100+ RESOURCES FOR OPTIMIZING PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTIVITY
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
— Oscar Wilde
I spent well over six figures in the last five years in a quest to optimize my health, maximize productivity in my business, and design systems to ensure peak performance.
In the process, I have purchased and tested hundreds of products, programs, supplements, and services, unearthing the critical few that actually make a difference.
I don’t spend more than six months in one location and do travel the world so I have multiple versions of the bigger products and always look for the smallest one as it is easy to carry from one location to the next. The electronics on this list are ones I keep in my USA apartment (as often I have to get equivalents when in Asia or Europe due to the electricity issues).
Until now, I only made this list with a few closest friends — but this year I have decided to make it publicly available so that everyone can benefit.
Having the ultimate resources list is not a magic bullet but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
I have broken down the list into eight categories:
- Recording Equipment / Portable*
- Chrome Extensions
A note before you dive in: some links below are referral links, meaning I get a small finders fee and you get a bonus for signing up. You’re welcome to use Google instead. However I use every single thing on this list and personally endorse it.
The process of improving sleep is a series of upgrades to your bedroom environment, sleep hygiene, and bedtime routine. In my experience, each of these changes will have a compounding 1–3% effect on all future sleep which over the course of a lifetime really adds up.
Have tested many eye masks and this one is my favorite. It is comfortable, blocks out all the light and is easy to carry. Even if your room is dark, I highly recommend wearing an eye mask, as putting one on acts as a major trigger for sleep.
Even with a cool room, our felt temperature can shift quite a bit with blankets. This keeps your mattress at a constant temperature.
Eliminating ambient noise is essential, particularly if you live in a big city. Best purchase under $50 in this list, very travel-friendly.
Blocking out all light is the lowest hanging fruit for improving sleep.
Spent way too much time learning about mattresses this year. Bear stood out for the ability to completely customize the mattress to your sleep style.
As I began the journey to deeper sleep, I discovered I was allergic to dust — these help keep the allergens at bay.
I wear blockers if I’m around any screens or artificial light for the two hours before bedtime. These clear lenses are not very effective, blocking out only ~ 50% of blue light, they have minimal color distortion.
Replaced all the bulbs in the bedroom with these to reduce ambient blue light. Most bulbs in this category are actually worse than traditional bulbs so make sure you use these. I find that I prefer the softer shade amber light to brighter bulbs.
My go-to supplement for sleep. It calms me down and has worked for everyone who I have recommended it to. Take an hour before bed. An alternative is the Bedtime Herbal Tea.
Muscle recovery and endurance supplement. I find it helps me with REM sleep.
Heating and cooling both dry the air. For best quality of sleep control the humidity in your bedroom.
Air pollution is a huge issue almost everywhere I go. Big cities and small cities. You might be surprised once you check the air quality near you. It also causes unwanted diseases and is responsible for brain fog. I have one in my bedroom and living room.
After trying 10+ brands found these to be most comfortable. I associate the process of putting them in my ears with going to sleep. Always take these with me on flights and to flotation tanks.
My life improved the second I put this out on my balcony. Also have one for the yard for when I’m in the states. One of the most rewarding and easiest upgrades.
For the majority of entrepreneurs, the bottleneck is not a lack of time but a lack of energy capacity. My lifestyle has become progressively healthier with these and help me workout harder and recover faster.
For best results, make sure you get moving and receive sunshine in the morning, drink lots of water, be mindful of your posture, break a sweat every day, and reserve time for recovery in the evening.
Loosens up muscles and increases blood flow for an improved range of motion and a decreased chance of injury. Additionally useful for easing sore muscles for better quality sleep and faster recovery.
Having a great mat in a prominent location will cause you to stretch more often, improving your energy levels and posture throughout the day. I often use it with the foam roller.
Turning water into seltzer makes staying hydrated a pleasurable experience and helped me eliminate all sugary carbonated drinks.
