In my quest to financial freedom I have adopted many great strategies to maximize my chances of success. I have learned that success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. I have also learned that failure is there to teach us the lessons and necessary skills we need to succeed.
Something I have done along my journey is to learn from dozens of books on personal development. In this way I discovered many great authors who spoke about the power of productivity and building systems including Tim Ferris, Cal Newport, Tony Robins and Brian Tracy to name a few. What I have discovered since then, is that the most successful businesses and agencies automate the big bulk of tedious and repetitive tasks. This gives them a competitive advantage and structure to operate at peak efficiency. Aim to build the most productive systems, by leveraging the best technology on the market and you will be a lot closer to success. Some of the most successful people I know are excellent at business automation and do consulting.
As such, productivity is the glue which allows us to find the right goals to reach for. The more productive we become, the faster we can fail. Which trickles a butterfly effect that ultimately leads us to the right path. When we have mustered all the right skills, all the right connections, the right frame of mind and physical intensity, that’s when is possible to reach our goals and succeed.
Something many people fail to understand is that being able to create our own opportunity takes substantial effort and self growth. Often times is better to take the opportunities the world gives us while working on some of our other projects on the side.
Today, a single person running a business often equates to catastrophe. Is more efficient to build a team of people with diversified skills and specialties, and merge all that knowledge to make the project or idea succeed faster.
***Ralfs Smilsarajs is one of the few exceptions who does well by himself. He has plenty of connections in affiliate networks. Helping him get campaigns approved. Also to find the most profitable products to promote. However, note affiliate marketing can be like a hamster wheel.
I think about the last job I held at an ecommerce company. This is where I saw, the true power of productivity manifest in all of its glory. After a year of focused work improving the digital assets for this company. Some of their long time competitors started to leave the business.
The company was producing a lot more revenue than when I joined. The results came from focused work in building a better customer support experience and fixing content and SEO problems that had been left unattended.
Unfortunately the power structure there was based on greed and intimidation. But it was a great place to learn so much. I would not have been able to transition my career to digital marketing or being able to build this website had I not held that job. So for that I’m very thankful! In this post I want to give you some of the best productivity tips and hacks I learned and used for the last 8 years.
Brian Tracy was one of the biggest advocates of the power of productivity. Listen to his audiobook and work on becoming 1% better every single day. I promise, it will change your life. No excuses!
Use Password Managers to Store Credentials and Other Important Information
In the past I have talked about the power of becoming resourceful. The solopreneur who is trying to build a business or ecommerce store has to maximize the resource potential. One way I have found to become exponentially more resourceful, and efficient is to cleverly use password managers.
My password manager of choice has been Keepass which is a program you can download and install on your computer and safely store all your passwords in an encrypted database. There are also many other great alternatives like Lastpass which will give you access to all your passwords from within your browser.
I use Keepass as a pillar to better organize my mind, kind of like mind mapping software. For example when I purchase new products which are subject to a manufacturer’s warranty I need to fill online, I save all the links and important information about that product within KeePass. If for whatever reason I run into a problem, everything is readily available for me to contact the manufacturer and arrange an RMA or figure out a solution fast.
Recently, a lot of my old hard drives and SSD’s decided to die on me. I had been using those for years. Torturing them with intense research and testing products and applications to build my skills. Well, since I had all the information available I realized some of those hard drives qualified for repair so I sent my SSD to Samsung and they repaired it for free.
Something I also like about KeePass is I can organize the tools I use by subject. For example all free SEO tools I find which are useful I put them under a folder labeled SEO tools. I also add a direct link which allows me to access each tool fast and reliably if is an online resource, or I also leave the path where the tool is installed for faster reference. Then I can easily copy and paste the link or path into windows explorer and find it without wasting much time.
The same system applies for banking and credit cards. Forums and communities I’m active on. Places where I get deals and free stuff. Programming and automation tools I use. And many other resource pages which contain valuable information that can help me complete critical tasks to reach my goals.
Human memory fails on us all the time. Environmental pollution, distractions and bad dietary habits are among the reasons for poor memory. Also because we have grown used to storing information in digital devices, or googling for the answer rather than store it in long term memory.
