Ari Meisel on Productivity, Healing, & How to Work Just 2 Days a Week
Greetings, Superfriends! Welcome to this week’s episode – we’re excited to have you. We're also excited to have today's guest – Mr. Ari Meisel.
To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone I have so much in common with. Like myself, he started out in entrepreneurship at the very young age of 12, building websites for his father’s business associates. I just LOVE that we both did exactly the same thing at the same time in our lives, but he was much more successful at it, and kept parlaying his success into more and more ventures.
In his former life, he was a successful property developer and real estate entrepreneur, until one day he was diagnosed with an incurable disease that you may or may not have heard of called Crohn’s. From there, he decided to use yoga, nutrition, and herbal remedies to treat himself, and he managed to overcome Crohn’s, and in the process, he co-founded the Less Doing, More Living, a company and blog where he works on making every task in life and business more efficient. In fact, he’s been called the most efficient man alive, and after this interview, I believe it. He’s written a ton of books on biohacking, productivity, optimization, and more… so, given the courses I’m teaching online and the subjects we generally talk about here, we had LOTS to talk about. It did take us a little bit to get into the flow and really get moving, but once we do, the episode offers TONS of great values and take-homes.
In it, we cover everything from how he manages to work only 2 days a week, to what supplements he is using, how everyday people like you and I can outsource aspects of our lives to get better results and have less stress. You’ll even hear about what productivity tools both Ari and I most recommend. I know you're going to love it.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Ari's entrepreneurial path – starting at just 12 years old
- How Ari beat the “incurable” Crohn's disease by reducing stress
- The story behind Less Doing, the methodology Ari has created for automation and outsourcing
- Some entrepreneurial wisdom on testing out your material and content
- Thoughts on outsourcing, and how to do it properly
- What are some of the surprising things that Ari outsources?
- What are the things that everyday people (non entrepreneurs) can outsource in their lives?
- The diet, exercise, and supplement regimen that Ari used to overcome Crohn's
- Being busy vs. being productive
- The power of setting artificial limits for yourself
- Why to-do lists make you feel terrible about yourself
- Ari's daily routine (diet, habits, and exercise) and how he works 2 days a week(!)
- Blood testing, and what factors Ari is looking at when he tests
- Cannabis supplementation for mental performance
- Ari's #1 sleep hack that everyone can try today
- Why should you get your hormones tested, even if you're healthy?
- The so-called “healthy range” for hormones according to the medical profession
- Why testosterone is a miracle hormone
- What's one thing Ari believes that other people think is crazy?
- One piece of homework that everyone in the audience should try this week!
- 2X thinking vs. 10X thinking, and how it makes you think differently
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- My productivity course, Become a Speed Demon (90% off)
- My new course, Branding You™, with Dr. Anthony Metivier
- Amazon Mechanical Turk
- Evernote – highly recommended free note/content tool
- Probiotic Supplements
- Vitamin D Supplements
- Krill Oil Supplements
- Kombucha (brew your own!)
- Parkinson's Law
- IFTTT Automation Service
- FollowUp.cc (I personally use FollowUpThen, but both are great!)
- The Zeigarnik effect and Bluma Zeigarnik
- Our previous episode with Amal Graafstra
- The movie Limitless
- Ben Greenfield's Nature CBD
- Our previous episode with Ben Greenfield
- Blue-blocking sunglasses for bedtime
- F.lux for your electronics
- Philips Hue Smart Lighting Starter Kit
- Dan Sullivan, a strategic coach
- Emergency by Neil Strauss
- Ari's website, Less Doing
- Ari's book, Less Doing, More Living
- Ari's other book, Intro to Biohacking (Paperback here)
- Ari's offer to get a free 30 minute call with a certified couch at LessDoingCall.com
Favorite Quotes from GUEST:
Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.
Jonathan Levi: Greetings, super friends. And welcome to this week's show. We're excited to have you. Which is to say, I'm excited to have you, and I'm excited to tell you about this week's guest, after that we can get right into it. So to be honest, I don't know if I've ever met someone that I have so much in common with.
Like myself, he started out in entrepreneurship at the very young age of 12, and he was also building websites for his father's business associates, which some of you guys may know is how I got started in entrepreneurship. Although, this guest today was a little bit more successful at it. And he kept parlaying his success into more and more ventures.
So in his former life, he was actually a successful property development and real estate entrepreneur doing green architecture and property development. And then one day he was diagnosed with an incurable disease that you guys may or may not have heard of called chromes. From there, he decided to use yoga and nutrition and herbal remedies to try and treat himself.
And shockingly, he did. He managed to overcome Crohn's. He managed to go on and run triathlons. Just an incredible, incredible story. In the process of doing all of this, he founded a company and a blog called Less Doing, More Living. And there he works on making every task in life and in business, more efficient.