Adding Epsom salt to a relaxing hot bath allows magnesium sulfate to be absorbed into the skin which helps ease sore muscles and speed up recovery. Too bad its hard to find an apartment in Asia with a bathtub (US & Europe knows what’s up).
Getting sunshine to start the day is critical for maintaining healthy circadian rhythms. When real sunshine is not available, this is a great substitute. I use this lamp for 15 minutes first thing and it has a noticeable wake-up effect. Very useful to counter jet-lag when changing time zones.
My posture has suffered quite a bit from long periods of sitting in front of the laptop. Improving requires tracking. UprightGo automatically tracks my posture throughout the day so I can track progress over time. The device also has an active mode which will vibrate anytime you slouch for faster training.
A physical reinforcement of posture that helps keep back upright and shoulders back while sitting. I don’t use this often but when I do I can feel the difference.
I have a cup of these first thing every day as my primary caffeine intake. The L-Theanine is in a perfect ratio – this is a natural product. I don’t drink coffee and do not take any other caffeine (except for my pre-workout drink whenever I have to work out my legs). (This would be my starter kit)
Helps relieve stress. Take only when having a very tough day at work.
After long flights or intense workouts I started having muscle cramps at night. This stops that. After having one I will take these for a couple of days and stops them from happening.
(Source: Dr. Shannon Weeks)
Support the growth of beneficial intestinal flora. Helpful when traveling to Asia or small towns in the US. I’ve had food poisoning a lot during my trips. These and being extra careful where I eat has minimized the problem.
A lot of the food we eat does not get digested properly. I take this anytime I eat something heavy, oily or that has dairy.
Prevents hangovers. Take a couple after your last drink and before you go to bed. I barely drink and with this supplement I never waste a day after a night out. The reason we get hangovers is due to not being able to digest the alcohol… this supposedly helps it. Not a 100% how but it works. (Source: nameless friend)
Energy Boost. This allows me to train with greater intensity.
The best one I found. I only take one pill and find that to be enough. Anything from LifeExtension is high quality.
The best one I found. I only take one pill and find that to be enough. Anything from LifeExtension is high quality. Any man should be taking magnesium. If you’re only going to take one or two supplements from this list put it at the top of the list. (Source: Daymond Sewall)
Testosterone booster. (source: Chike Lindsay)
Delivers energy and relentless focus. Mostly natural ingredients and the healthiest pre-workout that I have found on the market. I use half the dose. Krip Apple and Berry Blast are solid flavors.
Delivers energy. Increases the amount of water that the muscles can hold. Speeds up recovery. Helps muscles look bigger. (source: Chike Lindsay)
I’ve had some questions on my exercise routine. Here are the resources where I have learned about what to do. Don’t know how much money I’ve spent on different guides, books and courses but wish someone gave me these.
Helps build, repair and protect muscles from damage. You probably seen a lot of post-workout drinks with amino acids in them. This is the one that always carrier the entire mixture. I see zero reason in ingesting the others. (source: Chike Lindsay)
Our ancestors used to make broths from bones and joints of animals. This is missing from the modern diet. Supports collagen productions which directly impact the tendons, ligaments, skin & hair.
High quality, grass fed,, Non-GMO, Gluten free and unflavored. It absorbs fast. I take it 30 minutes before my workout.
Promotes brain function. The health benefits seem sound and it has a noticeable improvement effect on my mood. I alternate it with the Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend. (source: Tim Ferriss)
Helps maintain a healthy inflammatory response in joints, muscles, GI tract, liver, eyes and nerves. (source: Dr. Rhonda Patrick)
Lubricates joints and helps to promote mobile joint function. I’ve had a serious knee injury and this makes a big difference in the quality of my workouts.
Powerful antioxidant. Provides superior cardiovascular support and promotes cell life in the heart, brain and muscle tissue. (source: Dr. Rhonda Patrick)
Antioxidant & Anti-Aging Properties. It minimizes DNA damage which is the main factor that causes aging. (source: David SInclair, Phd)
You can never have enough greens in your life. 100% Vegan & made with certified organic ingredients. >(source: Chike Lindsay)
**The following deliver quality food (US only and not in all cities)
The first service I sign up for whenever back in the US. They deliver 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and heritage breed pork directly to your door with free shipping.
