#069: 8 Routines, Hacks & Habits for Optimal Performance

Welcome to The Accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell, if you love entrepreneurship and investing in real estate then you are in the right place. Josh is the CEO of Freeland Ventures Real Estate Private Equity and has personally invested in well over 500 properties all across the country. He’s also made hundreds of private lender loans and owns over 1,000 units of apartments. Josh is an expert at raising private money for deals and he prides himself on never having had a boss in his entire adult life. Josh and his team also mentor investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. He doesn’t dream about doing deals, he actually does them and so do his listeners and students. Now sit back, listen, learn, and accelerate your business, your life, and your investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast.

So, hey, welcome back to Accelerated Investor. This is Josh Cantwell. I’m so excited that you’re back with me again. Wherever you’re at in the world I just want to thank you for engaging with me. Thank you for engaging with our community. I hope that we’re having a huge impact on your personal life, your business life, how you’re growing, how you’re scaling, how you’re becoming a bigger, better version of yourself, how you’re achieving more in your businesses and operating at a higher level. And that’s exactly what I want to talk to you about today. It’s interesting, you know, this season of my life, especially this last 60 days or so, my kids got back to school. I am volunteering as their coach. So I coached Juliana’s sixth grade volleyball, Alesandra’s fourth-grade volleyball, Dominic’s flag football, and also his padded flag. So I’m coaching four different sports at the same time.

And matter of fact, I looked at my schedule and if I had attended every single practice and every single game, I would not have a day off for 47 straight days. But what’s interesting is over the past 60 days, I feel like I’m operating at a really, really, really high level, both in my business and in my personal life, in my relationship with my wife, in my relationships with our team, with staff, in my relationships with my parents. I feel like I’m in some of the best, you know, versions of myself physically that I’ve been in a long time.

And I was thinking back to when I played college football, when I played college football, you know, I was also taking 18 credit hours in college. I didn’t have any time to monkey around, goof off. I pretty much was either in school or I was on the football field or I was in the gym or I was at study hall. And I certainly had fun with my friends, but I didn’t have a lot of time to monkey around and goof off and really, you know, get into bad routines, bad habits or you know, do bad stuff which college boys often do.

So I was thinking back about that part of my life and thinking about this season of my life and thinking about the routines and habits that I’ve had for the past 60 days and what’s really been working well for me. And I wanted to just pass this along to you that, you know, I don’t have any scientific proof. I didn’t do any research. I’m just going to talk to you as a friend, as a mentor, as a fellow real estate entrepreneur and somebody who’s just really achieving at a very high level and tell you about eight different habits, hacks and routines that I’ve had that really feel like is leading me to optimal performance right now.

It really comes down to a couple of different things, but one of them is just understanding that depending on what season of life I’m in, depending on if my kids are in school or out of school, depending on what’s going on in my business or not going in my business, depending on what’s going on with my parents and their lives and what’s going on there, I’ve got to be flexible and adjust because it seems like about every three to four months my routine has to change in order to fit within that season of the year, within that season of life when my kids are out of school in the summer, that’s one different type of schedule, one different type of season.

When they’re in school in the fall. That’s a different type of season when they’re playing basketball and club volleyball in the winter and it’s cold and it’s yucky and it’s snowing and we live in Cleveland it’s another routine. And then in the springtime it’s yet another season. And so right now in this fall season of 2019 I feel like I’ve been operating at a very high level. We’ve been recruiting tons of money. I’ve been very engaged in my relationships with my wife and my parents and our friends. We’re talking and having conversations with tons, dozens and dozens of people. My wife is extremely social. She’s so beautiful when she’s out and talking with people. She’s very loving and happy. People really love to be around her. She’s a social butterfly and I love to watch her kind of work a room, it’s really amazing.

And we’ve been really kind of operating at a high level even though there’s been some, some significant chaos in our life in the past year or two. So I thought back to these eight routines, I came up with eight things that I think are really helping me perform at a high level. Just pass these along to you and hope you really, really can enjoy these. So one is early to bed early to rise and I’m not going to sleep at 8:00 o’clock by any means, but for me, my, my, my bedtime, the time that I need to get to sleep in order to get, feel like I got enough rest so that I can operate at a high level the next day is 11:00 PM. I’ve identified that as a time if I can get to sleep by 11:00 I know that I can easily wake up at 5:45 in the morning, which gives me about seven hours of sleep and I have a tremendous amount of energy the next day.

And so early to bed early to rise. I know a lot of people like to stay up late and then they like to get up, you know, get up late or they feel sluggish throughout the day. For me. I know I need about seven hours worth of sleep. I’ve identified that years ago. I probably really need closer to eight but I’m operating on seven and feel like I’m doing it really well. And I’ve said to myself, look, my kids go to sleep around 8:30 your kids, if you have kids and they’re in high school or grade school, they probably have a bedtime. My kids go to sleep around 8:30 which gives me from 8:30 till about 10:30 to engage with my wife and we’re so busy with sports and school and volunteering and our real estate businesses and our publishing and coaching and our private equity fund and all the things that my wife does to volunteer at the school.