In fact, he's been called the most efficient man alive. And after this interview, you guys, I believe it. He's also written a ton of books on biohacking, on productivity, on optimization, and much, much more. So given the courses, I'm teaching and the stuff I like to talk about on this show, you guys can imagine we had lots to talk about. Though it did take us a little bit of time to get into that and to kind of break the ice. So I apologize if it seems to start a little bit slow. Anyways, we cover everything from how he manages to work two days a week. To what supplements he's using, how everyday people like you and I can outsource aspects of our lives to get better results and less stress.
I know we want to hear about that. And you also hear about what productivity tools, both he and I most recommend. So there's a lot of good stuff in here. Why don't we just get into it, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ari Meisel.
Mr. Ari. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thanks for having me, Jon. Yeah, I'm sorry for the very brief, I guess you would say set up normally, you know like to do small talk and all that good stuff, but you're a very busy man, very busy and very productive man. So I didn't want to waste any more of your time than I need to, to get this awesome episode, on the road.
So thank you for that. I appreciate it. So let me start by saying Ari, we have a ton of overlap in both our interests and our careers. We both started doing web design at age 12. We both launched into quote-unquote careers, and then we both decided that helping people on the internet was going to be perhaps more interesting.
So I know my path, I know how I got here. Let me ask you how you became a bestselling author and how you went from a real estate entrepreneur to an internet personality and a TEDx speaker and all that good stuff.
Ari Meisel: Okay. Sure. So my first company, I was 12. I started a couple of others before I graduated high school and they were all in tech, but then I got out of college and I started working in construction and real estate development, which was an amazing learning experience and very, very hard work.
And after a couple of years of that sort of lifestyle, I was living really caught up with my body. And I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which for those who don't know is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the digestive tract. That's was very, very painful and it's considered to be incurable.
And after nearly dying from the combination of the illness and the medicine, I went on a long journey of self-tracking and self-experimentation, and I got off my meds and was declared free of the illness after several months. Wow. A big part of that was overcoming stress. And to do that, I was faced with the question of basically, what would you do if you can only work an hour a day?
And that was a real question for me because I was so weak and sick that that happened several times. I had to figure out ways to not only get everything done but to get more done than I ever had before so that I could continue to thrive. And that meant completely reinventing things. So I created a completely new methodology of productivity called less doing to help people optimize, automate, and outsource everything in their lives.
Jonathan Levi: I love that. And I especially love it because I actually about a half a year ago. Also built a course, although mine was more around, how do I do so much? So how do I do more and how do I automate and how do I optimize? So I guess, tell me about less doing and how you're approaching teaching productivity and efficiency online.
Ari Meisel: So I started out teaching in person with Skillshare actually. So Skillshare started several years ago as a platform to let anybody teach anything to anyone.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. I have a couple of courses on there, actually.
Ari Meisel: Okay, cool. So originally it was all in person. Basically, I started with the idea that I wanted to write a book and to do that
I was like, oh, I have to test the content. So I taught a class the first time I taught it. Was to like eight people. I think they paid $10 each and it was great though. And then shortly thereafter, within a month or two, I was teaching every two weeks to 40 people per class. And it was great. And well, after one class, somebody approached me and asked if I,
sorry, a siren in the background.
Jonathan Levi: No problem. We see that you are in New York City.
Ari Meisel: Yes. And also the 20th floor. So that's pretty loud. Wow. So they came up to me and asked if I do private coaching and I didn't at the time, but I was like, yeah, totally. And this is how much it costs. And this is how often we'll talk and we'll oh man.
Jonathan Levi: A true entrepreneur first by testing the materials and second by selling something before it's ready.
Ari Meisel: I love that. Before it even begins to exist. Exactly. And it worked. And then I started to learn a lot more about what people's needs are and what affected people's productivity, which the more and more I do this, I find it's just so much more psychologically based than I ever originally thought.
Then basically I created the book from one of my classes. So essentially I filmed one of my classes, gave it to an, a ghostwriter and said, you know, make a book. And I did. And then. I gave a talk at an event and there was an editor from Penguin there and we got talking and I was like, yeah, the manuscripts all done.
So it was like, really well, here it is. And that was that.
Jonathan Levi: I love it. Cause that's the exact process I took, you know, takes the course. I think once you've thought out a course and you've actually thought out how entertaining is this going to be to people watching my face for hours and hours, then converting it to the book is actually the easier part, especially with a great ghostwriter.