My favorite chocolate company in the world. Get anything that has a gold or silver medal. They sell out fast.
Premium Seamless where delivered meals retain the same quality as experienced in the restaurant. Restaurant list is highly curated (many are exclusive to Caviar) with high-quality photos of menu options.
When starting to batch cook my meals, I find not reliably having ingredients at home to be a big source of friction. With Instacart, I can order all of my staples in 5 minutes and have them delivered in two hours. Possible to completely automate usingFancyHands.
An inexpensive and reliable option for a scheduled healthy meal delivery which is Paleo friendly, available across the US.
Provenance Meals (NYC Only)
Tastiest option I found for scheduled healthy meal delivery with rotating menus for variety and catering to dietary restrictions. A bit pricey on a per-meal basis but the increase in quality is worth it.
The more comfortable your workspace, the more work gets done. Given how much time we spend at our desks, it is worth making the investment to minimize the amount of stress we put on our bodies by sitting and staring at a screen for long periods of time.
Increasing the amount of virtual space available for work is an immediate productivity gain, similar to increasing your working memory. I can take this one with me in my luggage.
Inexpensive headphones that are used at all professional music studios. They do not warm or distort the sound and have been my favorites for years.
Works with every phone. Great for video calls, recording lessons or talking with the team.
Upgrading to a Cherry mechanical keyboard will allow you to type faster and more accurately with the reduced key force required and audial feedback. Here’s a thinner and quieter alternative. I own both.
Gamers know how to create the perfect mouse. I use it all of the time and you probably do too. Not the place to cut corners. Customizable mouse shortcuts are very useful for one-click access to any program you open frequently.
Ensures proper hand position while typing. Responds to your body’s weight and warmth, yet never loses its shape. Healthy for the wrists.
My favorite laptop line. I own this one and love to travel with it. It’s light, powerful and never had an issue with it. I’m not an apple guy. Raised on PCs.
If you don’t have one of these beneath you while you are at your standing desk, you aren’t going to be standing for very long.
Reinforces posture and reduces pressure from the blood rushing to your feet. Reduced my back pain and leg tightness after long periods of sitting.
To improve the way you spend your time, you need to know where your time is going. However, despite its usefulness, the habit of time tracking is traditionally difficult to maintain. Timeular solves this by allowing you to switch activities with a single physical gesture.
The go-to mic for most podcasters. It doesn’t pick up as much from the surrounding area and gives the voice a pleasant tone. Plug and play.
Adjustable arm that works with different types of mics. I used it for my Yeti with a different connector before I retired that mic. Heavy duty and easy to carry if you travel as much as me. Much easier on the neck for longer conversations and I can still type while using it.
(In the past I would place my Blue Yeti in the middle of the table and then talk with my guest while the mic picked up every other unwanted sound from the surrounding area.)
The device that makes all of this possible. I dread the thought of having to carry my laptop, mixer and two microphones with me. It does run through power fast so I tend to keep it plugged in wherever possible and have extra batteries with me. Use with this USB power cable.
Keeps the sibilance and plosives out of your recordings.
Good quality cables for your mics. Gives me and my guest room and allows to keep the recorder near an outlet.
The Zoom recorder doesn’t work with all memory cards. This one is compatible. I want a fast and high quality one for this too to keep your audio safe.
I always tell my guest to bring his own headphones. We both plug into this and can control the levels and quality of the recording as it happens.
The mics used by artists at most professional concerts. They are extremely durable. You can easily drop it on the pavement. Also are great at not picking up any sound other than what is in front of them. You can record an interview in a noisy coffee shop and still have it be great quality.
The bag that fits everything from my portable recording studio that I mentioned above.
Consistency with habits depends on a reduction of friction. Having the right tools will make your habits feel easier and more enjoyable, making it more likely that you stick with them for the long-term.