One of the keys to success is to be able to focus on a single task at a time and to do that task well. Even though is possible to train the mind to learn an enormous amount of information. I find it that, the mind can’t work efficiently if we are carrying so much information in our heads so is best to store it in other places so we can access the information when we really need it.
What I do with Keepass is create mental pointers. So when I need some specific information all I need to do is search the main keyword in the database and anything related to it will come up. This will save you some sanity and you will work more efficiently.
If you use Keepass also keep in mind to use Dropbox or Google Drive to store your Keepass database in multiple places where you can access it. In this way you can synchronize your database across multiple devices and keep it up to date with your most current information.
If you have the misfortune that your computer breaks, or the hard drive dies (as it happened to me), this redundancy will allow you to keep all of your information intact.
Lastpass has some of these advantages without needing extra tools because it works at the browser level, so as long as you can authenticate with the master password you can access your passwords from anywhere.
That’s very important. Keep your master password securely in a place only you know about it. Commit it to memory but also save it in a flash drive and a physical paper along with the thumb drive just in case you forget the password. Some people even recommend to store multiple copies, in different locations. In case there is a fire, accident, or environmental catastrophe which destroys the information in one place. Better safe than sorry.
Use and Optimize Multiple Browsers
When was the last time you bookmarked a resource on your browser but then still found it difficult to find it when you needed it? If you are like me, you have saved hundreds of different pages and web properties on your computers and devices.
One productivity hack I use is I download multiple browsers to my computer. Each browser is optimized so I can work on a specific skill or research a very specific topic I want to build deep understanding on.
To give you an example, in Chrome I may bookmark all relevant articles and information I find on technical SEO which I actually want to test.
Within Mozilla Firefox I have stored resources to do with programming, automation and scripts to help me become more efficient at the tasks I’m trying to accomplish.
Sometimes I just store the information when I find is relevant and I can use it in the future but it may take months or even years until I actually need to execute it.
I have a habit of storing the information I find which is useful because often times when I don’t do it this way I can’t find the same website or posts which contained exactly what I needed. Sometimes information can become outdated, but is good to have a baseline.
If after a quick research I realize the information I stored back in the day is obsolete, then I just use the latest methods. Something you may realize, is that very powerful information which you found months or years back, get’s buried on the Internet so saving a link saved, can help substantially find it.
Now Extend this Concept to Virtual Machines…
Back in the early days of computing most people were lucky to even have one computing environment. A single computer could be the size of a room and cost millions of dollars to assemble. Today we can play around with most operating systems which have been released by using programs like Virtual Box.
NOTE: The reason why there is so much disruption these days. We see so many once, established corporations lose their footing and go out of business. In big part is because computers have become very affordable, and there is very powerful software and API’s which are open source. So people with the right curiosity and willingness to learn, have access to all the tools they need to build systems and organizations, exponentially more efficient and cheaper. One of the ways to escape the rat race is to create a company or new technology which threatens a big corporation. They will buy you out. Just like Facebook bought out Instagram for 1 billion dollars a couple of years after it launched.
Something I have done in the past in order to build my skills faster is to set up Virtual Machines which are specific to the goals and tasks I’m trying to accomplish. For example, I wanted to learn more about system administration, and of powerful commands I could use on the Linux command line.
So I installed Ubuntu Linux on a Virtual Machine, and bookmarked the best resources to learn Linux Command Line Interface (CLI) and information on how to become a sysadmin. YouTube is full of great tutorials.
In a similar way I wanted to become a power user of windows. So I installed multiple versions of windows (Win 7, Win 8, Win 10) into dedicated virtual machines. Within each virtual machine I bookmarked or downloaded the resources I needed to become proficient at using each of those windows environments.
NOTE: If you went to college or have a .edu email Microsoft offers most of their tools and operating systems for free. The program used to be called Dreamspark but it was rebranded to Microsoft Azure for Students. Tools are not limited to operating systems, they also offer trials to powerful learning platforms like Pluralsight. An student email could also get you access to LinkedIn learning which contains all e-learning videos from Lynda.
You can use this same methodology, of creating virtual machines built with the right environment so you can learn any skill or information much faster. This works for just about anything.
