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Hello <<First Name>>,

Here's your June edition of Kinsei-Do Fitness Nuggets, our monthly newsletter that serves you little bites of health & performance wisdom!


Nugget of the Month

Drive your day, or your day drives you

Do you ever look back on your work day and think to yourself "wow, I felt incredibly productive and efficient today"?

Or is "what on earth, how can it already be 5pm, I've hardly got anything meaningful done yet!" the more commonly occurring thought?

Don't worry, you're not the only one. And better yet, I'd like to offer a simple - but not necessarily easy - fix that will allow you to get more and better work done (without spending more time glued to that desk).

Think about yourself, your productivity and your work efficiency as if you were a car. Would you try to hit top speed racing down the Autobahn in second gear? Or would you move through downtown rush hour traffic in fifth gear?

Probably not.

When it comes to you and your output - and strongly linked to that, your sense of satisfaction and fulfillment about this output - you can also think of yourself as having different gears. Let's call them low, medium and high gear.

  • Low gear is a relaxed and somewhat unfocused operating mode, such as when processing very routine and straightforward tasks, as well as "recovering" between bouts of more complex work. Examples of typical low gear activities might be informal catch ups with colleagues at the water cooler, talking and building relationships with clients, or going for a short walk after your lunch break.
  • Medium gear is the mode that requires some or a lot of mental energy, but where your attention and focus is often broken up due to the differentiated, multi-tasking nature of most jobs nowadays. Think answering emails, phone calls and text messages, topic hopping from a report that your boss needs you to do asap to "just quickly" sending your colleague some data that they need (for their urgent report, typically), and of course, the majority of office meetings probably also fall into this gear.
  • High gear is the mode of highest focus and undivided attention to complex cognitive or creative tasks. This is where the "big impact" work is done, the high value creation. Imagine working on a business development plan, a strategy plan or a creative project.
Reading this, you might think "ok awesome, so how can I get into and stay in high gear for 8 hours every day?", but that's not how this works.

Rather, when we look at what true high performers do, we see something like this:

This is adapted from elite athletic domains but the same applies for cognitive performance.

Now think about what the majority of your typical day is probably spent on:

  • Meetings (some useful, most less so, I would guess...)
  • Frantically reacting to emails and text messages
  • Ad hoc "quick" requests for assistance from colleagues and superiors
In other words, you spend the large part of your days and weeks in medium gear:

The constant "fire fighting" mode - always answering emails within seconds of arrival in your inbox, or simply putting each new task or request on top of your to-do list - might feel productive in the moment, but very rarely gets you to the end of a day thinking you really accomplished something meaningful. And that, as you can imagine, is a massive energy drain and a leading cause of burnout!

So what to do about it?

  1. As so often, creating awareness is the first step. For the next couple of days, zoom out from time to time and analyze the activities you just spent time on, or are planning to start. Which gear would this activity fall under?
  2. Make a plan: at the start of a day, or a week or even a month, jot down the really big and important (but don't confuse 'urgent' with 'important', they are often not the same!) items that you wish to work on, and which require dedicated focus and undivided attention (i.e. high gear time)
  3. Block chunks of time in your calendar for these items, and protect them with everything you got. Organise your medium gear activities such as checking and responding to email around these sacred blocks of high gear time, instead of vice versa
There, that's your starting point. Give it a try, and if you wish, let me know how it goes for you!

Train the brain

You've probably heard me rave about, and frequently refer to in past Fitness Nuggets, the incredible podcast by Dr Andrew Huberman, where Dr Huberman talks at length and in great detail about a wide variety of topics related to health and human performance. If you haven't yet checked it out, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Having said that, his episodes tend to be on the long side (almost always over an hour, and even two hours are common), and they do sometimes go deep into the realm of biology and - obviously - neuroscience.

So if that level of detail isn't your cup of tea, but yet you enjoy learning about the many often simple tricks you can apply to significantly improve your health and wellbeing, then you will love the Feel Better, Live More podcast.

Here, the host Dr Rangan Chatterjee speaks with a large spectrum of experts about topics ranging from sleep, breath, food, mental health, energy, recovery, stress management and much, much more. Episodes also run quite long, but what's special about this show is that Dr Chatterjee also releases so-called "bite size" summary episodes which capture the key takeaways of his long-form conversations, and these episodes are typically only 20 minutes long, or less.

Perfect for your daily commute, or better yet, your evening walk!

Client Highlights

This month's client highlight puts the spotlight on none other than this insanely cool gentleman and former colleague of mine from the Consulting world, Mr K. We've been working together for a year now, and his consistency and dedication to his training practice has been nothing short of world class.

Some of his achievements so far, in his own words:

  • Improved hip mobility and drastically reduced pain (having a pre-condition here),
  • Improved cycling strength and endurance (allowed to finish a 88km race with ease)
  • Overall increased well-being while having desk-based working environment.

Collaboration via video calls and in-app comments has been professional and personal, overall very enjoyable!
Can strongly recommend working with Johannes!

Thank you, Mr K, it's been an absolute pleasure and honor so far!

Ever felt like you're just living your life day to day, fighting fires at work left and right while perhaps wondering why you're doing these things in the first place? Maybe you're a star performer, hitting all the goals and metrics your corporate structure expects you to, yet you somehow feel there's a lot of untapped potential in you that you aren't quite able to live up to?

There's more to living a healthy and fulfilled life than training and nutrition - though these are obviously extremely important - and if you're interested in unlocking your full potential while living a 'life that looks like you', we should have a chat!
Apply for Coaching

What's Jo doing?

After more than two long years away from the coaching floor, I'm overjoyed to finally have the opportunity again to coach in-person in a safe space in the form of 'Staff CrossFit' class at BSJ!

The energy of a room full of people moving with purpose and joy - and also of course sweat and grit - is simply something irreplaceable, and I'm so glad to have the chance to stand in front of people and spread and share this energy again.

Can't wait for things to open back up even further after the summer and experience these opportunities more frequently and regularly again!

Enjoyed this edition of the Kinsei-Do 'Fitness Nuggets' newsletter? Then please let me know by email or direct message on Instagram or Facebook.
If you know any friends, colleagues or family members who will also enjoy and benefit from receiving these nuggets, just have them fill out this form and they'll receive the very next one!

- Coach Johannes
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