Want to get the most out of every day? Need some help in hacking your productivity? We're here to provide some answers. Every Thursday at Modus Nutrition, we're going to be talking to fitness experts, nutritional scientists, key influencers, big-name athletes and more about their secrets to staying super-productive. Check back each week for our "Productivity Power Tips".
This week we caught up with none other than Chicago Bears linebacker Lamarr Houston (above right, with former NFL star Ahman Green). The 29-year-old Houston played at the University of Texas before being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2010. He played in Oakland for four seasons before signing with the Chicago Bears in 2014, his current team. A player who takes his diet and fitness extremely seriously, Houston recently made a very impressive recovery from knee surgery and is now all set to add to his 25 career sacks this coming season. Here are Lamarr's tips for how he stays productive away from the game, as well as his plans for life after the NFL.
Modus Nutrition: Are you a coffee guy?
Lamarr Houston: "No, I don't drink coffee. I don't drink coffee because my parents were avid coffee drinkers, so I'm just like, I don't want coffee. (Laughs.) I've never tried it, I've never needed it."
Modus: Do you have any daily routines or things that you do that keep you grounded or focused?
Houston: "I try to learn as much as I can. I enjoy reading different materials. Just trying to suck up what I can in the offseason. I try to network with different groups of people. I've been doing a little shadowing at this lawfirm up here in New York, so I just do a little bit of everything in my spare time to cultivate some knowledge."
Modus: Are there athletes that, in your opinion, have done a very good job of managing their post-sports career and how they set themselves up?
Houston: "Right now, my favorite example is Alan Page. He went to Notre Dame and then played back in the day for the Vikings, and after that he went to law school and became a judge, so that's kind of my favorite role model of post-career athletes. Not only was he able to go to law school after he finished playing, but I think he made it up to the highest court in Minnesota."
Modus: Are you looking in to going to law school when you retire?
Houston: "Yeah, when I retire, yeah."
Modus: Do you read a lot of books?
Houston: "Yeah, I try to read as much as I can outside of watching film and focusing on football. Malcolm Gladwell's 'Outliers' is one of my favorites. I also read, 'How Successful People Think.' Those are the books that have made a lot of impact on me and have put a lot of things in perspective in terms of how we grow up culturally and things like that. How we succeed, et cetera."
Modus: Do you have any piece of gear other than your mobile phone that helps you stay productive?
Houston: "No, I usually just jot stuff down in my notes in my iPhone."
Modus: So what are your key apps on your iPhone?
Houston: "iTunes, Notepad, Instagram, Snapchat. Mainly social media and messaging."