Podcast 190: Very Special Episode About the Body, with a Talk with Jake Knapp About Focus.

Very Special Episode

Happiness can feel like a very transcendent, abstract concern, but in the end, we experience the world through our bodies. Happiness is mental and emotional; today we focus on physical aspects that influence our happiness—through the body. 

Try This at Home

Think about your body. Your physical experience always colors your emotional experience. People are animals; people are more than animals. In this episode, we focus on the animal and the physical part of our existence. We discuss ways we can take steps to manage discomfort, take more pleasure, and boost our feelings of control of our bodies. I mention my book Better Than Before—all about how to make or break habits. I also mention the Strategy of Abstaining, one of the 21 strategies of habit change that I’ve identified. This is a strategy that works very well for people like me, “Abstainers,” but doesn’t work well for “Moderators.” For me, when it comes to sweets, it’s far easier and more pleasant to have none than to try to have a little bit

Happiness Hack

To drown out distractions, listen to white noise. I mention the app Relax Melodies


We talk to Jake Knapp. Jake spent ten years at Google and Google Ventures, where he created the “sprint design process”—the subject of his last book, a bestseller called Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. He’s run more than 150 sprints with lots of big companies. Now, along with his co-writer John Zeratsky, he’s written a new book: Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day. It describes a simple four-step system for improving focus, finding greater joy in your work, and getting more out of every day. If you’re curious about the “Time Timer” that Jake discusses, you can see it here.

We talk about the Four Tendencies, and the fact that Jake is a Questioner. To take the short, free quiz to determine your Tendency, take it here. Jake’s (somewhat surprising) Try This at Home: Wear slippers. 

Elizabeth’s Demerit: The saga of the treadmill desk continues. Elizabeth ordered the slip-on shoes, they didn’t fit, Sarah bought them from her, now she’s ordered another pair.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I got the flu vaccine without procrastination. Unlike last year, when I never got one at all!

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