Blog

Rest enough to do deep work (DW#698)

Before we get to today's DW, a few points of clarification from yesterday:
1) I am NOT a fan of Jeff Bezos
2) I am NOT a fan of Amazon or its oppressive business practices
And I still believe that we can learn from everyone. Although our definition and their definition of success may be vastly different, we can still appreciate the way CEOs of wealthy corporations manage their time and prioritize self-care.

I also wanted to re-iterate how blessed I feel when one or more of you engage with DWs and challenge what is expressed or hold me accountable for my words. When we build a community that cares enough to give valuable feedback and hold each other accountable, it can help us grow and remain humble and authentic - so a huge thank you!

And now, for today's DW!

Have you noticed, that you can get high quality work done in a shorter period of time when you are focused?

Cal Newport in his brilliant book, Deep Work has come up with an equation to explain this:

High Quality Work Produced =...

Continue Reading...

Do you have more work to do than Jeff Bezos? (DW#697)

Jeff Bezos, CEO and president of Amazon.com, is one of the wealthiest people on the planet (who happens to be the first person worth over $100 billion). One would imagine running his empire would take quite a bit of time, right?

It appears that successful businesspeople like Jeff Bezos are now beginning to learn just how important sleep is for their well-being (and also for their employees’ wellbeing).

Arianna Huffington writes inThe Sleep Revolution that a lot of the tech companies keeping us up at night via their apps and other blue-light photon generators are now beginning to learn that when their employees are not well-rested, their bottom line begins to suffer.

Here are few examples of successful entrepreneurs that she mentions in the chapter called"Sleep and the Workplace".

1. Jeff Bezos gets eight hours of sleep every night. He told The Wall Street Journal: "I’m more alert and I think more clearly… I just feel so much better all day long if I’ve had...

Continue Reading...

Too busy working to get enough sleep? (DW#696)

Do you ever sacrifice sleep because you have too much work to do?

You may want to pay attention to the following: (Talking to myself here).

Research shows that sleep-deprived people have to work way harder than they would have to work if they had a full night’s sleep to power them through their days.

As Mathew Walker explains, it takes twice as long to boil water on medium heat than it does on high heat. And working while you are sleep-deprived is like trying to boil water on medium heat.

Here’s how he puts it: “Under-slept employees are not, therefore, going to drive your business forward with productive innovation. Like a group of people riding stationary exercise bikes, everyone looks like they’re peddling, but the scenery never changes. The irony that employees miss is that when you are not getting enough sleep, you work less productively and thus need to work longer to accomplish a goal. This means you often must work longer and later into the evening,...

Continue Reading...

Would you buy this pill? (DW#694)

Imagine you are scrolling through your newsfeed and you come across this ad:

"AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH!

Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings (yes, PLEASE!). It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and strokes, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?"

Some of us would keep scrolling down, not believing the hype. Others may be much too curious (or desperate) and may keep reading, noticing that the organization who published it is not big pharma, out to make millions but instead a well-respected organization.

Matthews writes in Why we Sleep about this advertisement: "While it may sound hyperbolic, nothing about this fictitious advertisement would be inaccurate. If this were...

Continue Reading...

Keeping watch while you sleep (DW#693)

Our Creator is simply awesome!

In the animal kingdom, animals need to protect themselves from predators. This means that sleeping would be risky in that they might get attacked, right?

Well interestingly, some actually sleep with half their brain awake while the other half sleeps. As Michael says, "Mother Nature had no choice. Sleep with both sides of the brain, or sleep with just one side and then switch. Both are possible, but sleep you must. Sleep is nonnegotiable."

Here is one example: when birds are alone, they sleep with one eye open. One eye’s open, the other one’s shut—allowing half their brains to sleep while the other half gets a reboot.

Interestingly, when a bunch of birds together, you may observe them line up in a row with the birds on the inside enjoying two-eyes-shut full sleep while the birds on the ends have one eye open and half their brains asleep. Midway through the sleep session the birds on the end will turn the other direction and shut the...

Continue Reading...

