283: Ari Meisel | Less Doing, More Living


science / science 735 Views comments

"Have things come to you at the time that you can best deal with them." Ari Meisel 

What would you do if you were given a diagnosis and put on 16 pills a day? Would you accept your fate or would you biohack your way to health and wellness?

Ari Meisel chose the latter and he spends time talking with us about how he cured his Crohn’s. He also shares how that process led to his “Less Doing” brand, which is devoted to helping men do less and live more through optimization, outsourcing and automation.


Ari’s journey began at the age of 20. He had the brilliant idea to renovate some old cigar factories into lofts and he set about doing so. What he had expected to take six months, turned into three years and over $3 million in debt. He spent those three years learning every construction trade he could and invested every bit of himself in that development.

And in the process, he destroyed his body. He was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, drinking every night and eating fast food a few times a day. Within a month of finishing his construction project, he was given the diagnosis of the incurable Crohn’s Disease and handed prescriptions for 16 different pills, 16!

Never one to be thwarted by circumstances, Ari decided he wasn’t going to settle for all the misery and discomfort associated with Crohn’s. Instead, he set out on a journey of self-tracking and self-discovery to finding out what would heal his body. Within four months he was off ALL his medications and six months later he was competing in a triathlon.

The finer details of this show include:
  • What is Crohn’s Disease and what led to his diagnosis?
  • How he defines being "cured" of Crohn’s.
  • The two main things that were the most helpful in curing his Crohn's.
  • What's the Zeigarnik Effect and what does it have to do with To Do lists?
  • His $8 biohack for better sleep in one night.
  • And so much more!

Though he learned much about the body and he’s since applied that knowledge to help others treat and cure their Crohn’s, the most profound lessons he learned through his healing process were on the topics of being more effective and more efficient in using your time. He discovered he had times of the day and days of the week when he was more effective. By taking that knowledge and using it to schedule corresponding tasks, he was able to be most his most efficient.

For example, he found he is most creative after 8pm and he gets the most done on Tuesdays (the least on Fridays). So now when he has to do something creative, like write a blog post, he knows not to try to write it until 8pm or later at night. And if he has a lot to get done, he schedules the bulk of it for Tuesday.

From that experience and with those practical lessons under his belt, he created the Less Doing brand. Now he works with clients, about half are men, to help them do what he has done: optimize, outsource and automate. He believes, and has proven in his life, that by becoming more efficient and effective, you create the head space to come up with amazing ideas that have been obscured by all the other crap you’re focused on.

Another fascinating topic we talk about is why “To Do” lists don’t work and why they’ll destroy your productivity. There’s an actual psychological effect that proves his theory and we talk about in this show.

Ari was a truly fantastic guest and it was awesome to have him here. He teaches so much about making the most effective use of our most precious commodity: time. He suggests some great tools and even an awesome biohack technique for better sleep, one I’ve never heard before. So tune in, check it out and get more living with less doing!

Resources from this episode:

Ari's web siteAri on TwitterLess Doing BookFollow UpBoomerangEvernoteAqua NotesBlueblocker SunglassesMarried Man Sex LifeAthol Kay on the Art of Charm 

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