Ari Meisel: Yes, absolutely. And you know, the interesting thing about that is that I've outsourced thousands and thousands of things at this point. And the two times that I've had a real negative experience with outsourcing were both with ghostwriters. Really? Yeah. And so the interesting thing though is, and I teach people this, that I am firmly of the belief that if you outsource something to a competent outsourcing provider and they make a mistake,
then it is 90% of the time. It's your fault. Totally. Yeah, because you didn't properly communicate your needs or what you want or whatever. And that was the case. And basically, you know, the first time it was like, Oh, here's like nine blog posts I wrote and here's a couple of podcasts and here's this and this, and, you know, make a book.
And the result was awful. But when I finally was like, look, here is a video of me talking for two and a half hours about this content cohesive manner. Turn that into a book. That was that.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, it's totally an art and a skill. And actually, it's funny, you mentioned that cause this week I've had Anthony Metivier, who also teaches online courses here in Tel Aviv.
And we've been building a course on, you know, how do I go from being a public speaker to a blogger or to a podcast or to an online course teacher to how do you branch out and succeed in all these mediums? And it ultimately breaks down to the methods. So I think that's really interesting and clearly you and I have a lot to talk about offline
that's not SuperHuman related. Let me ask you this, Ari. What are those thousands of things that you've outsourced? Give me some of the big ones that might surprise people or the ones that you think everyone should be outsourcing.
Ari Meisel: Well, let me think. Let me surprise people. Well, I'll tell you one of the big ones, the majority of my podcasting process is outsourced and automated.
So it used to take me like 15 hours of my own time to do an episode. And now it takes an hour and I get to do two episodes a week instead of one episode, every six weeks like I used to do. And all of that has to do with outsourcing. I think that one of the things that, I don't know if it's surprised necessarily, but I do a lot of redundancy with outsourcing, especially with virtual assistants.
And what I mean by that is I'll have a virtual assistant create a blog post, and then I'll have another virtual assistant check the blog posts. The tasks are almost the same, but it's very similar. I got that idea a while ago when I saw how Amazon Mechanical Turk works, for those who are maybe not familiar,
Amazon has this Mechanical Turk service where you literally can have people do things that are like 5 cent jobs. Sure. It's as simple as click on this button and that's the task, or does this picture contain nudity, but kind of thing like people have to do. But what Amazon Mechanical Turk will typically do is they'll issue the exact same task to three people.
And if the results don't match up, then it gets kicked back into the pool and it's done again. Oh, interesting.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. What kind of stuff, I guess, uh, I could geek out with you all day on outsourcing, but since we probably have thousands of people listening. What kind of stuff in your experience? I mean, you wrote a book about this for the everyday person, not just the podcast or what kind of stuff do you think people can outsource in their daily lives?
I mean, the average individual is looking to find more time. Where are the quick wins?
Ari Meisel: So everybody deals with email, right? That's a big one for people that seems to be up and down the chain like that connects people. Right. So I created a process a while ago called the Human Autoresponder. And essentially autoresponders suck.
So there's just not efficient either. It just says I'm on vacation until this time, which is okay. Fine. Or it will be like if you need to contact this person, this part like it's too much information. So what I did was I created an Evernote document. With about 50 different pieces of information that would or could be in an autoresponder.
Everything from, if it's a billing issue, then this is the person. If someone wants a headshot and a bio, this is where they go. If somebody is interested in a consultation, go ahead. And basically, if I get an email from my website or matching certain keywords, And that email will not even go to me. It will go directly to a virtual assistant with a link to that notebook.
And it'll basically say, look, use this information to craft a personalized response, providing them the answer that they need.
Jonathan Levi: That's brilliant. And I think that's something that really any of us could do. Yeah. If we're in a high-functioning job where people are asking the same question a hundred times, it's maybe not possible to set the Google autoresponder up automatically, but it could certainly forward it to a human.
Ari Meisel: Well, and the thing that's nice about that is I've literally had people write back to me. This is so great. Thank you. Because they got a very personal response and they also got a response faster than they would've gotten it from me. That's my goal is that yes, I can certainly respond to all of my emails.
I'm very efficient with email. That's not a problem, but I'm not dealing with email all day long. And I also, I'm not kind of one of the people that does email twice a day, or claims that they do email twice a day. But at the same time, if an assistant can answer your question, even an hour before I can, then I want you to have that answer as quick as possible.
You don't need a personal answer for me if I can give you the answer quicker.
Jonathan Levi: Sure. And I think one of the things I always tell people, because there's this perception of you're outsourcing for daily tasks or your personal life that you can come off as kind of a prima donna and you can come off as this kind of whole year then now egoist who thinks that certain tasks are beneath them. And it's not about that. It's like my assistant does a better job finding guests that come on this show, he found Ari Meisel, ladies and gentlemen, and told me, you got to have this guy in your show. I wouldn't have found you. And furthermore, you know, my editor does a better job editing the podcast.
