By Ron Lieback, Founder/CEO of ContentMender and author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer’s Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).
The term “biohacking” confuses many. Entrepreneur and author Dave Asprey defines it as “changing the environment around you and inside you so you have more control over your own biology.”
While googling for productive hacks, I discovered Asprey’s podcast. The talks influenced me to try new things that would increase my productivity and well-being.
Many were initially weird, such as the taste of coffee blended with butter and a back covered in hundreds of holes after using a spiky acupuncture mat ahead of sleep.
Some close friends and family laughed. These were the same few who told me going into business was crazy.
I began exploring biohacking before I took the plunge at an untraditional 37 years old to launch my first business, a digital marketing agency.
Strong mental and physical health are a must for success; biohacks help supercharge both.
From forty-plus supplements nearly every day to ice baths, I practice biohacks daily. My days continuously fuel my need to strengthen my spirituality, emotions, mind and body (in that order). The following methods and tools help me achieve this mission.
Quick disclaimer: This is not professional health advice. The following have worked for me since 2016 as well as for multiple productive associates.
1. Next-Level Coffee
After I flush the toxins from my body with a twenty-ounce glass of ice-cold lime water, I make a Bulletproof Coffee. The recipe is simple—blend a tablespoon of unsalted, grass-fed butter and a tablespoon of MCT8 coconut oil into Bulletproof Coffee (French roast, beans).
This coffee keeps you energized and is a proven hack for fasting, which aids in energy, clarity and battling inflammation. I typically fast 24 hours three times a week and around 16-18 hours on other days. This keeps me focused, and Bulletproof Coffee makes the practice easy.
For many, myself included, deep meditation takes much practice — years, sometimes. There are many apps that can help you get there. My favorite is the Sensate, a genius device about the size of a sliced pear that hacks meditation, cutting the time to achieve deep meditation. The device vibrates your vagus nerve simultaneously with music hosting on Sensate’s app.
According to Sensate, “The vagus branch of the Autonomic Nervous System speaks directly to your sense of vibration and sound. […] Each session is a synchronised soundscape that is both felt and heard simultaneously. This resonates through your body to tone and uplift the capabilities of your vagus nerve.”
After about ten uses, I now get into a deep meditative state within a few minutes versus what used to take an hour. The difference is dramatic. And the more relaxed you become, the more focus you have, which boosts productivity.
When a fellow journalist saw me walking around barefoot shortly after landing in Valencia for a Ducati test, he thought I drank too much wine while flying across the Atlantic. I was simply reconnecting with the earth through one of the oldest biohacks available: grounding — or, as some call it, earthing.
What you’re doing is reconnecting directly to the earth and the natural energy stored within (electrons). When you “ground,” your body absorbs the electron-abundant, nourishing energy. This helps restore our immune system, and science says it kills inflammation. The benefits can be felt within 20-30 minutes.
When you can’t walk barefoot, there are various solutions. I use grounding footwear and also work standing up barefoot on a grounding mat for sometimes 10 hours a day. Since I’ve begun grounding daily on a mat, I’ve felt more focused and less stressed.
This is one of my favorite hacks for battling jet lag. Try it.
From motorcycle crashes and other injuries, I’ve dealt with much pain in my shoulders and back. And when you’re feeling down, your productivity will also feel down.
That’s why I’ve brought self-massage into my daily regimen of productivity hacks. I do it for about five minutes every morning, focusing on my entire back and upper shoulders. The self-massage helps me roll away any aches and preps me for the day ahead. It’s also a game-changer following a hard day of exercise or, for me, motorcycle riding.
I discovered the Backmate, designed by one of America’s most respected motorcycle racers, Eric Bostrom. (Full disclosure: I have done some content work for Backmate.) The device isn’t bulky and simply hangs in a doorway when needed. It massages your muscles quickly and helps alleviate pain and discomfort.
5. Circadian-Centered Lighting
Once, my best work periods were late in the day for strategy and from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. for creative writing. When my son was born, though, things had to change. I researched creative patterns and learned how our natural circadian rhythms influence our creative periods.
Light therapy can alter our circadian rhythms, and after further research, I discovered Circadian Optics lights. All I needed was around 20 minutes with the light every morning after an earlier wake-up, and I restructured my circadian rhythm to keep sleep-and-wake patterns the same daily. This also pushed my creative moments up, which are now from around 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily — a much better time frame when you have a family.
6. Stand-Up Desk
Standing up while working is nothing new — especially for writers. Hemingway famously wrote standing up, and his nonstop published works prove productivity.
Standing not only keeps the energy high throughout the day, but it also helps avoid bad workplace ergonomics that naturally occur when using the standard desk-and-chair setup.
The more energy and less pain you have due to poor ergonomics, the more focus and subsequent productivity you’ll have for daily workflow. I have used a manual-crank standing desk since 2017. It was a true game-changer, although before that I became adjusted to standing up while working at my kitchen counter. You won’t find an office chair in my office.
The ultimate goal of my life? Do more quality work in less time and with less stress. The above help me accomplish this daily.