You know, my wife and I are going two separate directions often all day. And when I have a good day, it’s typically because the night before I knew I wanted to go to sleep at 11:00 I knew my kids were to going to be asleep at 8:30 so I’ve got essentially between 9:00 o’clock and 11:00 to 9:00 o’clock and 10:30 really to really hang out with Lisa to help her around the house, get the house cleaned up, whether it’s laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, making lunches, just hanging out around the Island in the kitchen. Whether it’s just getting coffee ready for the next day or putting groceries away or sweeping up or hanging out with our dogs, that is super valuable time for us. So that 9:00 o’clock to 10:30 timeframe, that engagement is really the very first thing that’s important to me. Because if I’m not, you know, engaged with Lisa, if I’m not understanding what’s on her mind, if I’m not understanding where she’s going, what’s important to her, if my whole day can quickly become unwound.

Because if I’m not on the same page with her and we’re going the same direction, rowing in the same boat, sitting in the same boat, rowing the same direction, my whole day, the next day can get messed up because if we’re not on the same page, then text messages start flying and who’s going where and who’s doing what and what time you coming home from work and this person’s got this doctor’s appointment in this football game and all of a sudden my workday is blown up because we’re not on the same page the night before. So for me, bucket number one, engagement with Lisa between 9:00 o’clock and 10:30 just the two of us in the kitchen around the island, just shooting the breeze, confirming things. It’s hugely important. Bucket number two, early to bed early to rise. Asleep by 11:00 up at 5:45 right.

Even if at 5:45 I’m feeling sluggish. Even if I’m just kind of like rolling out of bed and I’m kind of brushing my teeth and going downstairs to get coffee, at least I’m up, I’m moving, feels good. I’m up about 15 to 30 minutes before my kids are up. I’ve got that 15 to 30 minutes to again, make sure the house is quiet, calm. Sometimes I even jump in the hot tub early in the morning, but I want to get up early. Bucket number three, got to have some coffee, right? Got to have some coffee. We drink half calf. I don’t know why half calf. I actually, when my wife was pregnant with Juliana, you know, pregnant women are not supposed to have a ton of caffeine. We couldn’t give up all the caffeine so we went to half calf and that was 12 years ago and we never went back to full caffeine coffee. So we’d just drink half calf, you know, got to have got to have coffee. Sec bucket number. Bucket number four is water, right? I’ve got to rehydrate my body. If your watching this on YouTube, you’re going to find that I typically on my way to work, I pop in at the local BP gas station down the street by a whole gallon of water so I have it with me.

Take gulps of this stuff all day long. And I’m not like wondering like, where am I going to get water? Where am I going to find water? Is it with me? Is it in the car or is it at work? Do I got to, you know, go to the store. No, just buy a gallon of water, a ton of water, keep it with me all day. And if you are as active as I am in the gym and coaching and on the field, on the court, you’ve got to be well hydrated to have a lot of energy. Bucket number five, my best days with the most amount of energy I do not eat breakfast I don’t eat anything. I actually, I take my vitamins in the morning and because I don’t have a stomach, if you’ve heard the stories before about my survival with pancreatic cancer, I don’t have a stomach.

I can’t take a lot of vitamins because they ripped my insides apart unless I have a drink of something. So I take my vitamins in the morning with one small glass of pure green pressed organic vegetable juice, celery juice, whatever it is, that’s the next bucket. But then I have no food the rest of the rest of the morning and it’s usually just a small glass just to get my vitamins down. So really no food until about 1:00 o’clock right. The more food I eat in the morning, the earlier I eat in the morning, the less energy I have later in the day, okay. So no food or very, very little. Next is workouts, you know, the last 60 days, I’ve been working out twice a day, almost every single day because I actually drive my kids to school every single morning, drop them off at school at about 7:30 AM I go to the gym, which is directly across the street from school.

And I specifically bought a membership at that gym because it’s across the street from the school, right. So I could go to a lot more fancy gyms or I could go to places that have more stuff or I could go to places. It’s all about convenience. To me, the gym is fuel for me, it’s exercise, it’s fuel for my body, so I need to be in a gym. One, I love the water. I love to swim. I love the sauna and the steam rooms, I love that. And I love gyms where there’s lots and lots of heavy weights, heavy dumbbells and guys are in there to get after it. Girls are in there to get after it. So I go to the gym, it’s directly across the street from the school and the reason why I go there is because I can go right from school at 7:30 right into the gym.