So it's about creating a better experience for your customers or your friends or your family or whoever it is you're interacting with. Right? Exactly. I find that very, very interesting. All right. I want to change gears a little bit and come back to more of the physical superhuman stuff because you have written a book on biohacking, you've written books on how you overcame Crohn's.
I'll say this, I'm a huge believer that restoring your body to its healthy, optimal state with exercise and diet and all that good stuff. That's a given. I don't think you have to convince anyone on that, but you also mentioned stress and you also mentioned in your blog a little bit about herbal remedies that you found very effective for resolving these kinds of digestive issues associated with Crohn's.
Tell me a bit about that and also tell me, how did you decrease the stress?
Ari Meisel: So the diet stuff turned out to be pretty straightforward. I mean, I've replicated these results in a lot of other people with Crohn's, and the general thing that I've found that works for people with Crohn's, as well as a lot of inflammatory conditions, is to eat a diet that is high in fat and low in sugar.
So it doesn't mean it's gluten-free, it doesn't mean it's low carb necessarily, but essentially high fat, low sugar, and high good fats- olive oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed beef, pastured egg yolks, avocados, that kind of stuff. And then low sugar is obvious, low sugar. Low sugar is inflammatory, and you want to try to limit as much as possible.
So that's the basic thing for supplements that it was sort of a three-part thing, which was probiotics, vitamin D and krill oil. And there's a ton of other supplements that I played around with, some were helpful, and some were really not helpful. But those are the three that are really important. I find it, especially the probiotics because so much of it is about gut health and gut bacteria and your microbiome.
And especially in the Western world, we just don't eat enough fermented foods to have sort of a good supply of bad creepy crawlers. Oh man.
Jonathan Levi: I'm glad you mentioned that actually. How do you feel about kombucha?
Ari Meisel: I don't think that the risk is worth the reward.
Jonathan Levi: Really? I'm surprised you say that risk of contamination, risk of, yes.
Ari Meisel: What scares me about kombucha? So first of all, the commercially made kombucha, anything that you're getting in a bottle is total BS. That's not, that's like commercial yogurt. Yeah. So, I mean, commercially over to the same thing, you'd have to eat like 11 pints of yogurt from Stony Brook to get, anywhere near the beneficial bacteria that you could get.
So kombucha does the same thing commercially when you make it yourself. I just think that there's too much of a risk, yes of contamination. But even without contamination, there are like seven compounds. There are seven antibiotics that kombucha produces that we can't even identify. Yeah.
Jonathan Levi: I mean, there's been about three cases of people getting mold poisoning.
And then of course there's the whole aspect of contamination with fruit fly larva and stuff like that. But now I brew my own stuff. Actually, I just gave Anthony a scoby as well. And I brew basically under my sink kombucha and make sure there's clean, sterile all that stuff. And so far knock on wood, you know, uh, I've had a very good experience.
I find it to be really, really good for the gut and for the joints particularly.
Ari Meisel: Yeah. I mean, if you do it right, but, definitely.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. There's a lot of sanitation involved in it.
Ari Meisel: Yes, exactly. So again, and it's also, I mean, maybe it's not so bad for you now that you do it regularly, but I think it's a lot of work for possible benefits.
Jonathan Levi: So I'm going to have to FedEx you a scoby Ari, because I spent like about an hour a week and I get this really, really high-quality stuff. And I dunno, it becomes like brewing beer. It becomes a hobby more than anything. All right. Yeah. Hey, all right. I'll see if I can FedEx one from abroad. So, all right. If I understand this correctly, you beat Crohn's with stress reduction, the krill oil, the diet, the exercise, all that good stuff.
And then at that point, somewhere along the way you ran an Iron Man. And then you come up with this book Less Doing, More Living and come up with this philosophy that we still haven't completely covered. So tell me about less doing, I mean, what does that mean besides outsourcing?
Ari Meisel: And so it's really about freeing up your time so that you can do the things you want to do, which may be as simple as using your brain, to think of new ideas. I find that a lot of people feel overwhelmed nowadays. That's the big buzz word and they try to be busy just to be busy. And it's like a culture that we've developed that wants people to just work until they die, essentially, because that's impressive, but it's really not, in a lot of ways.
I think that that's actually the lazy route because anybody can just keep shoveling. You can just keep digging, but to think of another way to do things in a smarter way requires more work in some situations. I think that by freeing up the time, you can do the things you want to do, whether that's coming up with a new idea for a business, or just being happier, or being able to pick your kids up from school, whatever that might be. That's what I want for people.
Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. And even if that is sitting down and thinking about the things that you do in your daily interactions, in your daily processes that don't need to get done. Right? Because that's a big one. There's a lot of stuff that we do every day. Check our bank account every single day.
Well, you don't need to do that. Check it every week. Check every month. So there's a lot of wasted time, I find.
