This week we're changing it up from my typical fare of human performance topics, and getting more philosophical. We're covering topics ranging from time allocation to motivation to the future of work and work culture. How do we stay inspired in this very turbulent year? We've got two months left for 2020, and let's maximize the time we have left.
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Without further ado, enjoy this week's episode of Free Fatty Friday. Let's dive into the questions.
Our first question today comes from Fiona and she asks, I saw you were in Montana recently. It looked beautiful out there. I know a lot of people are now working remotely. How do you imagine the future of the office and workplace to look like?
Great question. So I'm going to do my timer here and we'll get started for five minutes. This is no longer just a theoretical question. I know that for a lot of us, we're working from home and H.V.M.N. indeed has went fully remote and distributed. So this is not just a theoretical, let's theory craft.
You know what we think the office of the future is going to look like we're living through that right now and figuring out how to best be productive and have, that proper work-life integration of essentially being an office with your family while still being able to be a top of your game in terms of being professional. So me personally, as someone that cares about building compounding systems and optimizing systems, this is especially meaningful for me because I think about this, not just for myself, how do I be productive on a day-to-day basis, but also how do I have, and motivate and run a team in this distributed environment in a company. And hopefully all of us are in this culture now, where were these individual notes plugged into the broader network through digital media, whether that's zoom, Slack, podcast, all of that.
So to me, the traditional of geographic constraints is now gone. And I think that might be an interesting silver lining of having to live through in pandemic. No one's signed up for this. No one's signed up to be sheltering in place for the last now what 8, 9months. And for at least sounds, like through the end of the year, if not summer, or even late 2021, who knows, right. It's going to depend a lot on all the data that's coming in, as well as public policy makers. And that's out of my pay grade to really talk about, I mean, I'm not controlling public policy decisions,
But the main interesting fact here is that historically, geography controlled a lot of or dynamic in our behavior and our quote unquote team culture. Now that geography is no longer constraint that opens up a lot of interesting possibilities. So for me, I think that on a macro perspective, without geographical constraints that opens up a lot of opportunity where no longer do I need to hire only people living in San Francisco in an arbitrary five mile radius for me, I can tap into the entire world. So in that sense, I think we're going to see an unlocking of global talent.
The potential downside is that the world's going to be a lot more competitive because we've just went from a decently localized version of talent competition in a global economy. Now in this new future, there'll be a global talent pool fighting for a global market. So that means more people, more players, more distribution of opportunity, but also more competition. So I think that's, what's going to happen on a global perspective and just zooming down from an individual or team perspective.
I think this opportunity gives us, uh, a powerful excuse to have some social calendar autophagy. Obviously we talk a lot about autophagy from a cellular health perspective, metabolic health perspective, cleaning out the junk that has accrued up in our system and a silver lining here is that a lot of our social obligations can be thought of as potential junk that has accrued up. So I've really taken this opportunity to really look at my calendar, the meetings and removing social obligations, I think were more legacy or were just weren't useful for me or additive to me and replacing those if a very easy excuse to not continue those obligations. And now focusing on things that are really positive additive to me. So to me, it's taking the chances really audit your time and energy and focusing that time and energy to things that make you happy that make you creative, that make you or inspired to be productive. So what does that look like in terms of office meeting culture? one of the things that we found very efficient in terms of how I run and coordinate with my colleagues is be asynchronous. So meaning a lot of, I would say meetings or decision-making and like research is done in a meeting and it's actually quite an efficient, if you could actually just do all of that prep work upfront and written up in a memo, which is typically how Amazon runs their meetings, where we, and, and how H.V.M.N. runs our meetings. We actually have a memo per meeting, and we actually very much distinguished between a brainstorm session versus a decision-making session. So there's clarity in terms of the preparation required to even go into a meeting.
Now that clarity has been super helpful in terms of organizing time and resource allocation. So when we have very clear meeting times, it's been really a breath of fresh air where meetings are no longer kind of time socks and time sinks, where it's like not a clear goal of what the, what the hell the point of the meeting is. It's very clear, “Hey, we're brainstorming for the next 30 minutes. Let's just come in with open creative energy” or, “Hey, we're making a decision on the launch date of a new product. Okay. We're all coming in with our assigned pieces of homework and we're going to make a clear decision.” And I found that this very clear distinction of running meetings with purpose, running meetings with an agenda, running meetings with pre written memos, with tasks, items, and homework done before set meeting makes things a lot more smooth.