I can be working out, stretching out and beyond my way, I could be in out of that place by 8:15 I’ve got 45 minutes to finish up my workout. Whether it’s swimming, whether it’s sauna, whether it’s steam, whether it’s working out, whether it’s cardio, whether it’s heavy weights, whatever, 8:15 I’m done and I’m on my way back home. I can pull that off. That’s not a big ask out of my schedule, right. It’s not a big ask to go spend 30 minutes in the gym. I’ve learned to actually not do long exotic workouts to get in and out in 30 minutes or less, including stretching, including everything else. I’ll give myself 30 minutes, I got to be out of the gym by 8:15 I’m done gone and on my way home. Now when I get home, the interesting thing is when I get home, this is the next bucket.

The next optimization is my mornings are relatively free. I’m not scheduling any meetings until 9:30 so I’ve got from 8:15 till 9:30 off in 10:00 o’clock before I even take my first meeting, right. At 8:15 till about 9:30 in the morning, that’s my best time for me to think, for me to think about my day, for me to get in front of a whiteboard, to draw things out, to run proforma’s, to run projections, to think about what’s got to get done, let’s say for the next 90 days. So what’s got to get done for the next quarter. What’s got to get done this month to hit our goals? And that’s often when I start my day thinking about you could, you know, it’s kind of journaling, but it could be a journal. I definitely write in my journal often, but I also jump up on a whiteboard a lot and it’s another way of journaling, but it’s really up on a whiteboard.

I actually did that this morning before I recorded this podcast. I spent the first hour of my day on a whiteboard, Ramey, my AB director is here. He rolled into my office to record. He saw me in the other room up on the whiteboard for the last hour while we were getting ready for this, and I’m thinking through, okay, what’s going to happen in Q4 of this year? And I’ve got to spend that part of my day from 8:15 to 9:30 thinking, looking again at my calendar, looking at my schedule, looking at my meeting rhythms, who I need to meet with, what department needs some attention, what can we proform out? How can I help the rest of our team and rest of our staff and even my wife and my kids? How can I help all of them have a better day, get more done? You know, how can I help them optimize? How can I help them achieve at a higher level? That’s often my first thought of the day.

So my mornings are free. I’m not jamming in meetings at 8:00 AM 7:30 AM. Some people like that. Like I don’t like to get up and 7:30 in the morning and my first meeting and then 8:30 I have another one, 9:30 have another one. Like I just can’t operate that way. It’s just not me. It’s okay for me because I’m a CEO. I’m the leader of a business. I’m a leader of a family. I need to spend time thinking, not just jumping in to do this task and that task and this task and that tech. There’s plenty of time for that and I’ve got plenty of tasks and tactics and things that I’ve got to do, but I just don’t operate well doing that at 8:00 in the morning, like my mind is cluttered. I haven’t had time to think. So ideally for me, my first meeting of the day or my first real, like thing to accomplish my first real, task or my first real begins at 10:00 AM okay.

And then that’s going to go for me until about 3:00 o’clock, 10 to three, five hours. I’m operating on a super high level. I’m getting tons of stuff done, I’m good there. By 3:00 o’clock, starting to wind down, usually by 3:00 o’clock, I’m going to take some kind of B vitamins, some small shot of energy, something B vitamin related to keep me moving through the second half of the day. And I’m also going to eat something usually around between 1:30 and 2:30, right? So eat and I eat very light. I have to eat super light because again, I don’t have a stomach, right? So if I eat a bunch of bread, a huge salad, a big meal, a botch of meat, that thing that puts me right to sleep right to bed, can’t do it.

So instead, small lunch, super small, like soup, cup of soup, that’s all I need, right? There was actually a zoopa around the corner. There’s also an olive garden, like olive garden and zoopa sounds kind of boring, but their soups are so good. So light, lots of vegetables, it’s great. Love it. Lots and lots and lots of vegetables. Then if I’m snacking after that, right after 2:30 3:00 o’clock I’m often snacking on nuts, I’m often snacking on greens like vegetables, carrots, celery, cucumbers, stuff like that throughout the day, get lots and lots and lots of vitamins. And finally, my really last two things that I’ve recognized that I’d been doing for the last 60 days is no alcohol, no television. Now it’s certainly gone out and had drinks with friends. But that’s the difference. I can tell if I go out and have some, some cocktails and I booze on a Friday night or a Saturday night with, you know, we’re out with our friends or you know, having a party with other families and we have some drinks.

I could tell the difference on Monday morning if I had cocktails on Friday night. And so if I want to run at an optimal level, right? No alcohol, no way, can’t do it. Also in the evenings, remember my routine, I’m right back to the evening. If I’m hanging out with my kids and engaging with my kids and coaching my kids, which I often do every single night from 5:00 o’clock until about 8:00 PM I’m on the court coaching, volleyball, basketball, I’m in the gym. You know, coaching some sport, football, whatever. I don’t have time to watch TV between 5:00 and 8:00, then my kids are getting ready for bed about 8:30 then I’m engaging with my wife between 9:00 and 10:30. There’s no time for television. And so I look back and you know, last 60 days, I bet you I’ve watched less than five hours of television in the last 60 days combined.