Ari Meisel: Yeah, a big thing that I talk about with people in terms of organization. And a lot of the aspects of this system actually is setting limits and usually, I try to push people. I should not usually always.
I try to push people to set artificially restrictive limits. So yeah, what you just said, I'm only allowed to check my finances once a week, or I'm only allowed to check email four times a day, or I'm only allowed to have this one shelf for shoes, whatever it might be. Setting artificial research of limits is a really interesting way to force yourself to come up with new methods.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. And particularly with time, right. It's the whole Parkinson's law thing that work will expand to fill essentially the time you allow it. Yeah, exactly. All right. What are some of your favorite tools I saw in one of the subtitles of your books, you recommend IFTTT, which I love and I use. You talked about Evernote, which I'm using right now for the questions, but what are some other tools that you just can't live without for productivity?
Ari Meisel: Well, my number one recommendation for years now has been a source called followup.cc. I love that.
Jonathan Levi: I'm so glad you said it.
Ari Meisel: So it is my number one. It's so for people that aren't on followup.cc has an automated email reminder service. Very, very simple. All it does is you send an email to any time period
you want to followup.cc so it could be three days of followup.cc or one week of followup.cc or Monday 5:00 PM at followup.cc. And when that time period comes around, that email will come back to your inbox and it will now include a snooze functionality to it. So you are able to send email and not have to think about the emails that you sent and worry about that exactly. Never have to drop a follow-up, but more importantly, you can actually use it to get rid of a to-do list because you can make tasks come to you at the best time to actually deal with them.
Jonathan Levi: Well, I hadn't thought of that actually getting rid of to-do lists clutter.
Ari Meisel: To-do lists are terrible for you and very, very against to-do list.
Jonathan Levi: It gives me so much anxiety to look at it. And there's so much stuff that I'm not going to do right now. I'm not going to reprogram my smart TV right now. It's like one day eventually, and it just sits there and it just makes you feel like shit about yourself.
Ari Meisel: Well, there's actually a name for that. It's called the Zeigarnik effect. Actually, it's a voice in our heads that pushes us to finish the unfinished.
And unfortunately, when you're looking at a list of things that you can't finish right now, that's a real big problem.
Jonathan Levi: Ooh, this is good stuff. And this is all stuff that's covered in less doing.
Ari Meisel: Hey. Yeah. I mean, to some extent or another, I mean, this is a constantly evolving system, so you're getting the freshest content right now.
Jonathan Levi: I love it. The Zeigarnik effect. You said.
Ari Meisel: Yeah. Bluma Zeigarnik, was a Russian doctoral student in the 1920s.
Jonathan Levi: Ah, that's brilliant. So yeah, coming back to followup, I really love it. And what's another added benefit we didn't put in, man. I got to get them as a sponsor, but another added benefit is you can get to inbox zero because you just delete things.
And after a while you have faith that it's going to come back to you. And in fact, it can email people for you. So they'll tell me, I need time to decide on this. I say great. Let's talk about it again. In two weeks, I see sees them. And in two weeks we both get a reminder that shows both of us, that they were going to make a decision on it.
And it's kind of the greatest thing ever. Ari. I'm very curious. I want to ask you kind of a big question, which is what is your daily routine look like from morning to evening? What are you eating? What are you doing? How are you structuring your time? And before I have you answer that since it's a big question, I'm going to take a quick second and let our audience know about our sponsors.
They just want to let you guys know that this episode is brought to you by my best-selling online course Become a Speed Demon: Productivity Tricks to Have More Time. The course is the culmination of over a decade of my own experience and research into productivity theory, strategies, tips, and tricks from how to prioritize and structure your life
to computer hacks and tips to automate your daily work and even ways to shave time off the basic tasks we all do every day. The course is guaranteed to save you at least three hours a week or your money back. So for a 90% off coupon, check it out at jle.vi/productivity. That's http://jle.vi/productivity.
All right guys, we are back with Mr. Ari Meisel and he's going to let us know what a day in his life looks like.
Ari Meisel: Yeah. So that's kind of a tough one because there's two days of my week that are similar and then five days that are not. Oh, interesting. Yeah. I only work two days a week and that's by design and that's to be clear, those are the days.
So it's Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 to about 5 is my work week. Wow. And that is the only time that I'm working in the business. That's the only time that I'm having meetings or podcasts interviews, or calls with coaching clients, whatever it might be. The rest of the time, I'll still deal with emails and I'll still deal with things on my phone when I need to, but primarily those five days are for my wife and kids.
Oh, wow. And I have three young boys that I just spend all that time with. So yeah, again, it's that limit, you know? So I worked my butt off, like today is Monday and I have nine back-to-back appointments and it's great. I don't eat, I have a huge breakfast, and I just kind of go and that's a typical Monday and Wednesday, other than that, It's sort of a grab bag.