And overall, I see the world going more that direction where synchronous meetings will be much more decisive and much more clear, and there'll be a lot less of this fuzzy, hey, water cooler chat, because we're in the same office. We can just kind of banter and explore. I think that's one of the downsides here would be, might lose a lot of that spontaneity that, that serendipity that you come in terms of random collisions of people. And I think that's going to be an area of innovation that we all need to think about. I think in terms of efficiency, we're going to get much more efficient because of just the asynchronous nature of work and people will be moving to, to work in more independent silos. The risk of that new model is therefore going to be spontaneity and serendipity. So we've been trying to do casual zoom, coffee, and chills and different events internally to try to reinvigorate that spontaneity that happens in just that physical presence.
So I would say that in the future, that's going to be an interesting area of exploration of a new culture, where, how do we maintain the efficiency of independent silos and asynchronous and memo written culture. Plus the spontaneity of being in person and having the animal vibe, the animal spirit of us being just a group of animals thinking and vibing together. So that's gonna be a fun exploration of how our culture, how our society will evolve post pandemic and something that we'll live through together. So if you have any good ideas or thoughts or questions around the area, let's keep exploring this topic.
I want a little bit over here, but a fun topic. And it's something that I imagine we'll be continuing exploring in the next months and years to come. Great question, Fiona.
Question 2 today comes from Steven G and he asks, or he states, you're so knowledgeable on a lot of topics. How do you manage your time and what do you spend your time on these days?
And that is a question that we constantly all revisit. So timer and where it goes on this. Question in terms of time, allocation resourcing is ultimately the most important question that we should be asking ourselves on a regular basis. I, again, you look at limited resources or commodities in this world, especially relating to each of ourselves as individuals. The only limited resource that we have is our time, uh, whether you're the richest person in the world or the poorest person in the world, you have the same 24 hours in a day. You can get more money, you can get more toys, you can get more resources, you can get more gold, Bitcoin, other commodities, but time, even if you're a rich person, how do you buy more time? Well, I would say that being healthy, all this biohacking human performance longevity things are essentially a way to buy time. So I think it is a worthy area of investment. And that's why I personally am interested in being healthy and improving my health span is because I believe that if I can compound over a longer period of time, I will get more compounding returns and leverage and infrastructure over time. So health and being fit is very important.
Now, before going to that kind of side bar there, how do I spend my time today? And for me, I try to constantly revisit this topic because if time is the constraining resource that we all have then, well, it is literally, if you think about investing money into stocks or, you know, figuring out which gadget to buy on your next hunting trip or get the camera for your webcam. We spend a lot of time in figuring out how to the play money. I think that oftentimes you don't even think about how we spend our time. So just think about all the time you're nerding out about, you know, your video game or different specs of your fashion choice, your clothing items, all that time. We do research for our hobbies. Well, we should also think about how we best allocate time. So I think about what types of work are fun, which I don't even consider work. And I make sure I audit through my calendar and I, and look at which blocks of time are energy draining. So meetings that deal with personnel or people or gossip, those are fairly draining for me, but time that I'm spent brainstorming around new product ideas, new metabolic mechanisms, collaborating with top researchers and talking and nerding out through metabolism and the Krebs cycle, nerding out with top athletes around, how to optimize performance in different types of exercises and protocols. Those are really energy adding to me.
So I constantly look at where my time is on my calendar and then try to move more of my time towards those energy additive type tasks. So, for example, that's why I like doing this Free Fatty Friday series or my podcast, because I'll get a chance to think and be creative and curious about so many different topics. And I've really tried to mold the job into just my natural interests. So to me, I don't feel like I'm working most of the time because I've created the job to just be a natural extension of my curiosity. Now, of course, running businesses, building parts, there's a lot of blocking and tackling, which is the, not the glamorous side of work. And I found it to be just a huge privilege to be able to find and collaborate with team members that find those types of tasks as really additive or fun. Right? So it's just like this amalgamation of people finding in self-actualizing through their work and putting all those different types of people together where it's everyone is just like literally exploring their curiosity through the vehicle of your team or your entity. So to me you know, potentially negotiating with a supplier is not like the funnest thing for me, but that is something that is fun and enjoyable for some of my colleagues.
