Name: Bill Hartman
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Current Gig: Co-Owner of Indianapolis Fitness & Sports Training and Owner of I-FAST PT.
One word that best describes how you stay focused: Self-Regulation
Current wake time: 4:58am
As an entrepreneur with a busy schedule how to you manage to stay focused and on task with increasing demands?
Ritual and planning.
Every morning starts with a ritual that lasts for 1-3 hours depending on the day. It is preplanned to eliminate decision-making on the spot. This assures a series of successes and execution toward specific goal.
I also have a weekly outline of activities that includes time with my wife (first priority), work in my physical therapy practice, reading time, writing time, and exercise time. It is a maleable schedule, but it provides a guideline to assure I get more done. I have it blocked hour by hour. If I need to change it due to urgency of a project or a meeting change, it’s easier to do so rather than trying to make decisions on the fly and waste needless energy on decision making and randomly hoping things get done.
What do you do in order to keep your mind clear so that you can work at your best?
It’s really just a behavior management process of time and energy expenditure associated with effort. Some things demand more energy and are prioritized when I have the most energy available. This is usually earlier in the day when I’m better rested and have less demands. Consistency in patterns of behavior and a clear plan of execution eliminate unnecessay decisions that drain resource that I need to execute my work or reduce my ability to stay focused on the task at hand. Nutritional support also helps to avoid large fluctuations in blood sugar that can promote the sense of fatigue.
This has been a work in progress for some time and I wish I would have disciplined myself sooner as the benefits have affect every aspect of my life favorably.
Do you have any rituals that you use to stay focused?
I have a consistent wake time with the first hour of my day preplanned in regard to activities and supplementation to support my attention and focus.
Upon waking I take measurements in regard to my sleep quality from the night before. Right now I’m monitoring with OURA Ring to assure consistency in my sleep behaviors and progress toward my goals of resting heart rate, deep sleep and REM sleep. Without effective sleeping patterns, everything else becomes a struggle.
This is followed by supplementation. I take Cerevan at this point so its effect hit me about 2 hours later to provide increased focus during another phase of my morning.
After a little hydration, water or a branch=-chain amino acid drink, I meditate for 20 minutes with the Headspace app. This is for self-regulation and again training myself for increased focus on tasks.
I do a quick journal entry that includes 3 things that will represent progress toward my goals and a successful day. Again, think focus. If I know how I define success, I’m more likely to execute.
I read a little bit. 15-30 minutes on various topics of interest mostly in support of developing a better model and understanding of human physiology to support what I do for a living.
This is followed by my morning Neuro Coffee. Timing the BDNF and caffeine assures improved memory consolidation of what I’ve just read.
At this point, I start writing. It may be a blog or a larger project but it’s very writing focused these day. This is where I really notice the impact of Cerevan as it really drives my attention into what I’m writing.
Execution of this ritual assures that I start the day with success that will carry on through the day.
How do you work to keep your brain and memory sharp?
I create an environment that promotes brain health and takes advantage of the neuroplasticity of my brain. Certainly, my sleep hygiene is step one. think of that as a recharge of batteries and keeping the brain “clean” of unnecessary clutter. Pruning of unnecessary connections in your brain occurs while you sleep, so considation of memory can take place.
My rituals assure consistent energy and effort.
Exercise and supplementation to support brain health provide the machinery of new neurons via increased BDNF and inflammation control as well as self-regulation to reduce undesired stress that interrupts my ability to focus and store memory.
The last component is to keep learning something. This could be movement-based like mobility drills or calisthenics, dance class, playing guitar, or reading and expanding my knowledge on a specific topic of interest. We need to take advantage of the ability to change the brain to keep if functioning at a high level like a “younger” brain.
Do you use or recommend any apps, foods, or books for people looking to improve memory, focus, and/or productivity?
Headspace for meditation.
OURA Ring for monitoring of sleep quality, daily activity levels, and physical readiness for activity
Cerevan for focus and memory
Neuro Coffee for increased potential for neuroplasticity via increased BDNF
Books like Getting Things Done, The Art of Learning, The Productive Person to organize your life.
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