Most days I start at five in the morning when one of the kids wakes up and what I eat a lot of times I'll skip breakfast actually, just because of convenience, and, or I'll have like a late, late breakfast, 10 30, 11 o'clock. And again, I try to do high-fat as much as possible. So today I had breakfast and it was huevos rancheros, which is my absolute favorite breakfast.
I love huevos rancheros when it's done right. And so it guacamole and eggs and some sort of good meat that go lots of butter, those kinds of things. Dinner, I'd say 95% of the time we're cooking at home and having lunches or dinners at home. But yeah, basically Monday and Wednesday is just work, work, work. And then the other days are family stuff.
Jonathan Levi: I have to say, I am super, super impressed because you're very prolific. You're very active in your field. And if you would've told me you worked six days a week, I would have believed you.
Ari Meisel: Thanks. Yeah. Well, I mean, this is what I had to do, so it's sort of, it keeps me centered again, I work really hard on these two days, but I get a break day in between.
And then on a, you know, by Sunday, I've sort of had enough of the kids a little bit and it's good to get back to work on Monday. And so it works out really well. Yeah.
Jonathan Levi: We'll hope they don't listen to podcasts, right?
Ari Meisel: Yeah. Well, they're all under four years old, so I think we're okay.
Jonathan Levi: So we're okay for a couple of years until they get iPhones and, you know, dig up that episode dad was on.
Okay. So I'm starting to get a picture, essentially. You do this at one point, you did it because you have to, now you do it because you can, because it's still a matter of health. So, Ari. I love that you wrote a book called Intro to Biohacking. And biohacking is a pretty loaded term. And there's guys like Dave Asprey, and there's a lot to that.
We had a guy on the show for whom biohacking meant implanting RFID chips in his hands. We've had people who, you know, do a massive blood panel every month. What is biohacking mean to you and how are you doing it?
Ari Meisel: So it's funny, I'm assuming you've seen the movie Limitless, right? Of course. Okay. So you know how, at the end of the movie, he stopped taking the drugs, but he's still getting up more and more powerful.
Right? So that's kinda how I see things now. I don't do a lot of the tracking that I used to, but I feel that I've become so much more in tune with my body. That I'm able to do things that I wasn't necessarily able to do before. I do a pretty extensive blood panel every three months or every quarter.
And it's funny because every time I walk into the doctor, I go to a doctor to do it that it's like a group. So I always see someone different. So every time I can them this long list and they're like, “Really you want to do all this? Are you sure? This one?” And then I'll usually I'll throw a couple extra in there so that I can live like a negotiation, you know?
So like, okay, fine. We don't have to do that one and that one's okay. But do these other 26. Oh wow. I do that. I'm looking a lot at like cholesterol and blood sugar because I am having a high-fat diet and my cholesterol is fantastic by the way. But sugar is something I'm always interested in and, uh, inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein, but I love testing myself for things.
So three weeks ago, I did a neurotransmitter test with urine and saliva, which was done at home. Right now on my shelf in the box, I have a test sitting ready for me. That is to test heavy metal detox and my body. The only problem with that is that you have to stop eating fish for a week to do the test.
And fish is a big part of my diet. So I just keep putting it off. But to me, biohacking is really changing your environment to improve your life in some way or another. So if that means taking some sort of smart drugs. Actually right now, for the first time, I'm testing out Ben Greenfield's Nature CBD.
Jonathan Levi: Oh, cool. We just had him on the show actually.
Ari Meisel: Oh, cool. This is the first time I've ever taken cannabidiol, which for people who don't know is the non-psychoactive component of marijuana. So THC gives you the altered state. And CBD gives you all of the medicinal benefits without the altered state. So that is what I am on.
Jonathan Levi: Oh, that's cool. I was actually going to ask what supplements you're taking. So I'm glad to know. It's funny, Ben didn't even mention that he had this product, I guess that's humility for you.
Ari Meisel: Yeah. It's relatively new. So we'll see. I feel pretty good. It's very cool. But yeah, I'm testing things all the time.
That's the thing to me, biohacking is testing. You're always testing, experimenting, and seeing how you can change things. There's never like a status quo.
Jonathan Levi: If I put the dots together, I'm gonna guess that you're using Evernote to track results over time. Would I be correct?
Ari Meisel: You are correct. Awesome. I love that. I love Evernote. It's the external brain for me. That's what I call it.
Jonathan Levi: Yes. I actually literally just now got Anthony Metivier to download it. Cause we're formatting this course. I was like, dude, just put everything in your brain in this thing and it'll work. It's totally awesome. Which is tough because he has, you know, 183 memory palaces with like seven languages, but still.