A biological necessity (DW#692)

Did you know that every single creature that we know of on this planet, sleeps? Even worms?

Matthew Walker, whom we mentioned yesterday, says: "Without exception, every animal species studied to date sleeps, or engages in something remarkably like it. This includes insects, such as flies, bees, cockroaches, and scorpions; fish, from small perch to the larger sharks; amphibians, such as frogs; and reptiles, such as turtles, Komodo dragons, and chameleons. All have a bona fide sleep. Ascend the evolutionary ladder further and we find all types of birds and mammals sleep: from shrews to parrots, kangaroos, polar bears, bats, and, of course, we humans. Sleep is universal."

In other words, living beings are not meant to go on 24/7. We are designed to work best when we get (enough) rest.

Continue Reading...

Breathing breaks (DW#684)

Yesterday we talked about how shifting our breathing pattern can help us manage our impatience.

Of course, we do not need to wait until we are feeling impatient in order to breathe intentionally.

In fact, a great way to instill calm and emotional regulation in ourselves is to practice taking micro-breathing breaks all day.

A breathing break is simply a reminder to become aware of your breath and to breathe intentionally for a few moments at a time.

You may notice that pausing for a couple of minutes every hour for a breathing break relaxes and energizes you and it clears your mind. The rest of the hour that follows the breathing break will be more focused, productive and pleasant.

So go ahead and set an alarm for a breathing break every hour and notice the amazing impact that it has on your day in terms of calming and focusing your energy.

Continue Reading...

Notice the impatience (DW#683)

When you are stuck in traffic (or in the s.l.o.w.e.s.t line at the grocery store), how do you react? If all you can think of is how much of your time is being wasted and why cannot everyone just hurry up and get out of your way, then you need to know something.

Impatience like this speeds up your pulse, your blood pressure rises and your breath becomes shallow. Short, shallow jerky breaths in turn compound your frustration because your body is not getting enough oxygen.

And because it takes time to calm down from such impatience, the quality of your life during this time is greatly impacted. Impatience has caused you to lose a great deal in terms of health, wellbeing and lifespan. In other words, by being frustrated about the loss of your time you have ended up losing more time in a way.

Yikes.

Learning to breathe intentionally in situations like this can provide a valuable alternate to the biological alarm and fight/flight response.

As soon as you notice your impatience, take it as...

Continue Reading...

Breathe into your belly (DW#682)

A very simple way to slow and elongate your breath is to practice breathing into your belly.

As you inhale (through your nose, remember?), watch your belly blow up like a balloon. Fill up the balloon as much as you can and then watch it deflate as you exhale.

(Even young children can be taught to breathe like this by keeping a stuffed toy on their belly. As they breathe in, the stuffed toy will rise and and fall as they breathe out. You can also keep something light on your belly to raise your awareness of your breathing).

Breathing like this allows up to seven times more oxygen into your blood and your system than shallow breathing. That’s right. SEVEN TIMES.

Breathing like this counteracts the loss of flexibility in the lungs that happens with age.

As we grow older, we tend to lose more and more flexibility in our chest and lungs. If measures aren’t taken to counteract this disposition, we experience and constriction in the chest area. We become more hunched when we...

Continue Reading...

Slow down (DW#681)

In the last post, we talked about how we can manage our stress response through breathing.

Today let us talk about what researchers call the "resonant rate" of breathing. This is the optimal breathing rate—the rate at which you flip the switch to your parasympathetic nervous system and slow down your heart rate. When you breathe at the optimal rate, your PNS calms down and your brain waves settle into a calm, healthy and happy rhythm.

Do you know how fast you are breathing as compared to the optimal rate? Before going any further, go ahead and open the stopwatch on your phone and measure your breath for 30 seconds and then multiply by 2.

How many breaths a minute did you clock in? Mine was 15 and I thought I was relaxed at the time.

According to researchers, the optimal breathing rate is between 3.5 to 5 breaths per minute. In other words, each breath should last between 12 to 17 seconds.

That is way, way slower than most of us breathing at the moment. And we are not going to...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.