And they might be scared to death to do podcast or do Free Fatty Fridays. So I am just outsourced and, and taking up a lot of that responsibility. So all in all, I think it's fine allocate more of your time towards a spectrum of things that you just find energy additive and minimize and partner with people that find things that are negative energy producing and have them own those tasks. And, you know, there is some reality here, like I'm never going to be an a hundred percent position for everything I do every single day is going to be all fun stuff. And I think there's definitely an economic reality. I think a lot of true work is not glamorous, so that's fine. I think that is the due we pay to be able to do the fun things as a part of our livelihood. I think the only question is that if you can kind of keep the lights on with the non-glamorous things, let's just try to improve the ratio of the fun aspects of work and minimize the not so fun aspects of work. And if we find ourselves spending too much time on just being miserable at work, then I think it is worth taking a step back and saying, “Hey, maybe I should move in a different direction with my limited time on this planet.”
So if you're always on the not fun side of livelihood, I would say, step back, reassess, how do you put yourself in a position where you can do more fun stuff? And again, in this notion of fun, I think is ultimately how we all should be aspiring to live. If your work is no longer a grind, if your work is something of a natural extension of yourself, you're going to be unbeatable because no one can pay me enough to do something else. I am just doing this out of pure fun, pure abundance, pure intellectual curiosity. And if you can really find yourself in that sweet spot where no one needs to pay you money to spend your time in that way, well, you're going to have a massive advantage of being the world's best in those specific areas. So that's, I think the true zen spot in terms of where we all should be aspiring. What are an area of service or good or product where you literally just personally enjoy thinking and tinkering about and is actually useful for other people in our society and try to maximize or extend the amount of time you sit in that area of the world versus sitting in an area of a world where it's just really painful to start executing on that type of work. And if you're in more than this spot, either step back, reassess the direction and vector of your life, or find great team members, collaborators, partners, who can take some of that load that you find as annoying, but they find as really, really self-actualizing. That is the combination, the magic combination of building really high functioning organizations, again, a couple of minutes over, but a fun conversation here. Thanks for the question, Steven.
Question number 3 today is from Joe D. He asks, it's been a tough year for everyone. What are you most excited about as we wrap up the year 2020?
Yeah. This is definitely a question I would say that all of us are probably thinking about. So let me get the timer started and get going here. So timer started for five minutes. Yeah. The year started off in a weird way. Right? I remember it probably in January that one of the key moments there was sharing about Kobe Bryant dying in an airplane crash or a helicopter crash. And it didn't get much better news since then pandemic, social political unrest, all of that and stabilizing disconcerting of evolution of our day-to-day society. But a part of me is very optimistic and hopeful. I think of a Winston Churchill quote, If we're marching through hell, keep going. And I think that's the mindset that we must be taking. The world is not going to feel sorry for any of us. The world is an emotional, the world is, you know, the COVID-19 viruses just replicating out its dispassionate mechanism just to self-replicate, right? It is not a snowflake that, you know, it gets hurt by how it does not get affected by how we feel if we're crying or not crying. So again, I think that's your Chilean, Hey, you know, shit is tough, but marched through it. I think that's a little bit of mindset that we all need to take and consider, and that's not to take light of potentially having lost, loved ones, loss of business, loss of livelihood. That's going to be a painful reckoning for our society, our culture, a lot of that, I mean, we can never get back people, but aside from the people we can rebuild in terms of business. And hopefully let's try to take this forced reckoning and be as adaptable as possible. When you think of natural selection, it's not just the toughest strongest animal that is naturally selected by the environment. It's oftentimes the most adaptable to very quick changes in the environment are the types of species that are “naturally selected”. So I think of that as in terms of our day-to-day living now, there has been that phenomenal paradigm shifting change in our broader environment and the individuals, the teams, the organizations that can be most adaptable to this new role are going to be the people that survive and thrive. So let's all try to be in that latter category of people, really trying to be adaptable and dynamic on top of the evolving environment versus the folks that go extinct, which is people that try to recollect the past and we've opened up Pandora's box. I I'm, I'm definitely a type of person that looks forward into the future versus, Hey, let's bring back the past because of the good old days, the good old days are gone. So let's accept that. Let's think about the new reality that we live in and build our lives around that new paradigm.