TIP: I prefer reading physical books because there is less strain placed on my eyes reading a paper page, than pixels from a screen which are illuminated. If you do prefer digital books, try out calibre reader which can help you manage the books you are reading and read them aloud. You can also use Read Aloud which is one of the best text to speech programs available to read blog posts, pdfs, books, word docs and more.
Memorize Facts and Important Information Faster with ANKI Intelligent Flash Card Decks
I have said that storing so much information in your brain is unproductive and can lead to confusion and craziness. But done the right way, the brain is a super powerful machine capable of storing virtually unlimited amounts of information. Training your memory is just like any other skill. The more you practice the better you become.
In fact, the magicians pulling great feats of memory like recalling a deck of cards. Their brain is not any smarter than yours or mine. All they are doing is following a routine which allows them to strengthen their memory capacity for this specific tasks. In this way it may seem to some of us like they have supernatural powers like telepathy and can predict the future.
NOTE: One way to improve your memory substantially is to sleep in very dark rooms. This creates an effect whereby light entering your eyes is stored for longer in your mind. For a few seconds, if you close your eyes you can still see the image. This is how some memory champions train to have closer to photographic memory. An added advantage of this, is the brain releases Melatonin which helps refresh your body and your mind.
To learn some great memory tricks check Alex Mullen who is a memory champion who has revolutionized the industry with some of his methods, habits and techniques. The great thing about some of those methods he shares, like the memory palace, is that your mind will become exponentially more creative. This is the same technique ancient philosophers, priest and rulers used to use to memorize their speeches and sacred scriptures as dense as the Holy Bible.
With a more creative mind, you can think of new ideas and how to integrate different products and services so that your invention has higher utility and better features than all of the other products in the market. This is the core message in “Think and Grow Rich”, which is one of the most profound influential works of all time.
You need to think deeply, in order to extract ideas from the ether, which when turned into reality if those ideas help solve big problems. Then you can become wealthy and an influential celebrity in this world. This is how the greatest inventors produced the technology we enjoy today.
The best way I have found to burn important facts into my active memory is to use Anki. With Anki you can create decks of intelligent cards for certain topics and ask yourself a question and put an answer in the back of it.
Once you feel you have memorized the question, you can rate it as easy. The video above by Derek, is an Anki tutorial. If you build a habit to spend an hour each day memorizing your Anki cards, eventually you will become an expert in that field.
Use Evernote To Capture All Your Ideas
When you have your thinking brain active it will produce all sort of great ideas for you. But if you don’t capture those ideas to execute them, is like you never had them.
A trick I use is to write down any relevant ideas I have in a notebook which is in front of my computer. Whenever I find myself with nothing else to do. Or I need to brainstorm what to work on next, a quick flip of the notebook pages will reveal a bunch of cool ideas to test and build on.
Often times I find it that the best ideas occur at random places. Maybe I’m at a meet up with surrounded by Amazon entrepreneurs. Perhaps instead, I’m having lunch with a couple digital marketers who are just as obsessed as I am with building brands. In such cases, I always have Evernote handy on my cell phone and any good idea I can extract from the people I meet, or think of during those times is going in there.
Days or weeks later, once my work pipeline has been exhausted I come back to Evernote to see if there is anything useful in there for me to execute on or try next. Since becoming successful is about challenging your assumptions, you must be willing to fail many times to find out what works by testing.
You could save a lot of time by learning directly from world class minds in your chosen field or industry. However, all true entrepreneurs will work on ideas which are new and there is no information about them on the Internet. This is actually one of the core advantages of continual learning and compounding knowledge. You will be able to think of new ideas and ways to integrate existing technology in ways none else has done before.
This is when you have to be resourceful and think of ways leverage existing technology and machinery to build a prototype of your product. Something I have experienced is that a project which fails to produce results at a certain time, actually does produce results many years later when I least expect it. In other words failure is only temporary.
To give you an example, a few years back I worked extremely hard on my LinkedIn profile. My goal at the time was to promote a service. I was hustling. As you can imagine a lot of the top caliber members there did not want to hear my pitch. They were busy enough doing their own thing and running businesses.
