LeBron talks a lot in the podcast about normal stuff: sleep, egg white omelettes, one glass of red wine, 100-yard sprints and cone drills. All standard.
The interesting part is that he has a whole cycle around what he does, and yes, that’s his work. He prepares for games a certain way, including visualizing it. Afterwards, he focuses on specific recovery methods, including ice, protein shakes, stretches, etc. Everything is logical and measured.
Now think about how most white-collar people “maximize their craft.” They rush from meeting to meeting and call to call. They eat like shit. They hop on planes at a moment’s notice for a client. Their whole week is booked on Monday AM. They don’t reflect on anything. They get distracted by new shiny objects all the time. They spend tons of time angry and screaming at people.
I think the idea of “a corporate athlete” is complete bullshit, admittedly, but we need to think about how we PERFORM in these roles. We can’t just keep reacting.
Even if you hate your job — and many seem to, yes — your work is still your craft. You owe it to yourself to do it right. That means, among other things:
- Stop confusing “busy” with “productive”
- Take some time for self-care
- Stop rushing around and reacting to everything; take some time for actual response
- Understand that you need breaks roughly every 52 minutes
- Realize productivity is less about “hacks” and more about self-awareness
I understand there are numerous flaws in this argument/analogy. For example, a top athlete lasting another year is worth multiple millions of dollars. A mid-level white-collar employee “lasting another year” may easily get shit-canned because business needs change. I get the situations are different.
I also get that “corporate athlete” is a flawed term because athletes have to show up if they want to keep getting paid. Executives do not. The idea of “an empty suit” is very real. You’ve probably worked with at least one.
But, through all the issues with the analogy here, this should net out as true: if you are going to work somewhere every day, which many of us have to because of capitalism, well, you should figure out how to maximize your performance therein. That means sleep, mornings, motivating yourself, organizing yourself, not rushing to meeting after meeting, deliberate breaks, etc. Are you going to be the LeBron of widgets? No. But could you make yourself a bit healthier and maybe earn some praise in the process? Sure.