In her book, Schulte recounts a study by Florida psychologist Anders Ericcson who wanted to understand what it took to be the best at something. He went to Berlin to examine the time logs of the most successful musicians and discovered that the virtuosos were those who practiced the hardest for no more than 90 minutes and took more breaks and naps than the musicians who weren’t as good.
“In the breaks, that’s where the ‘aha moment’ comes,” says Schulte. It’s in the moments of leisure time that the brain is working to solve issues so you can begin your next burst of intense work with a renewed perspective.
“When you look at human performance science, there’s such great evidence that working all of those hours really doesn’t get you where you want to go,” says Schulte. While you may be able to work a few 60-hour weeks, eventually you will be so burnt out that you lose the ability to be creative and innovative.
New Year’s Resolutions: April 14 - April 20, 2014
Yoga? Check! 30 min practice in the morning. Living right on my dissertation retreat in Michigan.
Healthy eating grade? B+. Greek yogurt + berries + walnuts + honey, toast, egg + cheese sandwich with dill pickle chips, pear, baked pasta by bimsk, ice cream.
Yoga? Check! 15 min post run.
Healthy eating grade? B+. Greek yogurt concoction, toast, apple + cheddar sandwich with chips, make your own tacos, dark chocolate, ice cream.
Yoga? Check! 20 min post run.
Healthy eating grade? B. Ao0oga's secret biscuits with cheesy eggs, leftover tacos, grapes, gnocchi, dark chocolate, apple with cheddar cheese.
Yoga? Check! 20 min prenatal workout I found online that was super dull and involved me putting myself in the stupid pose you see above with my fists at my temples.
Healthy eating grade? B. Toast, grapes, chips, sandwich, lasagna.
Yoga? Check! 5 min before bed.
Healthy eating grade? B. Greek yogurt, toast, lentil soup, homemade bread, pizza to celebrate the end of our retreat week, pie - 5 slices for 4 people.
Yoga? Check! 5 min before bed.
Healthy eating grade? B. Toast, “snacks” (that’s what I wrote…not very descriptive), sweet potato soup, a fancy dinner in Traverse City which was healthy but too big.
Yoga? 5 min before bed. Notice how as I transitioned back to real life after my retreat I started slacking on my yoga again. Boo. Life was just so good up there - felt like I was living exactly how I’m supposed to live. Yoga, meditation, hard work, beautiful view, healthy food, walks to break up the time in front of the computer, homemade dinner with friends.
Healthy eating grade? B-. A big Easter brunch that involved pancakes AND waffles (and a “breakfast pizza”), relatively healthy Mexican on our drive home, ice cream at night.
Overall healthy eating GPA: B. Yoga was so so good when I was up north and now feels boring again. I’m adding a couple of classes a week starting Thursday, so that should help.
"A miracle is an event so unlikely as to be almost impossible. By that definition, I’ve just proven that you are a miracle."
Last April 19 we drove down to Indianapolis with a leash and a collar in the back of the car “just in case” to meet a year-old, ninety-one pound Golden Retriever who “needed to work on her manners.” Jenny, Molly’s foster mom, thought we’d be a good fit right away, sent the three of us out on a walk around the neighborhood to get to know each other, and secretly called the president of the rescue organization to see if she could release Molly to us on the spot (normally there’d have been a waiting period).
Kevin and I loaded her into the back of the Prius, gave each other one “holy cow what did we just do” look, and drove home to introduce this country girl to the city of Chicago and to get used to our new role as dog “bosses.”
We (okay I) spent the first few weeks in a panic, always thinking she was dying of one horrible disease or another, stressing about every bark and aggressively friendly greeting. But now she’s a part of our family I can’t imagine living without. We are celebrating today up in Michigan with a new Nylabone, special treats, and a long hike in the snowy woods.
Happy Gotcha Day Molly Molly. We love you more than you love tennis balls.