Is productivity making you fragile?

Our bedroom is a deliciously luxurious.

Yes, we’re long-time renters, but I’d put our bedroom up against any Aman or St. Regis.

We’ve made the investment.

California king. Check.

Blackout shades. Check.

The Chili Pad mattress cooler (his and hers edition for different temperatures). Check.

Buckwheat pillows. Check.

And it’s certainly paying off in spades, with long consecutive streaks of sleeping over nine hours a night.

But it’s come at a cost. Yes, all these goodies cost a pretty penny.

But there’s a bigger cost. I hate sleeping anywhere else.

Which makes me wonder: Has hyper-optimizing my life led to unintended consequences? Has it made me fragile?

The perils of over-optimization

Because of my decadent sleeping arrangements, I now dread sleeping in other beds.

I have trouble falling asleep. My neck hurts from B-List pillows. And I get ornery AF if I don’t get my prescribed hours.

The rationalist in me says, “that’s still a good deal” since you sleep at home 340 days each year. You’ve optimized well, all things considered.

The pragmatist in me says, “you’re lame.” You’ve optimized things so much that you’ve become frail, fragile and brittle.

RadReaders share this struggle with me all the time.

There’s the blogger who’s so obsessed with categorizing their notes, that they dread reading.

There’s the nutrition junkie who has so many self-imposed (and faux) dietary restrictions, that they can only eat a keto apple with keto almond butter. (And after 11:30 am.)

There’s the entrepreneur who has fine-tuned their day so meticulously, that when their laptop dies they’re paralyzed.

And there’s the exited founder who has so many nannies, chefs and drivers, that they need someone just to manage the internal staff. Yup, middle management enters the household.

Imagine optimizing your life so much that you’re a walking house of cards.

Why do we over-optimize?

Whenever something feels off in my life, I ask the question:

What’s behind the [activity that makes me feel off]?

So what’s behind the need to optimize?

Maybe it’s the need for control. To control your surroundings, temptations and the way the world sees you.

(Or to control the scary truth that every day we’re alive, we’re dying.)

Maybe you don’t trust yourself. Maybe it’s because you don’t know what really matters. Optimization is just a distraction. It’s bike shedding.

Or maybe you’ve got an internal conflict

What you want from life and how you live your life are in conflict. Optimization then becomes a numbing technique.

The list could go on and on.

But as we go down the rabbit hole of optimization, let’s remember what we’re optimizing for.

My 5-star bedroom is optimizing for sleep, which in turn leads to good health, good vibes and good energy.

Those are great byproducts, but that’s not enough. It’s like saying I’m optimizing for money… but I never spend it.

Towards whom are these good vibes being directed? The obvious answer is family and friends.

Yet, look no further than my doom scrolling, Twitter rabbit holes and workaholism to know that that’s not always true.

So, once again. Remind me why we’re optimizing?

Speaking of optimization, I’m hosting a private conversation for the $10K Accelerator called “Your Wellness Stack.” We’ll cover practices for sleep, nutrition, and fitness – while staying clear on the why. The accelerator is available by application only and costs $1,997 for a six month membership.

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