Designing the optimized version of you starts right here.
Hi, my name is Zack Arnold. I’m an award-winning Hollywood film & television editor (Unsolved, Burn Notice, Empire, Shooter, Glee), member of the American Cinema Editors, a documentary director (GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story, narrated by Mark Hamill), and creator of the Optimize Yourself program and podcast.
I help ambitious creative people like you better manage your time, your energy, and your attention so you can get sh*t done and achieve the most meaningful goals in your life…without sacrificing your sanity in the process.
Optimizing yourself is about understanding your own limitations, recognizing (and accepting) your own disabilities, and then becoming the strongest and most authentic version of your existing self…not trying to become someone you’re not.
I detest the word “expert,” and I am not a guru. I am also not a “biohacker,” and I have no intention of showing you how to “become superhuman.”
I’m just a guy who has spent the last fifteen years chained to a computer (in the dark), and because of the stressful and sedentary nature of my career, I have battled burnout, attention issues, and depression more times than I can keep track of.
To be clear: If you’re looking for all the answers, you’re on the wrong site.
I am on the same journey as you, I just happen to be obsessed with learning everything I can about optimizing creative performance. My job is to shorten your learning curve by sharing my best discoveries with you.
You are in the right place if…
What you do is who you are
You work a creative job not because it pays the bills but because your creativity defines you. Yet the demands you put on yourself (not to mention your boss’ expectations) constantly burn you out, and you’re afraid if you don’t figure this out, you may end up walking away from doing something amazing you once loved every single day.
You're sick and tired of constantly being sick and tired
You’ve had enough of your job dominating your life and driving your health into the ground. You’re ready to make a change, but you just don’t know where to begin. No matter the goal you want to achieve you find it difficult to get started because you have no idea which path to follow. But you know that enough is enough.
You’re ready to take action and put in the work
You understand life transformation doesn’t happen overnight. You realize it took years to develop the habits that have led you to where you are, and you know it will take patience to make positive changes in your life that truly last. When it comes to your health and making progress in your career, you are ready to play the “long game.” It’s time to stop playing checkers and start playing chess.
Choose Your Own Adventure
I’ve been told to charge for these e-books, but I created them for you 100% FREE because I would’ve given anything to have this information available to me when I was just beginning my journey as a creative professional.
“I’ve done creative work for close to 10 years and I can’t tell you how much I’ve dealt with the topics you cover – mental burnout, physical fatigue, trouble coming up with strategies to advance my career. It’s really amazing to have someone with a filmmaking POV offer a unique perspective and solutions to these problems. “Daniel M.
“Your podcast is a Godsend in that I too was suffering from some pretty bad burnout/depression a little over a year ago. I do love this work and I completely believe that it does not need to be like it is. I decided that the thing I could change was myself and I began working on doing the things I need to be healthy, happy and successful in this industry.”Scotty D.
“I was working 90 hour weeks which led to insomnia, an onset of severe depression, and a cycle of lying in bed only to stare at the ceiling in adrenaline-fueled exhaustion. There aren’t enough letters in the phrase “thank you” to accurately express how grateful I am for the community you started and the work you put into this program.”Benjamin B.
“Your podcast is incredibly informative, insightful, and engaging. I want to compliment you on your wide array of guests and how many of them feature women. It’s encouraging to know there are amazing women out there who made it or are working to make it. Thank you for making the impossible feel like it exists in the same reality as I do.”Abbey G.
Required Reading & Listening For New Visitors
If this is your first time here, you’re probably wondering how the heck it’s possible to combine optimal health with your crazy career (especially if you’re raising a family). The articles below should help.
The Top 10 Tools I Use Every Day to Optimize Creative Performance
There is a ton of garbage available online. I know because I’ve tried a lot of it. In fact, I’ve spent the last 10 years and over $75,000 searching for the best products, programs, and systems that ensure I maintain high levels of energy and creativity no matter how crazy my schedule. If I could only have access to ten products, these are the ten things I couldn’t live without.
NOTE: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase any of the following products below (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
#1 – The ‘Move Yourself’ Program
I’ll be the first to admit I’m very biased when it comes to recommending the Move Yourself Program. Why? Because I designed it myself. When you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to “hit the gym,” your next best option is learning how to reshape your habits during your workday to effortlessly become more active. Sit less, focus more, build better habits, and become so active at work you’ll never feel guilty for skipping the gym again.
