Now that you’re a grown man, you probably don’t think all that much about the different ways you can move your body (unless it’s to note how much more painful some of them feel these days). After all, you’ve been doing such thoroughly simple things like running and jumping for decades now, and they feel completely instinctual. You don’t have to think much about basic physical movements anymore.ce.
That’s the common line of thinking, at least. But it’s a wrong-headed and detrimental perspective.
That which we believe is “basic” turns out to have layers of complexity we simply haven’t discovered yet.
And while we don’t typically think about them as such, physical movements are skills, and like all skills, they need to be deliberately, regularly, and continually practiced and challenged in order to stay in fighting shape and truly be mastered.
Our technology-rich world has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. While on the one hand we have access to information or people anywhere at any time, on the other hand we find our attention constantly drawn by the rich, multisensory, technological environments. It all started with the graphical user interface that took us from the flat, two-dimensional text-based environment that operated on a line-by-line basis similar to a typewriter, to a small picture depicting an operation or program. From there it was a short hop to a completely multisensory world appealing to all of our visual, auditory, and tactile or kinesthetic senses.
For several years during my early thirties, I was constantly tired. Starting around 2012, I was going for a five-mile run about three times a week, lifting weights just as often, and usually getting a good night’s sleep. I wasn’t training for the Olympics or running ultras, and I didn’t have a newborn keeping me up at night. I also wasn’t out of shape, overweight, or unhealthy. Yet every afternoon I felt the need to lie down for a nap—and if I didn’t, I was often irritable. I struggled to explain the problem to my wife and friends. I was fit and healthy. This was the prime of my life. Shouldn’t I feel great?
It took me 18 months to write The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck. Over that time period, I wrote somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000 words for the book (about 600 pages). Most of that came in the final three months. In fact, I can confidently say I got far more done in the final three months than I did in the first 12 combined.
Now, is that because I was on a deadline and worked like an insane person? Did I shove Adderall up my ass and work in 36-hour spurts or something?
No, in fact, those last three months, I worked less each day than I did the first 12, yet I still accomplished far more.
In this article, I’d like to make a simple argument (backed with lots of shitty images I created in MS Paint): that when it comes to productivity, things are not what they seem.