Have been using these notebooks as my journal for years. Can easily digitize these physical notes in Evernote to make them searchable across all your devices.
All my coaching clients and I have adapted this simple and powerful system for planning our days and weeks.
Practicing gratitude is deceptively simple but can have a profound effect on the way you go about your day. Using the 5MJ makes it much easier to maintain the habit.
Having a pen that you enjoy writing with will increase the chances that you write more often. After testing many, these are my favorites.
These headphones are incredibly functional for the gym as well as listening to books and podcasts on the go. Frictionless transition.
Reading on a phone is a terrible experience and Tablets are more suited for magazines, comics and watching things. I read a lot and have went through four ebook readers before finally settling on this one.
No backlight so less blue light exposure if reading at night. Seamless export of book highlights and notes to Evernote using clippings.io.
I spend less than three months a year in the states and often switch between the US, Asia & Europe. I look for cards with zero foreign exchange fees. I want my savings to pay high interest and be easy to access from anywhere. When possible I transfer credit card points to airline partners to pay for all of my international flights using miles, saving myself thousands of dollars per year and occasionally getting upgrades to first class.
This is a must if you travel out of the country. Any ATM that you encounter will charge you for taking money out. This card refunds those fees at the end of the month. It is my favorite debit card for travel. Works in any country, has amazing customer service and if lost they will deliver a new one to you next day. $100 free on signup.
Without the overhead of a brick and mortar bank, CapitalOne is able to offer 1.7% interest compared to the negligible interest you’ll find elsewhere. Super easy transfers between accounts make CapitalOne a great interim place for your liquid cash without having it eaten by inflation.
Taxes are much easier when you put all business expenses on a separate credit card. It give you 3X points when paying for utilities (cable, phone, electricity) or online advertising (adwords, facebook etc..) 80,000 Ultimate Rewards upon signup and only a $95 annual fee, good for three one-way international flights.
The cheap, fast way to send money abroad. No hidden fees. Uses real exchange rates so that you are not ripped off by regular financial institutions. I have used it to rent cars, pay rent, pay workers and buy visas.
A tool I have just started using for budgeting and tracking spending this year. It is very intuitive and causes less friction than some of the others I have used.
Programs for Productivity
I have each of these installed on my laptop. All of these should work well on either Mac/Windows.
High-level project management in a user-friendly interface. Very useful for managing and coordinating teams. Allows me to easily delegate and track current progress at a glance.
If it isn’t on my calendar then it doesn’t get done. My assistant has access. My booking software is connected to it. I schedule both work and personal events. Easy to share with others. Makes it easy to get an overview of what I need to do today and tomorrow.
Eliminates all the scheduling back and forth. I have this link on my website and can send it to anyone that needs to get on a call. Integrates with Google Calendar so people can only book when you are available. For coaching clients, I use Satori, which also handles payments and the other administrative options.
Helps when researching competition and what should go in my next article. After you enter a keyword in Google you will automatically be shown related keywords, phrases and sentences.
It tracks your internet usage. Allows you to identify where you waste your time and gives advice on how to change your habits.
Everyone should be using a password manager. Have super secure passwords that you never need to remember with automatic log-ins. Also, with team accounts, you can easily give temporary account access to contractors.
It stands for “If This Than That” and helps automate your life. Technical skills not necessary. You can choose from premade “recipes”. After connecting two services together, an action in one service will automatically trigger an action in the second.
I was a loyal Skype user for too long and not sure why. Zoom is better in every way. Works with slower internet, smooth with multiple users and easy to record and share screens. I’ve had fewer issues in a year than with a week of using Skype.
If it wasn’t for this app I would never look at my Kindle highlights. Readwise curates them in a weekly or daily email. Gives ideas, motivation, reminders depending on your highlighting habits and books read.
This app adapts the level of on-screen blue light on your laptop. Especially helpful if working in the evening as it doesn’t interrupt your melatonin production (which is what helps you fall asleep naturally).
My go-to background music for work. It is a free youtube channel and not another subscription. I find I get more done when listening to instrumentals.