Biohacking | Small Changes for Quick Improvements

Do more better

Isn’t it funny how we’re all just one simple thing away from the life of our dreams? Do this one thing, don’t do that other thing. Click here to unlock the secret to success, the key to your dream life. Here’s the trick to amazing health, everlasting beauty, the fountain of youth. You see these tempting shortcuts everywhere, and you know you’re tempted to buy into the idea until you come to your senses. It’s a clickbait culture mentality. It’s a busy world. We only have so much time, but we want more. So, we all consider trying out these alleged shortcuts, life-hacks, cheat codes.

I'll let you in on the real secret: if you want more, you have to do more. You can’t click your way to what you really want, and that one thing you need to do to level up is a complete waste of your energy. It’s not simply that you need to do more; you need to do more better. That’s right. Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia didn’t use either of those words correctly, but let’s not end up like him and apply the principle usefully. That’s the secret, but there’s still not a moment to spare to do anything more. Your plate is full, and your to-do list is a foot long. How is doing more going to make your life simpler, especially when you have to do it better as well?

Well, expediency itself comes at a cost. If you’ve ever used hair dye from a box, you know that the results aren’t as good as if you would have made an appointment at a salon. You sacrifice the quality for expediency. Luckily for all of us, this isn’t the case with everything. Sometimes there is an easy, quick trick that produces a significant improvement. So, I’ve curated a list of those minor life shortcuts that actually will level up your life without sacrificing that expediency we covet. Don’t panic. I’m not about to give you a book. Although, if you find yourself wanting more once you reach the end, just click the links at the bottom of the page, and you just might find some easter eggs.

A few preliminary matters: First, these shortcuts are what I call Biohax, as in biology, because all you need is your own body. You’re reading this with literally all you need to get results. Your body and brain are pretty complex, but all it takes is knowing the right switch to hit.

Second, these aren’t about getting results. While that may sound contradictory, the results are in the process more than they are about the completion. Find a way to work on yourself more than anything else, and that’s when you will feel most successful. These hax help you do just that.

Third, these shouldn’t feel like chores or tasks. The results are in the process, so the process shouldn’t be something you treat like an item on your to-do list. These are supposed to be enjoyable additions to your life. As such, you should make them your own, do some customization, and let the snowball effect do the work for you. After you add a few small actions to your routine, it’ll get you going and just keep rolling! We’ll start with the day and go from sunrise to set.

Wake up:
Don’t look at screens for the first hour of your day. I realize this isn’t always possible for everyone, so if you can’t manage an hour, choose a period of time that aligns with your lifestyle. In general, it’s a good idea to try and limit the amount of time you spend looking at artificial screens. Of course, that’s not news to you. You’ve only heard this about a thousand times before. But have you wondered why it’s said so often? Researchers have found that screens put your brain in a state of hyperarousal, and you only have so much mental energy to use throughout your day. If you wake up and automatically put your brain in that hyper-aroused state, it will leave you feeling drained earlier on in the day than you otherwise would. You know, like when you eat that sugary snack that you shouldn't, and then feel like napping an hour later? Well, screen time the first thing in the AM is like sugar for your brain. And when was the last time you didn’t feel just a little bit tired. Our body has its own natural process to wake up. We have the chemical cortisol to thank for that, but once you add in that harsh, overstimulating screen glow, you put yourself in an imbalanced state. Do it everyday, and your new normal is to feel groggy. We all want to have more energy and feel that innovative edge, which is why we’re always begging our watches for more time.

Get Ready:
When you’re getting prepared for the day, try using your non-dominant hand for the basic tasks. Like brushing your teeth or hair, and grabbing the shampoo or conditioner bottles with the opposite hand. This one will feel weird at first, and that’s the purpose. Screens overstimulate your brain in a negative way, but using the wrong hand to do basic tasks stimulates the side of your brain that isn’t used to being stimulated. It’s an easy way to keep your brain on its metaphorical toes. This practice also exercises the muscles of your non-dominant hand, which is an added benefit.

Head out:
The morning commute tends to be unpleasant for the majority of the population. Everyone’s trying to get somewhere, a good portion are running late, and maybe still half asleep. Whether your commute is 15 minutes or an hour, make the most of that time. Don’t think about work until you’re being paid to. Try to enjoy the journey there. Pick a podcast or a playlist that you like and reserve that for when you’re going to work. If you start thinking about the office, cut it off, until you get to the office. Why is it so hard to be where you are? Learning to lean in and occupy the present is the core of self-awareness, which is the trending ingredient for success in all aspects of life.

When you arrive at your destination via car, don’t jump right out of the door. Take a minute and just sit. Give yourself a pause. Breathe, close your eyes, feel yourself. At work, you’re going to be in work mode, all up in your head. So give yourself 17 seconds to take in yourself. It’ll put you in a more relaxed and clear state of mind before you have to deal with whatever it is work will throw at you.

Take a break:
During the day, do something for you. Not something like treating yourself to a cookie at lunch; something that makes you feel better or more centered. It might be a short walk around the block, 5 minutes of resting your eyes, or listening to uplifting music. Carry around your favorite essential oil, and when you feel overwhelmed or stressed, rub a couple drops on the sides of your neck and take a few deep breaths. Again, go back to the present. When you take a break, actually take that break. When you start working harder on yourself than on anything else, you will observe some wild changes in your life for the better.

The evening commute can sometimes be worse than the morning one because everyone is eager to get home. You know you’re about to return to your zone, but don’t let that make the ride rushed. In the mornings, I like some sort of audio stimulation. In the evenings, I usually like to keep it quiet or I’ll keep it light and listen to a comedy playlist on youtube. As cliche as it is, you must learn to leave your stress at the office, otherwise you never get a break. If you start wondering why you’re snappy or grumpy, consider whether you’re ever mentally and emotionally off the clock. Don’t work for free and don’t stress about work when you’re not actually working.

You’ve left your work stuff and life worries at the door. Now, it’s time to wind yourself down. You’ve spent 8 or so hours up in your head all in task mode, so give your senses a little attention. The best way to do this is to focus on one at a time. Taking a shower in the dark can be risky, but it really gets you into your body and is incredibly relaxing. My sensory deprivation showers tend (I call them dark sites) to spark my most creative thoughts, and there’s research supporting that depriving your senses does lead to increased creativity. Sometimes getting into your body actually brings out the best of your mind and helps you transition into sleep. You don't have to do it right before bed because you probably have your own little routine, so try doing something to bring down the tempo of your mind a couple hours before your bedtime.

These are Biohax because you’re hacking into your own biology—no purchase required. You’ve got all the material you need right in your body, so give it a shot.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to maximizing your professional success and navigating the corporate world with confidence. And for even more guidance and strategies for achieving success in the workplace, be sure to check out my comprehensive workbook and e-course, "How to Win Hearts and Promotions." With tools for defining your goals, strengths, and passions, as well as strategies for recognizing your value and negotiating adequate compensation, "How to Win Hearts and Promotions" is the ultimate guide to mastering workplace dynamics and achieving the promotions you deserve or download our free one pager for a sneak peek of what's inside."