for COGNITIVE BENEFITS! At my worst, I’d attend meetings and just be completely unable to follow what was going on, often unable to even think and speak. This was truly a living hell and deeply impacted my self-esteem and sense of worth. My determination to find something, anything, to clear up my brain was cast-iron, truly unstoppable.
Through a wonderful mentor, Dr. Jesse, I was supported in a group setting to explore fasting and immediately, it improved many of my brain problems of high anxiety and poor brain function. Just having those symptoms lift for a few hours was a revelation, and hence, I set out to understand
Nature Immersion/Forest Bathing/Hiking
Being in nature is healing and rejuvenating, and supports us greatly. Being in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of modernity, enables us to place our biology in a relatively low EMF (electromagnetic field) environment which is supportive of our cells and the harmony and healing of our system.
It is suggested that nature has a specific resonance, the Schumann resonance, which we become attuned to when we are immersed in it. This can have beneficial effects on our brain, calmness, and thinking, and help us regenerate as part of a wellness-building lifestyle – the tree huggers were right….In Japan, forest bathing is an ancient practice, and as ever, there is often wisdom in practices that have endured the test of time.
Proper hydration is mission-critical for performance, for every 2% we’re dehydrated, metabolism is downregulated by 10%. The best water we can drink is spring water.
Tap water is to be avoided. This is a cornerstone habit and is just done every day, No system in the body will perform optimally if you’re dehydrated, and if you’re trying to build health and performance, you’ll need your system running the best it can. Aim to drink ½ your body weight in OZ each day.
Retraining Nasal Breathing
How we breathe has a significant effect on how we function, for robust health and performance, our body and brain oxygen levels will need to be optimized. Low body and brain oxygen are associated with high states of anxiety, negativity, overthinking and emotional fragility. There are different ways to approach measuring this, but a method I enjoy which is free is something called the “Buteyko Control Pause”.
I was a student of the Buteyko method for 7 years and gained many benefits. The thesis is, we’re designed to breathe out of our nose, and the mouth is for eating. Without getting into the weeds, nasal breathing enables the perfect retention of oxygen and carbon dioxide (mouth breathing causes us to hyperventilate, and hence, blow off the carbon dioxide we need to actually store oxygen in our bodies).
For focus, clarity, and overall productivity, meditation is a useful tool and supports the stillness of the mind. In the modern world, our thinking becomes very shallow, fractured, and broken. Meditation is a great healer of the mind and allows us to experience a sense of stillness which is very healing for us.
We can enter, as Eckhart Tolle would say, the ‘NOW’ which in and of itself does deep inner healing work for us. Part of building high performance is creating a positive, healthy psychology anchored in beliefs and inner concepts aligned with success, achievement, and the firm understanding that you, too, can accomplish your dreams.
Taping The Mouth at Night
This enables us to eliminate mouth breathing, which creates poor-quality sleep which in turn contributes to poor cognition, thinking, memory consolidation, and learning.
You can purchase microporous tape at most pharmacies for a few bucks, and place a strip across your lips at night to ensure your mouth remains shut. This will support proper brain oxygenation and, in time, enable better focus and brain health.
Cold exposure is one of the best ways to get healthy, wade off and reverse disease, reduce inflammation, boost energy, turn white fat into brown, and charge our body’s battery.
Cold has the power to increase mitochondrial biogenesis/density thus increasing metabolic efficiency, vitality, and immunity. Start with cold showers, and over time, work your way into cold baths, and then ice baths. I take ice baths for 20mins, daily.
Place your bare feet on earth each day. I like to spend 20-45mins connected to Earth a day. Building health is about redox potential and maintaining a net negative charge within the body.
When we’re engaged in earthing, we’re gathering electrons from the earth (they move from an area of high concentration, the earth, to an area of low concentration, our bodies). Earthing was very powerful for my own brain problems, such as high anxiety, and helped me jump-start my brain again! A very powerful practice.
Postural & Core Work
In the sphere of breathing, another consideration for us is our posture. We need a strong core that allows us to properly ventilate our system, and for our system to perform its functions well. Proper posture in the modern world requires work, and awareness, and is important if we are to oxygenate ourselves effectively and live healthy, low-stress lives.
A big bang for your buck postural routine I developed for myself was the following: perform a McKenzie Extension for 15 minutes each day, 3 x 10 McKenzie pushups, and perform the McGill ‘Big 3’ core exercises. The musculature of the core being properly developed allows us to more easily maintain proper posture.
Oral Posture/Tongue Position
You can look into Myofunctional Therapy to learn proper tongue posture, and how to train the tongue to remain in the roof of the mouth. This will support proper breathing, and importantly, allow us to get deeper and more restful sleep.