Let me ask you this, Ari. What are some of the most impactful tests or hacks that you've done? You know, if our audience wants to go out right now and say, you know what, I want to try this biohacking testing thing, it sounds like it makes sense.
Ari Meisel: Where do they start? I've got a really simple one for you.
Most people have not, well, that's not fair, not most people, but a lot of people nowadays have some sort of trouble sleeping. And my number one sleep pack, which is cheap, doesn't hurt anything. And you'll see an improvement the first time you try it. Is to wear a pair of blue-blocking sunglasses for about an hour before you go to bed. Copy, I love that.
So most people are looking at their screens or TVs and whatnot, and the blue spectrum light there is affecting their ability to produce melatonin. So all you have to do is wear a pair of blue-blocking sunglasses before you go to bed and the first night you try it, you will sleep better.
Jonathan Levi: Totally I love that one. That's a tip that I used myself. And then, you know, you get the efflux on the devices and if you want to go really, really extreme with it, you get the Phillips hue, color, changeable lights, and you have them automatically fade to red at seven o'clock and then that whole deal. So I'm with you on the melatonin hack.
Ari Meisel: Yes, absolutely. That's the number one, but I mean, a lot of people don't do a full blood panel. You know, most people go to the doctor and they get the, what do they call it? Now I'm blanking. I don't do the regular one, but basically they'll test your cholesterol and your vitamin. They actually, they won't even test vitamin D levels.
So it's usually like cholesterol and resting glucose is not like that, but you can get 20, 30 different markers tested that are really impactful.
Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. I mean, you want to get your testosterone tested. If you're a guy you want to make sure you're getting your triglycerides tested.
Ari Meisel: And by the way, sorry, that's a good thing you mentioned that. You should get your hormone levels tested as soon as possible, especially if you're young, because, later on in life, if you ever have some issue, you want to be able to try to get back to a level that you were at when you were young and strong and healthy. And a lot of people don't have that information.
Totally. Yeah. So if you're a guy you want to know what your testosterone was in your twenties.
Jonathan Levi: Although I do want to throw out a point on that because I had a pretty kind of nasty experience with this, which is the “healthy range” in a lot of American hospitals is between 200 and 1200.
I know I go in at 24, I'm lifting weights every day. I'm not getting bigger. My sex drive, not so great for a 21 22-year-old. Can I get my tee tested? She goes, yeah, we tested it comes back 563 NG DL. And she's like, this is perfectly fine. It's within the healthy range. Well, yeah, it's within the healthy range for 35 or 40-year-old guy.
It's not within the healthy range for a 21 year old guy who's sexually active who's lifting every day. Exactly. I mean, even today I don't have exceptionally high tee. I think I met 671 or something like that. You know, seven, eight years later. But I mean, what a difference that would have made at least in my sex life, if not in my physical fitness, you know.
Ari Meisel: Well, I got down to 200 something because I was on really strong meds and they were just disrupting all sorts of things.
And within a couple of months of better diet, high fat is a really good thing for testosterone, but I got way back up to like almost 900.
Jonathan Levi: Right. Testosterone, I mean is a super drug, even for the ladies listening. I mean, obviously, you don't want to have too high T if you're a man or a woman, but everybody needs it. And it is talk about strength, you talk about confidence, you talk about mental clarity.
Ari Meisel: Drive. I mean, just having your drive. Exactly.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. Get out of bed and the aggression to grab life by the horns, it all comes down to the testosterone. And if your testosterone is low, you're just going to be miserable, just miserable.
You know, it's not hard. You don't have to be injecting all kinds of steroids and Trenbolone into your ass cheeks to pick it up. Eat a high-fat diet, make sure you have enough selenium, lift heavy weights, and sleep well. It's not rocket science, right? This is a tough question. I apologize in advance, but what's one question that I haven't asked you that I really should have.
Ari Meisel: Oh, I hate and love that question at the same time.
Jonathan Levi: It's like, I want to get all the good juicy stuff out of you that you're afraid someone would ask you on an interview and that's, what's going to hopefully bubble to the surface.
Ari Meisel: Well, I mean, I'm a pretty open book, so there's nothing that's too fearful for me, but I mean, you could ask about how people can learn more about less doing.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, that's a good question. I usually save that one for the end, but let's dive right into that one. How can people learn more about less doing?
Ari Meisel: So, I mean, everything is at lessdoing.com, but when I do these kinds of interviews, I like to offer your audience something special wishes if they go to lessdoingcall.com, they can actually sign up for a free
30 minute call with one of my less doing certified coaches who I've trained them all myself, and it's not a sales call, it's a legitimate productivity coaching call and they can really help them get started on the path to inbox zero or better time management, or even hacking their wellness to some extent.
That's awesome. Yeah. And then if they're interested, of course, then they can find out about the coaching programs, like boot camp or my mastermind, but they're going to get some real value on those calls.
