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#028 - Lewis Kallow (@KallowLewis) - TikTok + Neuroscience = 🚀
Lewis Kallow (@KallowLewis) - TikTok + Neuroscience = 🚀
WHY HE'S FEATURED:
Writes an awesome newsletter, Super Self, which breaks down the latest research in personal development science🧑🔬
Is expanding into TikTok where in just 6 months he's gotten over 1400 followers and one video got 43K views.
Makes a living as a writer and creator, after starting just two years ago
Writes quality content for Every's Superorganizers newsletter (and gets paid for it)
Is one of my favorite creator friends and hope to collaborate with him someday!
This week's issue is a real treat to write, because Lewis is one of my favorite internet friends and I'm excited to dig more into his thinking, strategies, and habits.
I'm not sure where I first came across his newsletter SuperSelf, but as a self-improvement junkie, it immediately spoke to me. Every issue I'm blown away with all of the interesting science he has found and how eloquently he explains it.
It's the one newsletter I open almost every single time I see it sitting in my inbox. I've learned things like how getting 30 minutes of sunlight every morning can boost your productivity and how writing out a plan for the day and anticipating obstacles can boost my productivity.
It's a treasure trove of actionable and science-backed things you can try to make yourself super. And who doesn't want that?
Lewis clearly has a knack for writing, audience building, and creating Gen-Z quality TikToks. And thats why I plan to join forces with him one day to build a massive self-improvement business:
But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. The creator journey is a long one, and we need to have the right habits and strategies in place in order to succeed. So what is Lewis doing behind the scenes to set himself up for success? Let's find out.
3 Strategies that Lewis leverages in his work:
✍️ Writing out scripts for TikToks - When I tried to market on TikTok, my videos were trash. Lewis's TikToks are engaging, creative, and organized–we're talking like Gen Z level work. I asked him how he did it, and he said he writes out the whole script before hand. I probably should have thought of that.
🔎 Staying on top of new research - I'm not sure where Lewis gets all his research from, but by keeping his pulse on the newest research, he always has something unique and interesting to write about.
🤝 Partnering with others - Rather than toiling away alone in a silo, Lewis has started to branch out and collaborate with others, for example by writing and creating TikTok videos for Every. Once he started doing this, I saw the quality and quantity of his work 10x.
In terms of habits, I asked Lewis what 3 habits changed his trajectory as a maker.
3 Habits that Changed Lewis's trajectory:
🧠 Find Work-Brain Fit
Most of my work involves writing and I do it every single day. I went through a long period of frustration before I realized a few really key things about writing:
a) Most professional writers can’t consistently write for more than 3-4 hours a day without burning out (this applies to most forms of cognitively demanding work). I kept trying to go beyond this limit and then would get confused and annoyed when I inevitably crashed. Now I respect this limit and just focus on getting around three high quality hours in every day.
b) My brain is an unreliable writer in the afternoon and at night but always seems to do well in the morning. The first half of my day revolves around making sure I get those three hours of writing done when I know my brain will show up for it.
c) Because writing is one of the most cognitively demanding things you can ask yourself to do, you will sometimes feel resistance. I used to see this as a sign that something was wrong or as a signal to quit. But now I appreciate that it’s normal and actually part of your job is to get started in spite of that resistance. If you can just get going then suddenly an hour later you’ll look up and realize you found your flow.
I think these guidelines apply to all forms of mentally challenging work. Respect your daily limits and be on the lookout for which type of work your brain likes doing at different times of the day!
🏃 15-Minute Morning Run
The first thing I do is go outside for a 15 minute run and I honestly couldn’t imagine life without it. Professor Andrew Huberman recently interviewed Dr Wendy Suzuki and she discussed a study which found that exercise can boost mood, cognition, and energy for at least 2 hours afterward. That’s a great way to start the workday!
(P.s. another study published just a few weeks ago found that regular running increased baseline dopamine levels in mice by 40% compared to an inactive control group. Their dopamine was still elevated a whole week after they stopped running! They also had an increase in BDNF by 60% which is an important neurochemical for learning).
🌴 Prioritize Rest & Recovery
Harvard Business School Professor Jon Jachimowicz is one of the world’s leading experts on the science of passion at work. One of the things that struck me from his research is the idea that having passion is actually really hard. Passion motivates you to work super hard and so it’s naturally draining over time. He’s found that plenty of rest is needed to keep passion sustainable over the long run and maintain optimal performance.
I try to take long breaks throughout the day to keep quality and engagement high. An amazing study found that taking time to properly recover during long daily breaks predicted an increase in vigor and a decrease in exhaustion over a 1-year period. There are a bunch of short term and long term gains from taking the time to properly detach and recover throughout the day.
(I think this is what all those people on Twitter mean when they tell you to work like a lion!)
Also, another fascinating study from last year found that treating the weekend like a vacation can have a super strong effect on boosting happiness. I try to incorporate this vacation mindset into my Sundays.
Looks like I need to start running more!
Thanks for sharing with us, Lewis! It was very on-brand to receive not just a full bullets, but a full write-up of your habits, complete with links to resources and evidence 😂.
Make sure to subscribe to the SuperSelf newsletter and/or follow SuperSelf on TikTok to stay up to date on the latest personal development science. He's also new on Twitter, so be sure to give him a follow and say hi there 👉 @KallowLewis
And one last thing! Stay updated on all the cool work of our past makers with the Maker of Habit Twitter list. It's an awesome way to feel more connected to the maker community.
Build new habits + stick with them
Looking to build some new habits? Harold is a quirky text-messaging bot that helps you build new habits with one text message a day.
You can use Harold to build habits like Lewis for example:
Did you take 2 long breaks today?
Did you run for 15-minutes this morning?
You'll be surprised what can happen with just 1 text message each day.
Psst. I wrote a book!
The Honest Guide to Indie Making is everything I learned when I went full-time on my side project.
You can check it out here.