So eventually I stopped promoting the service on Linkedin and focused my efforts in other social media platforms and forums. Push the forward button to today, and a lot of CEO’s and great people connect with me in this platform mainly because I’m connected to many people on their network.
This has resulted in bigger visibility of my profile, which brings attention to the projects I’m working on and which also gives me access to more opportunities I could capitalize on.
More than once, someone from LinkedIn has extended the opportunity for me to speak about marketing trends in front of thousands of people.
However, since I have not fine tuned my public speaking skills for an event of such magnitude I have not yet taken the opportunity. Make no mistake, in the future I will practice and share my message in front of a crowded stage as this is an essential step to reaching my goals.
Another example I can give you of projects which seemed to fail but then became “overnight success” was a set of Pinterest boards a friend of mine had worked on many years back. The board was producing very little traction and monthly views. The more he focused on building this specific channel, the more he realized he was getting nothing but diminishing returns on his effort.
Then we started working on SEO and other aspects of social media to grow the brand. The result, people started to search more branded keywords and one of the places where the activity grew manifold was on Pinterest. So all those boards which seemed to get no followers or views, today push substantial traffic and sales to the project that did not previously work.
Some projects are meant to be temporary so we can learn more and move to bigger opportunities. For example, I helped a friend work on kolinbryce and although the clothing brand took off and was generating a lot more income than before. He found a better niche which is more profitable and less time consuming. Ultimately he stopped the project since I did not have the time to commit to it either.
I can probably come up with at least 10 other more examples of projects like this, where temporary failure actually turned around and became big wins. Just like Steve Jobs once said in his Stanford Commencement Address. You got to connect the dots.
Take Advantage of Trello
A big part of becoming successful is to coach yourself, or to have a great mentor who can give you clear steps to follow so you can succeed. For example, the Great Andrew Carnegie made many of the people who worked for him very wealthy because with his wise leadership he could instruct his employees on what tasks they needed to focus.
The result of this genius is the employee would follow a formula that was built for success and in the process they would accumulate wealth and prestige they would not have amounted to, had they not followed the advice of this mentor.
The downside to having mentors is that some mentors can be expensive. Also, I have found some mentors may have their own purpose and agendas. They like to help and give you advice so you can succeed. But they also want something from you. This is human nature. Rarely, in life, anything is truly for free.
This is why you must coach yourself to become your own mentor. One way I have been able to achieve this is by leveraging Trello where I can assign myself as list of tasks I must accomplish.
I force myself on the habit of completing the tasks I list there, no matter how challenging or embarrassing those may be. If I don’t know how to perform a certain task, then I find a community or forum where there is somebody who can help me with advice.
I recommend you to try out the “Get Shit Done” system, popularized by one of my friends at the FastLaneForum. This system will encourage you to work on the goals and tasks which will eventually help you build massive success for yourself and all of your loved ones.
Use Forums To Become More Productive
Part of becoming super productive is knowing how and where to ask the right questions. No matter how smart or qualified you are, there is always someone out there on the internet which is better than you at something you are trying to accomplish. This is why when I’m stuck on a certain tasks, I formulate the right questions I would need to asks to get the proper answer I would need to solve them.
Often times, by just coming up with the right question I can find the right answer by doing a Google Search. If you learn to use Google Properly you can find the answer to 99% of all your questions.
Suppose you can’t find the answer to what you are looking for anywhere. Maybe you are in fact solving a problem which has never been solved before. This is part of being an entrepreneur, you will try to accomplish many tasks and work on projects and ideas you have never worked on before and have little understanding.
Luckily for all of us there is a forum for just about anything out there. The people on those forums can be thought of as mentors or enthusiasts. Some of them may have ulterior motives in the information they are providing. But there is also a lot of great and wonderful people out there who are kind hearted and will give you their best thoughts to help you solve your problems without having any alternative agendas on their mind.
A way you can find forums is to use Google power commands. One of them is:
intitle:”x forum” where x can be any specific topic you may be needing more information on. Like SEO, business, ecommerce, marketing, sales, web design, programming or copywriting. There is a near unlimited number of search queries you can ask Google for.
