In a recent conversation with 4-Hour Work Week author and podcaster Tim Ferriss, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about how he has trained himself to deal with discomfort—something which must be a pretty big part of his job given the widespread criticism levelled at the social platform on a semi-regular basis.
According to Zuckerberg, he has developed a set of methods for managing his own energy and preventing his attention from getting diverted in his daily routine.
“If I try to just go straight into the day, every morning when I wake up and read through my emails and get the news, it’s almost like getting punched,” he said. “I’ve found that basically doing something physical and something that’s meditative to take my mind off it for an hour, so then I can reset and go do work, is really important. That’s why things like foiling and surfing have been really important to me, because when you’re out there on the water, it’s pretty hard to focus on anything else.”
“It’s almost like I’ve subconsciously settled all of the things, all of the news that’s happened in the world, and now it’s like OK, let’s go deal with it,” he continued.
Not that his first impulse when there’s a genuine emergency is to wetsuit up and grab his board. But Zuckerberg does believe that the days when he is able to find that physical outlet are the ones when he is more productive. “A key part of this is having an awesome team,” he adds. “It’s not primarily about me at this point… How I’ve worked out this system for myself isn’t necessarily something that would work for a lot of other people.”
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.
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