Instead of searching for fresh operational tactics to boost our businesses, we should be looking to hone our greatest resources: ourselves. Welcome to biohacking.
What makes a business successful? In the end, beneath all of the clever marketing, organizational efficiency, and compelling value propositions, it comes down to people. Whether it’s a one-person operation or a company with thousands of employees, it’s all but impossible for it to thrive without old-fashioned human ingenuity.
Given this, it’s frustrating how often those people are erroneously viewed as cogs in wheels — basic mechanical parts that are never going to get more or less effective. After all, human work performance can vary immensely from one day to the next. If you can find a way to keep it consistently high, you can change the game.
This is what biohacking is all about: analyzing the human body and mind to find ways to make people healthier, stronger, smarter, and generally more effective at whatever they do. And you don’t need to be an expert to use it. Here’s how you can biohack your way to success:
Critically assess your mental and physical state
Before you start trying to boost your performance, you need to have some idea of what’s currently holding it back. You might not have given it much thought before, but think about it now — how are you feeling, and how is your state affecting your business performance? Remember that there are various secondary effects of your wellbeing, so get as granular as you can.
For instance, if you’re spending a lot of time thinking about an issue with a personal relationship, you might assume that it’s insignificant for your business — but your state of mind determines how well you can perform your duties, and any distraction that you can’t quite shake will inevitably have an effect on your regular productivity.
If you’re going to be putting a lot of time into becoming a more effective and efficient version of yourself, you should definitely find the time to learn more about the biohacking field. New methods, ideas and technological developments come along on a regular basis, and you should know about them when they arrive — it’ll help you stay competitive.
To pick up on the basics and establish a reliable knowledge pipeline, pick out some biohacking experts to follow: you can keep up with their social media posts, regularly visit their websites, and generally consume their materials. Podcasts are particularly great, so listen out for them.
With biohacking, there isn’t really a perfection to achieve, because there’s always more you can be doing — but you have to start somewhere, and you should first aim to cover the essentials:
- Sleep. We all vaguely understand how important sleep is, but it often gets sacrificed at the altar of short-term productivity gain — only to actually lower it in the long term. Aim to get 7-8 hours of good sleep every night, and try to avoid using an alarm clock. Instead, set an emergency alarm later than you expect to wake up, and give yourself enough time to wake up naturally (and cancel the alarm).
- Nutrition. If you consume too much sugar, your mood will fluctuate wildly and make it harder for you to get things done. If you don’t eat enough fiber, you’ll experience digestive issues. Aim to maintain a sensible diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Hydration. Drinking more water will help lower your appetite and stop you from eating the wrong things at the wrong times, and generally help your system remain in good condition. You needn’t aim to hit some arbitrary amount — instead, use a calculator like this one to figure out how much you need.
- Exercise. One of the best ways to deal with work-related stress, exercise also happens to be immensely good for you in almost every way, lifting your mood, increasing your strength, calming your mind, and bolstering your confidence.
- Relaxation. Anxiety can turn any workday into a complete waste of time. If you spend most of your waking life obsessing about every last facet of your business, there’s a good chance that you’d benefit from learning to relax. When you relax, you can your business more objectively, and make more sensible decisions.
In addition to making numerous basic improvements to the things listen above, it’s a great idea to pick one thing in particular to make a major focus of your life. For example, you could commit to improving your fitness enough to run a marathon in a year, or cut a particular food out of your diet entirely. You should only pick one because it’ll be hard enough to achieve that — particularly given all the time you’ll be putting into your business.
This will achieve three great things:
- It’ll give you a secondary personal goal to go along with your professional goals. When you get tired of thinking about your company, you can think about your wellbeing instead, and making progress with one will spur you to make progress with the other.
- It’ll help you prove to yourself that you can truly change. If you try to make various big changes, your willpower will fade, but if you can handle just one big improvement, you’ll show yourself that you can adapt (this will help you with your future efforts).
- It’ll add to your personal story. When you’re trying to promote your business, your brand story is hugely important, but so is your personal story. Why did you start the business? What are your goals? What type of person are you? Being able to talk about your self-improvement efforts will show your dedication, earning you plaudits.
Put all of these pieces together, and you’ll be in a solid position. You’ll know your strengths and weaknesses, be in a position to follow the latest biohacking developments, make minor but powerful tweaks to your day-to-day lifestyle, and choose a core improvement to pursue across months or even years.