The human brain runs on ATP. When you think, you burn ATP. There are different patterns of thought or deepness of thought that runs through your ATP. As you’re thinking and making decisions, you’re physically burning energy but you can replenish it with calories. You can’t replenish ATP with calories. You can only replenish ATP with sleep and stillness. You burn way more ATP and calories during stress than non-stress.
What is the point? You can get attacked by questions and stress left and right but can handle it like it’s nothing by creating a space for peace and stillness. You can replenish your ATP and energy to be able to set your day, structure your to-do list, and get through your day your way.
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Your Day Your Way
This one’s pretty short but it is pretty profound. We are dealing with a fairly decent amount of chaos. I want to paint a solid picture here. Some months ago, the consultant we brought in for a year, he’s six months into his one-year plan. In month six he started instituting a two-day summit meeting in Pennsylvania near our office, in which four of the nine of us have to fly in from other states. We meet for two days. It’s incredibly disruptive to Kerri and I’s existing monthly calendar because it’s every four weeks. We then have to stay an extra day because we are literally overhauling a three story, 22,000 square foot building.
We gutted every floor. We painted every ceiling. We ground down all three concrete floors, redoing all electric, all lighting. It is a brand-new building on the inside. To say the amount of meetings for that building is not disruptive in what was already a set schedule would be an understatement. On top of that, let’s add the fact of all of the meetings we have to decide between furniture, lighting, wheelchair access, it is intense. At the same time, Kerri and I decide we’re going to redo after a decade plus, broken everything the cabinets, the sink is falling apart, no refrigerator works, the stove doesn’t work, the microwave finally broke, the small refrigerator.
We’re redoing our kitchen because you can’t even consider it a kitchen. It’s just a room with stuff. We’re like, “We’ve got a crew in here doing this. Why don’t we expand the kitchen sink in the basement,” so we’ve got a guy cutting that out, putting a bigger sink in. “Why don’t we redo the dining room?” so we had a couple of guys drive in from Pennsylvania to Illinois, professional painters, because they’re family. Kerri’s like, “Why not do it my office?” It is a war zone in the middle floor of our home. Thank God my office is in the basement.
Here’s the point. On top of that, the year just ended. We ran the numbers. It looks like we are going to hit the Inc. 5,000 list for the fifth time. I have a feeling because of the hyper growth of 2017, we might make the Inc. 500 list. We went from 68 to 115 employees, half in the US, half in Romania, formed four larger affiliate partnerships, two in other countries. To say we are moving and shaking would be an understatement. We are cooking with gas. I’m going to admit with full transparency on this podcast.
There were a couple times where I had many pieces of input coming at me from staff to employees to consultants to new partnerships. I had many Skypes, texts, emails and then two different buildings having a general contractor and the general contractor’s lighting me up for answers. It was like the 1980s Calgon commercial where the lady dips her hands in the sink, into the dish soap and just says, “Calgon take me away.”
I had a couple moments where I said to myself, “If one more person asks me a question in the next ten minutes, I’m going to lose my mind.” I could not be stopped or interrupted one more time. I needed ten to fifteen minutes in a row of sanity. I threw my arms up in the air. I didn’t tell anybody. I grabbed my keys and I drove to Dunkin’ Donuts, just because. I went once to Ace Hardware and then to Dunkin’ Donuts. I had to get out of the chaos. The human brain runs on ATP. When you think, depending upon what you’re thinking of, you burn ATP.
I’m not the scientist that can give you the further details, but I can tell you this. There are different patterns of thought or deepness of thought that runs through your ATP. On one half, as you’re thinking, dancing and making decisions, you’re physically burning energy. I’m currently in a caloric restriction, doing a certain type of a focused eating proper type of diet that does limit calories, but you don’t replenish ATP with calories. You can only replenish ATP with sleep and stillness.
On one half I’m burning ATP left and right during chaos as what you’d typically do during stressful situations. You burn way more ATP and calories during stress than non-stress. On the other side, from a decision standpoint, you’ve heard me podcast many times about the famous book Think and Grow Rich. If you have read the book and I recommend you read it annually, you stop, you figuratively get yourself a thinking chair and in the pure stillness of the day or stillness of the night, you think and you ponder on what’s been pressing on you the days, weeks or months before. I want to share that I would not have made it through today if I did not throw my arms up in the air, get in my car, go to Dunkin’ Donuts.
What is the point? I left the center swirl of the tornado and I went to another building. There was still noise in the Dunkin’ Donuts. There were still people doing commerce, working their laptops, listening to their ear buds but it was a different type of noise. It was background noise. I could sit there with my yellow sticky notes, my pen and I could let my brain dump on paper what was pressing on me and what I had to put in motion. I’m telling you, I came back to my office. I still got attacked by all the people working in the house.
I went to my texts, Skypes and emails and saw everybody else that needed questions but I could handle it like it was nothing. I could handle it like it was nothing because one of the things I wrote on my to-do-list was that I’m going to wake up 90 minutes early before any other human on this planet is awake, and I’m going to set my day. I’m going to structure my to-do list and I’m going to get through my day my way.
The title of this podcast is Your Day, Your Way. I want to give you an exact analogy of what that peace and stillness of Dunkin’ Donuts did for me. I came back, I sat still for ten minutes after getting attacked at my front door, answering questions for these folks. Came downstairs and I made four columns on an Excel spreadsheet. Column one had the most urgent thing I needed to get done first. Column two had two items that I had to get done, second and third. I didn’t stack them one, two, three on top of each other.
I want you to note how I stack them, and this is critical for me, for my brain, especially when I’m lacking energy. I stack one item in one column. To the right of that, I stack two items I need to do, two to-dos. The third column had three to-dos, if I get one done, I go to column two. If I get those two items done, I go to column three, those have three. Column four had four to-dos. That is the top ten things I need to do, one, two, that’s three. Plus three, that’s six. Plus four, that’s ten.
Here’s the magic of this method. You expand your Excel spreadsheet. You add columns that are blank until you only see on the right side of your screen, the one column with the one item. That’s all you can work on until you delete it, you move your columns over one and now you’re staring at two items. You do the first one at the top, you delete happily, gives you a feeling of momentum. You get to the second one in column two, now you’ve done three items and probably the time it would have took you to do one or none because of all the chaos.
When you go to column three, you truly have momentum. It’s called success twice repeated. You’ve done success twice, meaning it’s been repeated. It’s not a fluke. You can crank through those three items because you have what is called personal momentum and it is a lot easier to keep your emails off, your phones off and your door locked with a do not disturb sign. Hope this helps take care.