Measures we can take to optimize sleep will enable us to gain far better clarity and cognition over time, and habits such as mouth taping, blackout blinds, managing the light environment, and watching the sunrise/sunset are all, essentially, methods we’ll use to optimize sleep over time, heal the brain and enable our best work.
Poor breathing and Myofunctional habits are theorized to be significant contributors to ADHD, Sleep Apnea, and Anxiety, among other conditions, and as someone who has struggled with focus, anxiety, and insomnia, improving my breathing, structure, and habits, only did good things for my work and ability to achieve. Generally, aligning ourselves with nature’s design will enable us to realize our highest potential.
We do cardio for releasing BDNF, stimulate the creation of new neurons, and increase ATP. A regular running habit, for me, supported my mental well-being and stress levels and has, over time, helped my brain function and processing ability.
DHA is an incredibly supportive substance for the health of our brain and is required to decrease brain inflammation. Consuming DHA in the form of salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna, and oysters, among other marine sources is ideal and was an incredibly important habit for anxiety and brain fog reduction.
When a brain is navigating stress, vigilance, anxiety, and resistance, just getting things done can be very difficult, and we can develop unproductive patterns like procrastination, perfectionism, and delaying needle-moving tasks, among others. When we’re not feeling our best, our motivation can be low, we can feel little pleasure from completing tasks, and living a high-performance lifestyle can seem impossible. This is where day structure, proper planning, and rituals can really help.
Taking time each evening to plan the following day, and develop some structure, supports us in building new neural pathways associated with focus, work, and task completion. Day structure combined with repetition enables us to not only train our ability to focus but importantly, begin to instill a sense of joy following the checking off of tasks and action items, building momentum.
A defined morning and evening routine can support us with structure and performance. These are useful to initiate the day, as well as wrap it up. Having these processes in place gives us foundations for productivity, ideally, they would be repeated at the same time each day. This is a useful way to implement microhabitats that produce incremental progress over time or engage in tasks you’re prone to putting off.
For me, my morning process involves visualization, reading, sunrise watching, and earthing, followed by Myofunctional Therapy. I get some useful self-improvement done and then start the working day. Gains are made over time.
An important concept to grasp and a powerful tool. Sustained focus, productivity, and ability to execute and step up are learned behaviors, are trainable, and respond positively to conditioning.
Having a daily structure and plan, and executing this, repeatedly, over and over again, produces a conditioning effect on the brain, builds new neural pathways, and instills this behavior as a subconscious habit. It is how we learn anything in life, and it can be applied to our productivity and goals.
The stories we tell our lives about different areas of our lives are powerful and often without knowing it, we can embody internal negativity which does make the realization of our highest potential needlessly difficult. Performing activity through gritted teeth is not ideal and makes success harder than it would be should we be able to perform the same actions from a place of joy, happiness, and acceptance.
For myself, through sheer force of will, I drove myself through much inner noise and negative chatter by telling myself stories about the need for “hard work”, “sacrifice”, and “willingness to suffer” in order to be a better person. Whilst all these things have utility, in hindsight, they were byproducts of low self-esteem and negative self-talk.
Performance and consistency issues are telltale signs of a lot of negative junk in the psyche, and for us to be our best, it may be valuable to introduce measures to create a more positive psychology and mental space. There are many avenues one can explore, for myself, I find reading and listening to uplifting materials every day very supportive of building a healthy mental environment.
Socialising & Fulfillment
We are social creatures and as such, need social contact, and need to speak to others, and we thrive mentally when we are able to engage in stimulating, engaging, nourishing social contact. Do not neglect friendships, be proactive in making plans and seeing your tribe, and ensure you have things in the schedule regularly – you can lose your edge when you isolate yourself and life can feel like it’s passing you by.
One Day Off Per Week
One day where we rest and do nothing related to our goals is important – I learned this the hard way. See friends, your lover/partner, and explore the world, life, each other, and humanness. It recharges you at levels that are beyond what words can capture. It matters.
High-fat, low-carb diets are clinically proven to support brain health and function, and as part of a high-performance lifestyle, offer significant cognitive and performance benefits.
I have been far more productive since going keto and it has only made positive improvements to my life, health, and mental functioning. For me, entering ketosis made a great difference to my levels of anxiety, emotionality, clarity, and ability to execute.
When it comes to achieving change and improvement, visualization has proved to be very useful for me in changing subconscious associations, removing negativity and resistance, enabling me to achieve my goals, Creating a picture within my mind, and building a burning desire for the realization of this end has supported me in journeys which required sustained, long-term commitment. It is no joke, and nothing to be scoffed at – it has a great impact on mental health, and emotions, brings joy, and excitement, and motivates us to stick at it.