So what am I personally excited about as we wrap up your 2020? It's October 23rd. So our election is in a couple of weeks. I'm really hopeful that is anticlimactic, and we can move on with our lives. I know a lot of my friends are concerned about violence. I really do hope and pray that that is just overblown concern. I hope it's a smooth transition of power if there is one or a continuation of power of that is, and that is what the American electorate decides. Obviously I have a stake as a, you know, born American first born in this country, born in Los Angeles, California. So I have a stake here. I hope my policies and choices of people win, but Hey, a part of democracy is a full on the rules. So regardless of what everything happens, I hope that things become stable and more business as usual. That's at least my dear hope, but things that can more directly control, we just have a lot of projects going on. Again, going towards the, uh, broader thought of being adaptable, being dynamic. And in this environment, we're actually launching a brand new product the next couple of weeks. So excited to announce that as things come together and, excited about just continuing to explore on the podcast. I think we just, with the last 6, 7 weeks doing Free Fatty Fridays, just a lot of just fun conversations, fun thoughts of it just organically happened through this platform.
So what I'm most excited about for the rest of the year is honestly just continue to do good work, launch new products, work on work on projects that I can directly control and just talk and hang out with good people. Again, kind of relating to question number 2, when I think about politics, it's negative energy for me. So I have tried to just minimize the time I spent on those types of topics and focus my time and things that are energizing to me, which is working on new projects, working on new products, thinking with the best people in the world, in terms of academics, research, ketosis, athletics, longevity. So I want to have a lot of just more fun podcasts, talk to great people. We've had just a phenomenal list of people on the podcast recently. So that's where I'm spending my energy on. How do I spend more time with the people that are going to be creating the future and spending less time thinking about kind of the overhead of life, which to me oftentimes is like kind of the legacy people or the political people. I don't know if I'm just being overly dispassionate here, but again I just need to think about like what, and I think each of us needs to be thoughtful about it. Yeah.
Our own mental sanity. What are the types of time? What are the type of projects that make us individually happy and just find a focus more time on that. So that is going to be my theme for the rest of the year. And hopefully for 2021, increase the amount of time spent on positive energy inducing projects. And that limit is never going to reach a 100%, but that is the goal, right? It's like the mathematical limit I'll asymptotically try to get 200% time of just pure, fun, creative curiosity. Let's all try to be on that positive feedback loop. All right. Thanks for the question, Joe.
The last question today is from Sammy. He asks, how do you motivate yourself? Any tips to help us get over the hump or when we're struggling?
I mean, this is a deep one. So I'll try to spend five minutes to talk about this topic, timer go.
There's definitely the interesting nuance between short-term motivation because you listened to a really awesome YouTube clip of David Goggins doing something super inspiring or forward. It ends up being your idol. You're like, wow, I'm pumped. I'm like super hyped up for the next 30, 60 minutes versus the slow long burn of really impactful projects. Rome is not created in one day. So anything that's, I think substantial meaningful is not going to be carried
By that short little spark of inspiration. It needs to be methodical, almost cool, calm, collected march towards progress. So what have I found to be a a special motivating over the longterm hall? And I think it encapsulates to a couple things I've found that has been, has resonated for myself personally. And I'm open to hearing feedback and thoughts of what has worked for all of you. So, one thing that has been really powerful for me is realizing that I get to do something. I think withCOVID with folks losing their lives over this past year, speaking to veterans and working with a lot of our service members and hearing about how they've lost their best friends in warfare, in combat and now fully appreciation. And from that experience really appreciating the beauty, the opportunity to even live. I think I try to hold that as dear as possible, because if you've never felt that loss, the lack of, we almost don't even really value what we do have and having done challenging things or been in scary situations, uh, whether in business or within just personal adventures. I think seeing that mortality or, or sitting with it, realizing that we have this short life to live, that we have our limited years on this planet. We have limited hours in the day that we're conscious and absorbing and being stimulated by the wonderful universe around us. I try to really frame that. We get to do things versus, Oh, I need to just like put an hours and clock through. So when there's something hard, whether it's a physical challenge or a business challenge, I like to tell myself, I get to do this when this is part of my wildest dreams is to be able to do this Murph challenge of doing 45 Murph's in a row, or when I'm working on a project and bring a new product to the world. I get to do this. This is a true honor. This is what I signed up for. So I think just even framing each of your projects in that pause of, I get to do this is very, very powerful.
