DAYP 6: Boost Your Health in 40 Seconds / Forget Multitasking, Build Your Monotasking Muscles

This week’s content looks at how REHIT can get you fit in 40 seconds and how to train your monotasking muscles to get more done.

1: REHIT: Significantly Boost Your Health in 40 Seconds

It constantly surprises me how little you actually need if you truly go as hard as you can when you are supposed to go hard and then give yourself these luxurious rest periods

– Ben Greenfield

On Ben Greenfield’s podcast he interviewed Ulrich Dempfle co-founder of CAR.OL, an AI-powered exercise bike that uses REHIT as its training protocal. REHIT, Reduced Exertion High-Intensity Interval Training, is a method of training that involves doing 2 sprints on a bike, 3 times a week. This simple routine substantially increases your VO2 max as well as improving fat loss, lowering blood glucose and blood pressure and more.

Here’s how you can implement REHIT into your training:

  • Warm up. Cycle at low to moderate pace for 3-5 minutes
  • Sprint 100%. Sprint with maximal intensity for 20 seconds
  • Recover fully. Rest completely for 2-5 minutes (enough rest to do another round with max intensity)
  • Sprint 100% again. Sprint with maximal intensity for another 20 seconds
  • Stop. You are done with this session’s 40 seconds of work training.
  • Repeat 3x. Repeat these 40 second sprints 3 times a week for less than 10 minutes a session

NOTE: REHIT was studied using a cycle ergometer (a fancy stationary bike). CAR.OL is a bike specifically designed for REHIT protocol where it automatically adjusts difficulty based on your performance. You could use a regular stationary bike and adjust the resistance higher so you feel spent during a 20 second sprint. Or you could use a fan / air bike as the resistance increases the harder you go.

Notes:

  • Standard HIIT may cause chronic inflammation, potentially causing arterial tightening and free radicals from excess lactic acid, essentially trading off longevity for performance
  • The interview is from the creator of the CAROL bike. A bike specifically designed for REHIT training. The cost of the bike is around 2-3K USD
  • The bike offers a 100 day risk free home trial
  • You barely have to break a sweat to complete the REHIT training and can comfortably do it fasted

References, sources and more:


#2: Forget Multitasking, Build Your Monotasking Muscles

You make more mistakes when you multitask, you don’t get as much done as if you had done one thing at a time and moved on to the next thing, you think you’re going to get more done, but you actually end up feeling more stressed and overwhelmed. Basically, our brains are only capable of doing one thing at a time.

– Thatcher Wine

Thatcher Wine is the author of The Twelve Monotasks: Do One Thing At A Time to Do Everything Better. Thatcher sat down with the Art of Manliness Podcast to discuss why monotasking is so important in our ever-increasing distracted lives. While this might not be groundbreaking news, Wine makes a great point about how montasking, like any other muscle, is one that needs to be exercised in order to get stronger. Strong monotasking muscles help you pay attention, be more present, and increase your connection to others.

How you can strengthen your monotasking muscles:

  • Develop awareness between monotasking and multitasking. Oftentimes we don’t realize we are being distracted by trying to do several things at once. Identify when you’re being distracted.
  • Make a choice to monotask or multitask. The goal isn’t to become a monotasking “god” but to make conscious decisions when we multitask and when we monotask. It’s fine if you consciously decide to multitask, but make that your choice and not something out of habit. 
  • Practice monotasking. Focus on one task at a time. Resist the temptation to do multiple things at the same time. To practice you can use these 12 monotasks as a starting point: Reading, Walking, Listening, Sleeping, Eating, Getting There, Learning, Teaching, Playing, Seeing, Creating, and Thinking.
  • Be comfortable with boredom. Acknowledge that monotasking might be initially boring and that learning to monotask, like anything new, will take time to build up. Prior to smartphones and the internet we had to be comfortable being “bored” … which would make us strike up a conversation with a stranger, day dream, etc…
  • Be patient. The more you practice monotasking the better you’ll get. The goal is improvement over time.

Notes:

  • How to be a better listener.. listen as if you’re recording a podcast interview with someone
  • Research has shown that multitasking produces more mistakes, takes longer to finish a task, and makes you more stressed compared to focusing on one task at a time
  • 2% of the population can be considered “supertaskers” who can do 2 cognitive tasks at time
  • Most think they are multitasking when in fact they are just task switching
  • Studies show that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to switch from one task to another so if you are constantly switching tasks you aren’t giving your brain enough time to focus on a task to create better results
  • A lot of the pressure of multitasking comes from the glorification of doing more with less time
  • Reading strengthens your attention while smartphones fragment our attention
  • There are benefits to reading physical books compared to e-books on a screen … forces to focus, your brain makes connections with where you are in a book, etc…
  • 1 Way Listening. When listening to music, podcasts, and other media try only listening and not doing other things at the same time. This can benefit students where they often listen to lectures and have to pay attention
  • 2 Way Listening. Give your full attention to listening when another person is speaking to you. We’ve been conditioned to assume people aren’t listening so when others do listen it is surprising in a good way. Avoid thinking about how to reply while you are listening. Fully listen. When people feel fully listened to they feel very valued which improves relationships
  • Anything technically can be a monotask… cleaning, folding laundry, etc…
  • Give yourself permission to do one thing at a time. Resist temptation to do multiple things at the same time
  • Play. When out at concerts or other leisure activities, resist the temptation to take pictures, think about work, etc… be present in the moment and enjoy it. Immerse yourself in the play
  • Thinking. It’s not about fixating your mind on one thought, bring your full attention to when you are thinking to do the best work possible…
  • Reading physical books (as opposed to audio books) forces you to pay attention and only do one thing… reading also strengthens your attention span
  • Some of the most successful people in the world are big readers
  • Reading is a great foundation for monotasking
  • Reading. Start small and build up to 20 minutes. Have a set reading environment and schedule to further build this habit
  • Walking. Give your full attention to walking. Pay attention to noises around you, nature, resist temptations to take a picture with your phone, etc… Think of it as meditative walks. Bring attention fully to the walk. Goal is to go for 20 minutes

References, sources and more:

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