Middle-Aged Entrepreneur: build faster WITHOUT burnout.

Why 90% of Productivity Hacks Won’t Work For You.

Angela Shurina
7 min readJun 15, 2023

What’s the difference between you middle-aged and you in your 20s?

As a middle-ager you can’t afford doing things the “dumb way”.

Biologically speaking — nature stops being forgiving.

Bye-bye pulling all-nighters, working without days off, sleeping well with liters of caffeine in you, and still somehow making it through to the morning workout, enjoying your life, feeling like an unquestionable winner.

It’s not like those things were the best solution.

You just had a fully loaded “credit card” with an interest rate nowhere near your immediate future.

Welcome to the Middle Age.

The time when you pay for every choice you make. With recession interest rates.


Recently, I worked with a friend of mine, an official middle-ager, an entrepreneur. We worked on his nutrition, while we both stayed in Cape Town.

After just 4 short weeks he was blown away by the difference he experienced when we dialed in his protein intake, omega 3s, and all the 30 essential micronutrients.

No brain fog, energy and motivation that last the whole day, no hunger attacks that lead to eating the wrong thing, that make you feel the wrong way.

Dialed-in, focused, driven and ready for action, not losing the train of thought and confidence with it.

And he wasn’t even eating or living that unhealthily before!

(An unintended business result of our work — re-thinking business offers and price policy. With more energy and increased capacity for action comes more confidence, resulting in the drive to achieve and boldly go forward)

There’s another client of mine, whose sleep and eating schedule, light exposure practices were all over the place.

We tweaked the timing of things and a few simple habits based on current neuroscience research. His sleep efficiency soared, and inconsistent morning productivity as well as middle-day caffeine crash disappeared at the same time.

A new client I just onboarded was wasting a lot of time getting started — the clarity wasn’t there, everything seemed to be distracting, and by the time he was ready to get work done in his zone of genius, he had barely any time left and had to work long hours just to catch up!

What a waste it was!

We worked on his focus and flow states design — from environment to his thought process, to his breakfast — and now in 2 hours, he delivers 6 hours’ worth of work.


I don’t officially qualify for the middle-ager yet in my mid-30s. But there’s a lot I can share about what neuroscience-based nutrition, lifestyle and workflow did for me compared to my 20-year-old self.

No more weight fluctuations, no more mood swings, no more struggle with work ethic aka discipline, no more stumbling through my public talks and web classes in front of hundreds of people, no more rumination on the past or circling back and forth drowning in self-doubts, no unpredictable energy or sleep patterns…

There are a lot of challenges business and life-wise — but I’m not one of them anymore.

And I know in this state there’s no limit to what I can accomplish.

I can finally rely on MYSELF.

And with a bit of luck to catapult my hard work into the success I envision for myself, with consistent effort, drive, and energy — results, and the life I’ve always wanted are just a matter of time!

Here’s a BIG IDEA for you💡

You can outperform your 20-year-old self — reckless often, knowing yourself very little, not caring much about doing things smarter while running on the youthful high.

You can outperform without overworking.

You can build things and enjoy your life too — WITHOUT losing sleep, health and relationships!

Here’s an even BIGGER IDEA for you💡💡💡

Your lower energy levels and all the productivity, procrastination, burnout problems that come out of it aren’t the result of your age — there are Nobel laureates in their 90s.

Your burnout is the result of applying poor energy management tools of your 20-year-old self to your middle-aged body.

Your credit has expired.

It’s time to start paying interest rates back.


Your burnout is the result of:

- Poor light exposure routines, resulting in low dopamine, low drive and high procrastination, low energy — you waste time and have to work extra hours to accomplish the bare minimum;

- Poor sleep design, resulting in ineffective sleep (sleep more — recover less — even though you need more), waking up feeling tired, low on energy, unmotivated. You waste time, you lose your genius potential, your productivity is all over the place;

- Poor stress management habits, resulting in increased energy needs and higher workload on all your cells, organs and tissues; poor brain function due to resource mismanagement — you waste A LOT of energy and feel fatigued much earlier than your could have. It’s like switching on your engine and never turning it off, even when your car is parked in the garage;

- Poor nutrition — I love saying, “Your food is either a part of a stress management toolkit or a stressor. Depends on what’s on your plate” — you waste a lot more energy and don’t create enough of it when your nutrition isn’t optimized for your brain and body. Your daily fatigue levels keep rising;

- Poor exercise practice — exercise makes you build better mitochondria, energy-producing plants of your cells. Trained people make more energy while they sit. They have a bigger fuel tank! No movement and you get poor oxygenation and blood circulation which means you produce less and less energy, and you feel more and more tired and fatigued faster, and you get a lot less done every day. Your vision gets delayed day, after day, after day into a non-existent future;

- Poor, shallow breathing — your brain gets 30–40% less effective oxygenation, which leads to poor energy production in the most energy-demanding organ of your body, your brain. You waste time trying to focus and think clearly, you feel like you have no energy for your goals, frustrated with your own self — you start thinking, “I must be too old for this”;

~ “The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults”

- Poor workflow designyou waste energy on task switching (that IS expensive), on distractions management (more expenses), on “coming around”, on wasteful activities because of no clarity and attention all over the place — you waste a lot of energy before the work even begins!

- Poor breaks strategy — you treat your brain as a machine, not respecting circadian rhythms, not respecting attention cycles, pushing when you need to take a break, getting to it when it’s your prime time for deep, your genius work — as a result, not a lot done, mediocre quality of work, feeling like a loser, frustrated with your own self at the end of each day, having troubles falling asleep with all the racing thoughts about what could have been;

- Poor mindset management — speaking of feeling like a loser. Your mindset, the way you frame things, the way you switch your focus, the questions you ask — they aren’t just in your head, they are physical! This directs your dopamine, your energy flow, your motivation — it’s the difference between lasting long enough to succeed, enjoying the process, and quitting right before you succeed because you got tired of “losing”;

~ “The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset and Intrinsic Motivation”

- Poor environmental “framing”from light, to what you put in your fridge to who you listen to — they either save you energy, boost your motivation (aka dopamine) and help you succeed, or they quite literally suck the energy out of you. The beauty of human design — your mind will shape your physiology, your available energy will increase dramatically, if you choose the right things to “put” there. Or, if you aren’t careful (like your have-no-clue 20-year-old self) — you’ll put mountains to conquer in your way where it could have been a cinematic walk through the valley, or even better, a joyful ride downhill to your desired destination.

~ “Mind over milkshakes: mindsets, not just nutrients, determine ghrelin response”

Should I go on?

Do you see how much of your energy potential you waste every single day?

Imagine, you turned on the water tap and just let it run and run and run…

How much would you waste compared to what you actually use?

That’s the difference between your dream becoming a reality while you are enjoying your meaningful life experience, and barely making it through the day, totally exhausted, feeling like the time of your life, your prime is behind you, and you should just settle for what is.


I won’t give you one here.

But I’ll offer you to experience it.

Science-Based Work-Life design for an ambitious middle-aged entrepreneur who wants to have it all and believes he/she can.

🎟️HERE’S your free ticket.

Join us!

😃Thank you for reading! Brought to you by your brain’s coach — Angela Shurina — Executive Brain, Productivity Coach, committed to sustainable productivity and human potential.


Say Hello On: Instagram | LinkedIn| Twitter | iTunes |Spotify | TikTok | BurnoutproofFounderChallenge.com