Erik Betrand Larssen, a former paratrooper developed The Hell Week. A week to check off everything you have been postponing to do. To develop a habit of performing. And to show your true capabilities.
With all the methods, theories, tips and tricks in my book, hopefully you will be able to better set and achieve goals than you have ever done. And hopefully you will get more out of life, develop yourself and get successes you have always dreamed off.
Understandably, being disciplined and following models and theories come easier to some than others. If you find that you still have difficulties being productive, there is a method which is bit more ‘hardcore’, developed by Danish ex-paratrooper Erik Bertrand Larssen. Not something I recommend, as it is not for the faint-hearted. But in line with some other methods and strategies I outlined in my book, found this an interesting share.
Larssen uses his experience as paratrooper to coach ‘normal’ people. And to do so, he developed a method called ‘The Hell Week’. During these seven days you will become the best version of yourself. And with a set of rules, each day has its own theme. You will be forced to step out of your comfort zone, break bad habits and live life in a conscious way. The method has a set of 7 rules:
Rule 1: Early to bed. You will have to get up every day at 05:00, so must not go to sleep later than 22:00. The advantage of getting up early is that you can start the day with little distractions (as the rest of the world is still asleep). And by going to sleep at 22:00 at latest you still have a minimum of 7 hours.
Rule 2: Look your best at all times. Take care of yourself and look sharp at all times. This is to take yourself seriously, and for your environment to do the same.
Rule 3: Exercise to the extreme. Work out every day for at least one hour, and give it everything you have. This will get you mentally and physically fired up for the challenge.
Rule 4: Stick to a healthy diet. Prepare yourself for the Hell Week by looking up healthy recipes, and do not cheat during the entire challenge.
Rule 5: Take charge of your digital life: No consuming of digital services at all. No social media, but also no television or Netflix.
Rule 6: Get Hyperfocus. When you are performing a task, do only that. No multi-tasking and focusing on completing a task fully before starting a new one.
Rule 7: Step up your game. You go ‘all in’ during the Hell Week. It is on top of your mind the entire week. During this week you will notice you have a lot of time in a day, and can do massive amounts of work. Use this to your benefit and spend every minute as productive as you can.
Next to the rules of the Hell Week, Larssen made a theme for each day of the week. And each themed day has an assignment.
Monday: Habits. Go on a search for your good and bad habits. A very valuable exercise to start with, as you will be aware of these habits during the rest of the week. Analyze yourself and answer some of Larssen’s questions. How do you give a handshake? Do you use social media during work? Do you ask for help when you need it? And do you listen to podcasts or audiobooks?
Tuesday: Mood and Focus. Further analyze yourself and figure out what your peak productivity hours are. And figure out how you can best charge yourself.
Wednesday: Time management. Plan all of the parts of the Hell Week. This means making a planning for a day, week, month or even a year. Make a plan for yourself for the long-term.
Thursday: The comfort zone. On this day, Larssen wants you to come out of your comfort zone. He forces you to stay up all night and work on a project that you have been delaying for a while and have shelved somewhere.
Friday: Rest and Restitution. After a long night of working, this day is about taking time to relax. Larssen gives you tips on how to meditate in his book. But there are plenty of alternatives to find what works to relax yourself personally.
Saturday: Inner dialogue. On this day, you will analyze how you speak to yourself. And the book will instruct you how to do this in the most positive way. Especially after 6 days into the Hell Week, it is important to keep a positive attitude towards yourself and your performances.
Sunday: Reflection. The last day of the Hell Week is about reflecting on yourself and putting everything in perspective.
All together a very intense week to go through. And all with the aim to give you a bit of insight in the fact that you can do a lot more than you think you are capable off.
For anyone interested in reading more, you can find Larssen’s book on Amazon. An interesting method, but not for everyone. On the day you are supposed to work through the night, expect to be up for about 40 hours in total.
For some, this might be an interesting experiment to do once. For others, this method has become a ritual they repeat every year in the same week. And if you feel that a full week is a bit intimidating, you can always start of doing a ‘Hell Day’; wake up extra early, do all the tasks you have postponing for a while and do not sleep until you are finished. And remember to reflect on it afterwards, and celebrate the productivity successes you made.