#2 – Topo Mat
If you’re planning to design a more dynamic work environment for yourself that includes a height-adjustable desk (which I highly recommend), the first investment you MUST make is a Topo Mat. Every single time someone walks into my office, their first question is, “What’s that funny mat for?” Then after trying it for 30 seconds their response is, “Whoah, this is amazing. Where can I get one?” This mat will drastically reduce any discomfort or fatigue you experience when standing at your desk…and it’s fun! (Concerned the Topo Mat is too large either because you are shorter or you have limited space? Check out the Topo Mini)
#3 – The ‘SitTight’ Chair
Fifteen years ago I replaced my Aeron desk chair with an exercise ball. Since then I’ve been on an endless quest for “the perfect desk chair” that accommodates my need to stay active all day long. The SitTight is the only chair that I’ve ever found that fulfills all my needs and desires for a desk chair that ensures I can take a break from standing but also stay active, focused, and creatively engaged for long stretches at a time.
The most common question I’m asked is, “What is the best chair you recommend for better health and ergomonics?” I can finally say with 100% certainty the ‘SitSight’ is my #1 chair recommendation.
BONUS: Use the coupon code ‘Optimize’ for 10% OFF!
#4 – Athletic Greens
If you can’t go more than an hour without a Coke or Red Bull to keep you energized and focused, it’s time for a better plan. How about if instead of caffeine and sugar you tried 70 superfood ingredients instead? I take a tablespoon of Athletic Greens with 16 oz of water every morning. It’s the energy drink that’s actually healthy.
#5 – Qualia
We may not have anything as cool as the ‘Limitless’ drug yet…but Qualia is the closest nootropic I’ve found to getting there. Qualia is a premium supplement that helps support mental performance and brain health. Specifically designed to promote focus, support energy, mental clarity, mood, memory, and creativity. Qualia keeps me focused when I need it the most. If you want to learn more about how it works listen to my podcast with the creators of Qualia.
BONUS: Use coupon code ‘OPTIMIZE’ for 10% OFF!
#6 – Shakeology
You’re getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every single day, right? And you’re avoiding all processed foods and eating 100% organic, whole, raw foods? Yeah, me neither. When I don’t have time to have a healthy meal but I want to avoid take-out, my #1 meal replacement recommendation is Shakeology. Shakeology can help you effortlessly lose weight, reduce cravings for junk food, have more consistent energy, and it also supports healthy digestion and regularity. In short, there’s no easier way to launch the healthier version of you than one densely nutritious smoothie per day. (If budget is a concern, my honorable mention goes to Vega One).
#7 – Human Charger
As a film editor I spend a ridiculous amount of hours in dark rooms. Exposure to the sun is absolutely essential for your well-being, and it also affects the quality of your sleep. While getting sunlight is always your best option, what if you could have sunlight in your pocket and it was as easy to use as an iPod? Sound like some distant utopian future? The future is here, and it’s called The Human Charger. This product is a game-changer if you spend long days in windowless rooms.
BONUS: Get 20% OFF using the coupon code ‘OPTIMIZE.’
#8 – Fitbit
Movement throughout your workday is the #1 engine that will drive your creativity, but to create better habits you first must know how much you’re moving today. What you measure, you can improve upon. Fitbit provides the best quantification tools on the market and makes tracking and measuring fun. Challenge yourself to take more steps, get outside for walking breaks, and ignite your creativity! (My current favorite toy is the Fitbit Blaze. If you just want to test the waters and not make a large investment, start with the Fitbit One.)
#9 – Nutribullet
My Nutribullet is the most indispensable tool in my kitchen, I use it 2-3 times per day. I even own a second Nutribullet that I take with me to every job. If you’re serious about maximizing nutrition with minimal effort, especially if plan to start incorporating Shakeology into your daily routine, this appliance is a must-have.
#10 – Kettlebells
The chances you’ll have time to hit the gym are pretty slim, but if you have a set of kettlebells by your desk you can fit in strength training any time of day. I often swing a kettlebell or do squats while watching footage or reviewing music tracks. And they’re an awesome conversation starter too!