Now that also goes back to the fact that what you do has to be meaningful for yourself, right? If it's not worth your time to do something well, figure out whether you can frame it in a way that's worthwhile to you, but if it's truly not worthwhile to you, then it goes back to, into that category of okay, how do I shift my time to things I think are meaningful efforts in this world. And yes, there is some economic reality where we need to do the shit stuff, to be able to pay our dues, to do the fun stuff. And even that might be motivating enough, which is that, Hey, I have, I get to do all of this brick foundation layering stuff to even earn the privilege to do what I think is the next step of mine career so far in a positive lens versus a negative lens, and then make sure you're building towards a dream that you truly want to live for. And I think that this dream doesn't need to be something super impactful world changing are super impressive, because I think I'm fundamentally nihilistic in the sense that once we die, I mean, the universe, at least from your perspective is over, right? Like, I don't know if there's an afterlife, I don't know, like, like that's, you know, some probability set for me, but what I'm pretty confident about is that once this lifetime ends, like just the day to day awards of getting that raise or getting that metal or getting that prize really doesn't matter. So to me, it's then you have to create the game that does matter where even if you fail at achieving that end price, It's still worth that journey. So if you can find a journey worth traversing, and then working incrementally towards that and having the luxury of the opportunity to even do that, that's the positive motivating mindset to keep grinding every single day. So I do like all those inspirational videos to try to push myself and remind myself of why I'm doing this. But I think the foundationally motivating fire that burns for years and not just a little spark, because you're just super pumped for 30 minutes. Find something that you can journey on over the long period of time and build a foundational that get there. And even if you fail on reaching the destination that you envision, that journey is worth it. So find that for yourself one, and then remind yourself that you get to do this. This is what you signed up for. Hopefully this two mental framing of the problem set helps you find that fire where you can continuously build and build momentum over your life. And that's how I find myself incredibly motivated and, and firing with high confidence, high resiliency over time. I think I've really found a sweet spot for myself personally, where I truly do love human performance, metallics and physiology. I truly do love running, organizing great teams, great organizations, great companies. And I've just, it is intellectually fascinating for me to think about how social society, civilizations and cultures are built. So to me, being on this path of Excel for exploration, as well as understanding the universe around me, especially in terms of organizations that compound, that's not worked for me, even if I fail on everything I do, this is a fun journey. I get to speak with elite athletes, folks that are the top of their field in academia, the most innovative technologists and engineers building the next great products in both software and human performance. That's just fun. So to me, it's like get to do this and if there's stumbling blocks along the way that just pay my dues to like earn and re earn the right to keep doing. But I think it's just pure funds. So find and create that entity, that spot, where you're able to just tap into this positive feedback loop and then the Wolf unlocks the beer oyster. So Sammy, I hope you're able to find that trajectory and let's keep moving along and having fun in this abundant world of ours. So hope that's helpful, at least in terms of frame set and mindset. Thanks for asking the question.
All right. So these are the four questions that we have time for today. Hopefully this was inspiring, helpful, a little bit nuggets here to incorporate into your work style, your lifestyle. Honestly, to me, this is a never ending project. So we have to constantly refining our work or mental models, our motivation, our identity, our dynamic evolving entities in this world and the environment constantly changes. So I think if we just accept that changes and inevitable that environmental dislocations are inevitable, and one must be the most adaptable. The most resilient in changing environments are the ones that tend to see long-term natural selection success. We need to therefore then just think in terms of being resilient, adaptable, creative, so hope these four questions really help tie in some of these themes of some of the actual tips in terms of structuring your own individual time as well. Some tips in terms of running team time and organizational time, and then some, probably some nuggets in terms of more philosophical nuggets in terms of just mental models to live one's life.
So I hope this is helpful, interesting to you as always, the best way to support this program is to share with your friends, give a thumbs up, give a, like, give a five star review. That's really the best way to support me and my team here that does the editing that does the producing for our beautiful podcast. So again, appreciate all your support, all the questions. Again, doing this as really a part of aligning along the axis of this being just fun for me. So hopefully this is as fun for you as it is for me. I'll talk to you guys next week. All right. This is Geoff Woo out! Stay prepared, stay resilient, stay healthy.
Talk to you guys all very soon!