Jonathan Levi: That's fantastic, but they have to know that they're only going to be able to attend on Mondays and Wednesdays, right?
Ari Meisel: No, no, no. I don't do those calls. So those are available much more often than I am.
Jonathan Levi: Fantastic. Okay. We really appreciate that. So we'll add that. That is lessdoingcall.com. We'll have that to the show notes. Let me ask you a couple more questions already before I let you go. What is, and this is kind of more of a rapid-fire question format,
I guess. What's one thing that you believe to be true that other people think is crazy?
Ari Meisel: That you can do an hour of work a day. Honestly, I would say most people think that I'm crazy when I say that. But then as life started to explain and show them how it's possible. I usually get somewhere, but that's a big one.
People just seem to have this idea that you have to work eight hours a day, no matter what you're doing and they're wrong. And they're doing this as a disservice.
Jonathan Levi: I think you're absolutely right. It's funny that I teach a course in productivity and yet if I don't get in three or four hours of work a day, I think it's more of a psychological hurdle.
I think that I feel guilty more than anything, and I feel like things are out of control. My father, if he doesn't watch at least an hour and a half of news a day, he feels like the world has suddenly tumbled out of control and he's lost his grip on reality. And that's how I feel about sitting in staring at my email and hitting refresh.
Ari Meisel: My dad is the same way, and it's really frustrated with this. Like he just gets himself riled up about things he can't do anything about.
Jonathan Levi: So. That's absolutely true. Okay. So that's one thing that other people think is impossible or unbelievable. Another rapid-fire question. If you could assign one piece of homework, whether it's a reading assignment or an exercise, or even a thought experiment for our audience to try throughout the week, what would that homework be?
Ari Meisel: So set some sort limit on yourself and wherever that could be, it could be an, a physical space. It could be in a digital space. It could be in terms of time but look at something that you're doing on a regular basis. And just think what if I did this much less? And then go in and even less than that, you know, so whatever it is, I'm only gonna allow myself to do an email for an hour a day, or I'm only going to make two phone calls today, or I'm only going to use my phone for 60 minutes today.
Any of those kinds of things, or you have a closet full of crap, or you have a room full of paper, I'm only allowed to have this one folder of paper, what would have to happen?
Jonathan Levi: To make that possible. I love that limitation thinking as a way of generating innovation and a way of generating kind of creative solutions.
So that's the homework I'm actually going to do that homework too.
Ari Meisel: Good. Well, I mean, so you know who Dan Sullivan is, right? The strategic
Jonathan Levi: coach, I'm afraid. I don't actually.
Ari Meisel: Oh, okay. All right. So he's like the number one top entrepreneur coach for 40 years, he's touched like 40,000 entrepreneurs. And he says something which I think is very apt, which is that two X thinking is very bad for your brain.
Whereas 10 X thinking is really good. So what he means by that is that if you're trying to think how you can double your business, it's too linear. That's too obvious to say, okay, well we just have to ramp up sales by 20% and cut costs by 10% this no, if you thinking, how can I, 10 X my business that requires you to be crazy and really think outside the box and come up with things that don't exist or that don't haven't worked before necessarily, or that nobody's ever thought of.
So it's the same thing when you're coming up with those limits.
Jonathan Levi: That's a really, really interesting thought experiment. I love that one. In fact, I think that should also be homework for our audience. All right. Last question. And then we'll rehash on the Less Doing Call. What's one book besides your own that you have recommended the most, or which has most impacted your life.
Ari Meisel: Emergency by Neil Strauss.
Jonathan Levi: Ooh, interesting choice. Neil Strauss being of, uh, the game fame, New York Times bestselling author in his own right emergency. Okay.
Ari Meisel: Yeah, it's really about a guy faced with an unusual and uncomfortable situation for himself and really being an uncharted territory and thinking the bull by the horns doesn't even cover it, but completely reinventing himself and learning all the new skills that he would need to operate in this sort of world and it was really inspiring. And I ended up doing a lot of the things that he did in the books as a result.
Jonathan Levi: I love that. All right, I'm going to need you to add that to my reading list. Mr. Ari Meisel. I would love to talk to you for another hour and a half, except now I've already taken about 10% of your workweek.
So I do appreciate your time. I know our audience is going to love this episode, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to get in touch with Mr. Ari Meisel and learn about what he is doing and claim that free call, you can go to lessdoingcall.com or check out the show notes. Ari, thank you very, very much. It's been such a pleasure. I hope we do keep in touch you and I have far too much in common to not keep in touch.
Ari Meisel: Absolutely, Jon. Thank you so much.
Jonathan Levi: My pleasure. Take care of my friend.
Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. For more great skills and strategies or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.becomingasuperhuman.com/podcast. We'll see you next time.