You go to the toilet 5x/day. Each ‘episode’ averages 3-5 minutes. Shower for 10 minutes, plus brushing teeth, shaving, drying off etc.
That’s approximately 40 minutes per day of bathroom time you can effortlessly clock up as meditation.
Rather than checking your phone or idly staring at your penis, you can use this time to develop a one-pointed focus on the breath. This way you can accumulate a huge amount of meditation time daily without any additional time commitment.
Fortunately, the evidence suggests 40 minutes/day to be the threshold for where meditation’s real magic starts to kick in: cortical thickening, modulation of amygdala response to emotional stressors, pain threshold (chronic and acute), hypertension.Despite this, I’d still recommend using bathroom bursts as a support to a dedicated morning practice.Looks like others have wised to this opportunity too:
2) Engage the lower abs during assistance movements
This was a tip I got from Hirsch Tailor, MSCP. During assistance/isolation movements that are seated or use cables/ropes, engage the lower abdominals to create a slight posterior pelvic tilt. This is subtle, and lumbar spine should be neutral, not flexed.
The rationale here is that if you squat/deadlift regularly, you’re spending time in loaded anterior tilt. Lordosis is a common consequence, so you’re likely to have inhibited lower abdominals (internal obliques, transversus abdominis) and psoas, potentially causing the iliacus and QL to compensate for their function. A job that they aren’t designed for, putting you at higher risk of injury if the imbalance develops.By actively engaging the glutes and lower abs during upper body isolation assistance movements, we can partially restore this function without compromising the movement – Doubling up on efficiency by adding a corrective component to the movement.Examples include bench warmups, direct arm work, cables, seated movements (NOT lifts that involve spinal loading, e.g. squat/deadlift variations).
3) Fasted walks to wake up and get some errands done
I use walking as a chance to get groceries for the week and listen to a podcast or audiobook. Treadmills are for losers.
Turbo mode: 200mg caffeine with an audiobook played at double-speed. mmmmmmm
4) What to do between sets?
A few options here:
– Superset unrelated movements
– Do some of the more boring pre-hab work or stretching that you may otherwise skip
– Meditate: We’ve covered this in our article on meditation. Combine this with bathroom breaks and you’re on your way to becoming a zen monk.
Bozo options include texting, playing candy crush, and mirin.
5) Diet coke
This is the biggest no-brainer of a substitution from a cost-benefit perspective. Nobody has ANY business drinking a regular coke. There are countless more fun ways to eat 35g (7 teaspoons!) of sugar.
“I HATE diet coke” – No you don’t. It’s the same drink. That’s like saying you love square cut sandwiches but hate triangle ones. It’s all in your head: Taste preference in soft drinks is mainly down to branding, don’t get drawn in to their games! 
– Parkinson’s law: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
– Closing ‘open loops’ – A vague sense of ‘there’s something I need to do’ creates a background stress that compounds with each additional task. Add enough of these and you limit the mental resources to dedicate to tasks in the moment. By taking the task out of your head and into an actionable slot, you offload your brain from the background stress.
We recommend you do this with every task, regardless of size. You can only do one task at a time anyway. A large number of small to-dos is daunting, creates decision fatigue, limiting your capacity for current action.
Once everything is assigned a time slot, you reach the ultimate goal of ‘mind like water’, dealing with everything as it comes. Assign a slot even to the small stuff so you can feel totally good about what you’re doing, with the knowledge that what you’re doing right now is the best possible use of your time.
GTD makes one exception, which is that if a task arises that takes less than 2 minutes to complete, do it right away.You procrastinate because your inbox lists includes vague events. Dumb it down for your brain by defining the desired outcome and distilling things to their next actionable task. You’ve now changed the perception to a doable task with an assigned start and end point. Loop closed.Rather than figuring out the next action at some undefined point in the future, there is a palpable difference in quality of life by doing this now.For more on this concept, the Getting Things Done book offers a comprehensive productivity system.
We swear by iCal for doing this as it’s easy to enter tasks, sync, and rearrange according to interruptions. Any basic calendar app will do, preferably one that syncs to your phone (e.g. google calendar).
7) Danish bread
Bread is a vehicle… A means to an end, rather than the pinnacle of the snack.
Substituting regular bread (22g carbs/slice) for danish bread (10g carbs/slice) makes no difference to the enjoyability of a sandwich, but frees up a few hundred calories to play with. Whether or not we’re dieting, danish bread is a staple for us.
Got any more?
We’d love to hear about any sneaky substitutions that make your life easier, let us know in the comments below.