And usually that was maybe on a Sunday afternoon when there were no games, there were no sports. I was able to kick my feet up and typically watch sports or something like that. And then I often would fall asleep for about 20 minutes on the couch, take a little quick cat nap. So these are things that worked for me, right. So let me just quickly summarize night before Got to have personal time with Lisa, 8:30 till about 10:00 about 10:30 hang out in the kitchen. Hang out at the island, ideal. That’s number one. Number two, early to bed early to rise. Sleep at 11:00 up at 5:45. Number three, coffee and water, right. Got to have coffee to get going just for whatever reason. It got to have lots and lots of water.

Gallon of water a day. Number four, besides my little small green shake just so I can get my vitamins down, right? No food until 1:00 o’clock. No food til 1:00 o’clock. That keeps me going. It keeps me energized. Those are really important. Number five workouts. Like I’m getting two workouts in a day, but I give myself 30 minutes in the morning. I’m not doing some long exotic, you know, workout. It just doesn’t like, I can’t do it. I just don’t have enough, you know, enough time to do, you know, hour and a half workout. Like it’s just not that important to me. I want to be lean. I want to have a lot of energy. I don’t want to be all bulked up and strong and big like I was when I was 24 years old. That’s not important to me anymore.

What’s important to me is energy. Lots and lots of energy. Bucket number six, then free mornings, right? I’ve got to have free mornings to be able between 8:15 and about 10:00 o’clock to think, to journal, to write, to whiteboard. Very, very, very, very, very important for me to do that. Talked about afternoon snacks right afternoon lots of vegetables, lots of stuff like that. And then finally, no alcohol, no television, right? I just can’t do it. Like those are the things, if you want to be an unbelievably optimal performing entrepreneur, you want to perform at a super high level. There’s just some things you’ve got to give up. You’ve got to give up sleeping in, you’ve got to give up junk food, right? You can’t be dehydrated throughout the day, right? You’ve got to workout, get your body moving, right? 30 minutes is all you need, right?

Giving up things like television, giving up things like alcohol, giving up things like junk food. Really, really, really important. Now I am by far not perfect at this. There’s days where I just have awful days. I don’t do it right. I feel horrible because I eat something in the morning then I’m sluggish throughout the day. Maybe I, you know, have some glasses of wine on a Sunday afternoon when I’m, you know, eating a big Italian meal at my wife’s parents house and then all of a sudden, you know, by Monday I’m sluggish, and shit and can’t get going because I had wine on a Sunday afternoon like I am by far, not perfect.

But I also know that these eight things, these eight little hacks, these eight little optimizations, I get them all right when I am in my joy at work, when I am happy and excited and looking forward to the day and looking forward to talking to people and looking forward to engaging in relationships, building businesses, building companies. It’s because I’ve got these eight other things right.

You’ve been listening to Josh Cantwell and the Accelerated Investor Podcast. Leave a comment on our iTunes channel and let us know what you want to learn next, or who you’d like Josh to interview. While you’re there, give us some five star rating and make sure to subscribe so you can be the first to hear new episodes. Follow Josh Cantwell and his companies, the Strategic Real Estate Coach and Freeland Ventures on all social media platforms now and stay up to date on new training and investment opportunities to start your journey toward the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. Apply for coaching at JoshCantwellCoaching.com.

Finding a routine that allows you to focus wholeheartedly on increasing your business, growing your personal relationships, and creating a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone – but especially for entrepreneurs or real estate investors, who typically have full reign over their entire day. 

Over the years, Josh Cantwell has discovered many habits and hacks to enhance his daily routine and, ultimately, optimize his performance as an entrepreneur, husband, and father. These tips for enhancing your nutrition, lifestyle choices, and business growth are designed to help you grow as a person. 

Because, as we all know, a healthy body and a healthy mindset are an essential foundation for everything you hope to accomplish – whether in your personal or professional life. 

If you’re struggling to establish a routine that keeps you motivated and feeling good about your goals, this podcast is for you. Even if you have a pretty solid routine down already, Josh’s tips may inspire new ideas for your day. 

Tune in to hear Josh’s 8 tried-and-true daily habits that have helped him stay motivated, energized, and on track with his goals. Plus, he shares two habits that he recently gave up, in order to increase his focus and motivation. 

What’s Inside:

  • How Josh stays flexible with his schedule, as seasons change 
  • The lifestyle habits that Josh has implemented over the years to get his day off to the right start
  • How Josh structures the first 45 to 60 minutes of his workday
  • The two habits that Josh recently eliminated from his routine to make him feel more energized 

Mentioned in this episode​

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