Neural charge workout for increased productivity.


One of the biggest challenges I face as an information worker is motivation and the physical and mental drain of sitting in front of a computer all day. I have been experimenting with all manner of practices, techniques and methods to maintain a healthy degree of productivity, while honoring my body and balancing my life.

I recently discovered CNS(Central Nervous System) training theory, the idea that strength training should focus on training the explosive power of nervous system as opposed to fatiguing and tearing down muscles. Props to Rob McNamara and Claud Von Schroder for turning me on to this 🙂

I am excited about this training ideology for all sorts of reasons and it seems to be the leading edge in terms of physical body training and strength.

One of the pieces of this training method as outlined by Christian Thibaudeau of T-nation is the Neural Charge workout.

This video outlines a short Neural Charge circuit that can be done really anywhere in 15-20 minutes. They use a medicine ball in this one but that is the only equipment needed.

Neural Charge Circuit

My vision is to apply this training method to personal productivity. Try one of these at the start of the work day or midday before a productivity cycle.

In my experience, this type of workout leaves me feeling energized, alert and embodied unlike anything else I have tried. Normal workouts leave me tired at the end and wanting to take a nap. The Neural Charge circuit has the opposite effect, and really has me feeling in my body and ready to rock.

I have been playing with the 90 minute productivity cycle for a while with great result. Adding this Neural charge circuit in the middle of 2 cycles feels to me like a recipe for unreasonable success 😉

I’d love to hear thoughts on this idea or your experience with CNS training.

on fear.

I want to explore fear and a bit about how it shows up in our modern lives, but first a little background on where we came from.

the roots…

Depending on your sources and the criteria for measurement, modern humans as we know them emerged on the scene between 100 and 200 thousand years ago. These early humans enjoyed one or two hundred thousand years of hunter-gatherer evolution before the dawn of the Neolithic age and the advent of farming. About 10 thousand years of domestication in the age of agriculture—hardly enough time to get the furniture how you like it—and the Industrial Revolution comes on to totally shake things up for the human condition.
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#Anybodyelse? Depth and Span on the Social Graph

socialgraph
With everybody from Britney Spears to the New York Times talking about Twitter these days, I have been thinking a lot about the tool that I have seen from novelty to necessity over the last 2 years.

Twitter has become a great source of ambient intimacy for me. I use it to keep tabs on my close friends and network contacts, enabling greater connection when we meet face to face. I know what they have been up to and what is important to them.

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GMail added an interactive favicon

gmail interactive favicon

gmail interactive favicon

My first response…”how the heck did they do that!!??”

Second response…”thanks! This is great!”

If you are like me you are a multi-tab firefox browser. It is great to have this new dynamic favicon letting me know when I have new mails subtly. It updates as soon as new mails show up in my inbox.

I can now stay more focused on what I am working on and only occasionally glance over at the icon to see if I need to check the inbox.

Thanks again GMail!

Implementing GTD using Multiple Inboxes for Gmail

This post is an exploration of using Gmails new “Multiple Inboxes” Labs app to implement David Allen’s Getting Things Done system of personal productivity.

Gmail Labs just rolled out a new gem for gmail users and I had the inspiration to use this as a supplement to the online side of my personal GTD system. I use Gmail for all my email and organize all of my business around a detailed labeling practice. Multiple Inboxes sparked an opportunity to refine my system.

Ok, this one gets a little dicey for GTD purists so bear with me.

I know the holy grail for GTD masters is the fabled ‘inbox zero’ at the end of the day and especially at the end of the week. I am personally a big fan and adherent of this principle of GTD so why on earth would I want more inboxes!!??

The first thing you have to do to use Multiple Inboxes for GTD is forget that the name is “Multiple Inboxes.”

Think of these as, Multiple folder dashboards or something. The goal is still (and always is)inbox zero for the real inbox.

I am currently practicing using Gmail tasks as my GTD action Items with mixed results. Gmail tasks are easy to use, but they exist outside my email workflow and thus require additional energy to maintain integration. I just moved off of Things for mac and iPhone, and may actually move back (though things is technically a workflow breaker as well.)

So back to Multiple Inboxes.

Since most of my “follow-up” actions are email related, I set up one additional “inbox” to show my “status=follow up” emails. I have a label S/ FollowUp that I automatically tag to anything that needs further action in the future without a definite date. It’s like an ongoing tickler file, somewhere between someday/maybe and action.

This status label is very important to my work as a freelancer, where I often get referrals or send out bids to clients and will benefit from following up with them at a future date.

So here is the tricky part I ran into, how to get the content you want into the new “inbox.” There are no real instructions for this as Multiple Inboxes is a labs feature and not yet fully supported.

I tried inputing “Label: S/ FollowUp” in the field for the additional box, the name of the desired label as it appears to me and it didn’t work. There is a little syntax thing that happens in Gmail labels that can hang you up here.

Click on the label you want in the extra box. This will bring up all the emails with that label. Notice in the search box the way the label is displayed. For me “S/ FollowUp” becomes “S–FollowUp.
picture-2

Copy/paste this tag into the Multiple Inbox field and your new box will show all the content with that label. I set the Extra Panel Positioning to be “below the inbox” so it is less of a distraction when I am working. Save the changes and refresh your browser.

If you are using the same system as I do, you will see a new box below your inbox with all the messages you have tagged for follow up. On daily review you can skim these and respond to any that are timely.

This system is brand new to me so I am still reviewing it for effectiveness. Let me know If you have any suggestions or innovations using Multiple Inboxes.