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Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love—is the sum of what you focus on.

—  Cal Newport
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got bedtime “revenge”, 7-minute abs, and a tip to amp up your productivity. Read on...

You spent the whole day hard at work, with barely a few hours at the end of the day to yourself. When 11:00 PM rolls around, you’re unable to resist one more episode of a Netflix show, one more YouTube video. Sound familiar? 

“Revenge bedtime procrastination” is a Chinese internet term that we find super-relatable. The more stressful our lives are during the day, and the more of our free time work steals, the more likely we are to feel the urge to indulge in staying up late.

But too much reclaiming sleeping hours as “me time” leaves us exhausted the next morning. How can you fight the procrastination urge? Try setting two timers on your phone: one for when to stop work, another for when to go to bed. These will give you an audible signal to move onto the next part of your day, whether that’s relaxation or rest.

You can also create a calming nighttime routine. Try writing on a Post-It note what your “highlight” for tomorrow will be. This can be the main thing you want to get done in the day, or just something you’re looking forward to. The last thing you think of when you go to bed is usually the first thing you think of when you wake up, so wind down your day on a positive note.

Wishing you peaceful rest all week long, Katherine & Linda
Dear Fit Girls: Can we ask you a special favor? 

We now have hundreds of Fit Girls Society members receiving this email newsletter and we’re so thrilled to have you with us. Our goal is 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2021! 

Would you please forward this newsletter to a friend and tell them how much you enjoy it? It would mean the world to us. Thank you!
Lucy Wyndham-Read
Lucy Wyndham-Read appears regularly on British television as a fitness expert, and has written bestselling books, including her latest, 7-Minute Body Plan. 

But Wyndham-Read wasn’t always sporty. She told The Sun that, back in school: “I had every excuse possible to get out of PE. I hated it because everyone always wrote me off because I was a bit chubby. I was always picked last. I was intimidated, awkward and clumsy. I was bullied as a result, and it was this feeling of wanting to be stronger and prove to everyone that I wasn’t weak that has shaped my entire life.”

The desire to prove herself motivated Wyndham-Read to sign up for the army, where she served for five years as a dental nurse. She created workouts she could do inside her barracks bedroom, with minimal equipment. After leaving the army she became a personal trainer. 

Her big break came in 2018 when she introduced a format of short, achievable videos, perfect for fitness newbies. Now her 7-minute ab workout is YouTube’s most-watched fitness video ever!

Try this: Wyndham-Read’s most popular workout, with 92 million views, is her 7-minute workout for abs. For a cardio workout, check out Wyndham-Read’s 30-minute Full Body Workout where she instructs a routine of 20 exercises.
This routine won’t actually pare off any “inches” or “belly fat” in 7 days as she claims, but it can be tacked onto any other workout as a finisher that engages the core.
Get more done in less time with the power of focus
“Do some good in the world for no other reason than wanting to be part of the solution.” — Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Attention residue is the concept that each time you switch tasks, it takes some period of time to get back into a state of focus and concentration. These mental switching costs create a drag on your productivity.

The remedy? Carve out blocks of time to focus on a particular task, and don’t let anything interrupt.

How you do this depends on how much control and agency you have over your own schedule. If possible, you could schedule all your meetings for after 11 AM, leaving the first few hours of the morning for focused work, or dedicate one day a week to be your “no meetings” day. There are tools like Clockwise that can help optimize your calendar for focus time, too. 

If this isn’t realistic, you could take a look at what blocks of time you do have through the week. Make them task-focused work time by resolving not to check email, texts, or social media while you’re getting your productive work done.
For an in-depth explanation on time blocking, here’s an explanation by productivity expert Cal Newport that explains how to plan your day for success. 
 “Exercise is like learning algebra. It can be useful, but we never evolved to do it.” Expert advice from an evolutionary biologist on how you can be physically active—even when instinct says to be lazy (Elemental)

 The perfect vegetarian stand-in for meatballs, these kidney bean and oat balls are a low-calorie pasta topper you can whip up in your food processor (Vegan Heaven)

This list of the 11 best dumbbells to buy includes everything from teeny one-pound weights to cartoonish circus dumbbells (Greatist) 

8 simple tips  to live longer and healthier — #4 may surprise you (Outside)

 Need more encouragement to avoid sugar? Research shows excess consumption of added sugars can trigger depression (IDEAfit)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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