There is real magic to it and it is no surprise to me that elite performers across different domains use it to achieve their objectives.
Belief & Emotional Trigger Work
Related to the above, in my own work, with myself and with others, I’ve found that often people not being able to achieve their goals is seldom pure laziness or ability to execute, and is often something deeper.
Beliefs are powerful. Incredibly so. Our past experiences, challenges we’ve faced, stories we’ve told ourselves, and conditioning that has occurred in our brain can become deeply embedded in our minds, and this in time can become our prison. If you do not truly believe you can be your best self, and that the goal in front of you is not only attainable but is something you believe you deserve, self-sabotage can occur in often quite inventive ways.
Working on our inner beliefs is to be taken care of as a priority, in my opinion, because when we truly believe we can realize a certain vision for ourselves, and also believe we deserve it, the path to realizing that end result opens up, and we walk down the road with excitement and joy, as opposed to the negative emotions that unproductive beliefs generate.
Intimacy & Human Connection
We do need to be touched, we do need to be held, and we do need to have nourishing bonds with others that make us feel whole. Take it from someone who had huge image issues, anxieties, and insecurities his whole life and avoided any form of romance and connection due to a very low sense of self-worth and overwhelming anxiety: this hurt me in ways I cannot describe, and the damage went to the very core of my being.
Opening up, being more vulnerable, and healing myself enough to better connect with others enables me to become more effective in my life and gave me the drive and hunger to realize more for myself. As per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, sex, and human contact is part of our very core needs, and when this is tossed to the wayside for extended durations, we can become very wounded and scarcity does not tend to be a good position from which to build success. Take care of this area of your life. It matters.
Boredom is the best friend of our anxieties and negative thought patterns. Being bored gives our mind the space it needs to wander, engage in thoughts and behaviors that are our baseline conditioning, sometimes like procrastination and distraction, and can be fertile ground for unproductive beliefs to manifest and fester.
Being truly engaged in your mission is a pathway to victory. And this involves being stimulated, feeling as if you are living your mission, and pursuing your goals with vigor and excitement. A stimulated person moves through the world with passion, and excitement, and seeks joy, whereas their bored counterpart is stuck in the same old patterns, and motions, and doesn’t tend to be able to realize change.
This is where life does need to be made more fun, and hobbies, new environments, new activities, and fresh, new, interesting, stimulating novel data needs to be fed into the brain.
As above, not having goals in life is a recipe for boredom and being stuck in sameness and stagnation. Proper goal setting, with a view towards the development of actionable processes, greatly supports our entire being, mental health, and gives us a sense of achievement, and provides the wind in our sails we need to really stick at an objective long enough to see it realized.
Tribes & Community
“It takes a village to organize a mind”, and with a tribe, you can heal the mind. Success is a team sport, and human beings need to be around other human beings who are supportive, nurturing, loving, and want the best for them.
As tribal animals, we respond to this, it greatly impacts our mental health for the better. It becomes your second brain, and a source of information, perspective, and fine tweaking and honing – I am a true believer in the power of community and attribute all I have achieved so far to being surrounded by excellence. Find mentors, coaches, people who’re way ahead of you, and other people who share your passion and drive for your goal.
Iron sharpens Iron, success breeds success, effective people find other effective people, invest in each other, and amplify their success – a virtuous cycle. I do this in my own life and it is a game changer.
Acceptance, Letting Go & Our Stories
In life, we gain beliefs, perspectives, and attitudes over the course of our lifespan that begin to embed themselves into our reality. We lay down grooves in our mind, repeating patterns, and thoughts, and in time, those grooves become deeply embedded. Our past, our stories, and memories of what has happened churn deeply in our subconscious brain and cause us to put up walls. In time, those walls become our prison.
The clutter of the mind and past experiences can simply drain us and for me, when triggered, would cause all manner of negative emotions to stir up and would create panic attacks as well as other mental downward spirals. Learning more about letting go through the work of Dr. David Hawkins supported me greatly in letting go of my own painful past and life failures, and in the space created by just allowing these memories and thoughts to be as they are enabled something better to be created. Part of being our best will involve letting go of past pain, processing it, and unburdening ourselves. It is a gift we give ourselves.
Begin with the End In Mind
What is all your hustle for? I know EXACTLY where I want to be in my life, who I want to be, who I want to be with, what I want to produce in terms of output, legacy, and family, who I want to be friends with, where I want to be. I have a clear, clear vision of this and review this vision twice yearly
. All my goals and actions I take each day ALL link to this overarching life vision. Because I know this, understand this, and have my WHY totally nailed down, I am able to continually push past self-doubt, lack, scarcity, fear, anxiety, and pain, and endure the challenges along the way because I know what my end goal is, and I myself am willing to die for it.