Some of the forums I use on a continual basis include.
FastLaneForum: This is an amazing forum to connect with great entrepreneurs in all stages of development of understanding of the world. There are great and wonderful people in this forum giving out amazing information and sharing some of their best ideas with the community.
Wealthy Affiliate/Warrior Forum: Similar to Fastlane forum, here you can find a lot of great information about monetization channels for blogs and online businesses. A lot of great people here as well, but I would recommend you not to take advice at face value. Always do a little bit more digging and research before coming to a decision about the next steps you will be taking especially if such decision requires you to invest resources. In my experience, often times you may be able to find a similar solution which is free although the best solutions very rarely are free because it requires resources to maintain them.
StackThatMoney: This is a paid forum which costs $99/mo. I would recommend it for someone who is just starting out to buy the membership for just one month or two. It will get you up to speed much faster than by doing a lot of research on your own. In this forum you can draw from the experience of digital marketers and super affiliates who are further ahead in their career than you and I.
There are many more forums I use which I did not include. Those on top are some of the best and most helpful. Use some of the advanced Google search commands to find more forums. These commands are also great for technical SEO and link building strategies.
Workstation Automation and Commands
Since our world has become so digitized and more task are done in the cloud, for some people and certain businesses it makes sense to invest in external servers and raw cloud computing. Amazon, Google and Microsoft offer great solutions for cloud computing. Apps like multiloginapp have been created for the purpose of making the online experience of handling multiple virtual computers seamless and easy.
However, as I have found there is still great power in running your own workstation. In fact, I have found that if you learn to use windows shortcuts and commands in combination with a really powerful Workstation, then you can use free tools like Mouse Recorder Pro 2, to automate most of the tedious tasks you need to do on a continual basis.
If you invest in a powerful computer with plenty of memory and CPU power, you can run multiple virtual machines with instances of Mouse Recorder Pro 2 scripts and in this way automate more than one task in parallel you may have to repeat hundreds of times. I leave the automation up to your specific needs and imagination.
This strategy can also be leveraged with virtual servers. A place where you can find substantial ideas on processes you can automate to grow your business is in BlackHatWorld but be very smart about how you use automation and stick to white hat approaches.
If your automation causes spam or exploits bugs within search engines like Google, you will be walking on top of a mine field. Sooner or later the exploit will be fixed and you will likely lose your income and your business.
Something I have learned is that a well optimized scripts can perform hundreds of times faster than any human being or virtual assistant. However, some tasks, do require human intelligence so having virtual assistants to help and delegate to is also very convenient.
One big automation tool you should learn to use is IFTTT which stands for “If This Then That“. IFTTT allows you to create recipes of tasks that you can string together to produce a certain outcome. In fact there are thousands of readily available recipes posted so anyone can benefit from using them.
Last but not least. Train yourself to work with multiple screens. It will make you so much more productive. Sometimes I work with three and even 4 screens at the same time. The advantage of this is that I can access and synthesize more information at once which allows me to draw conclusions about what I need to do more quickly. This is especially important if you trade stocks or Forex, neither of which I’m a fan of.
NOTE: I find it interesting how some programmers prefer one screen. Maybe for programming this is better, as programming requires concentration and creative thinking. But to perform a bunch of tasks in sequence, like is my case I can’t do it efficiently with one screen.
Leverage Browser Plug Ins Similar to Momentum
Just like you can coach yourself by listing tasks on Trello. You can also take advantage of productivity plug ins like Momentum which sets up your day for success. Momentum can be configured to block certain pages which are a drain on your time.
It can also continually remind you of your goals and tasks that need to be accomplished through the day and provide exciting visual images to help you be more creative and feel more energized to do the work. Here you can find a bigger list of plug ins you can try.
Something I could also recommend is to follow the advice in this post. If you have an android device, adapt the ideas to fit the smartphone you use. I’m incorporating some of those ideas to my own workflow in the next few days.
Do You Know your Sleep Chronotype?
Sleep Chronotype is an idea I learned about just recently. In my personal experience, sleep patterns can be changed under various circumstances. If you can trick your mind to be excited about something you can greatly alter your sleeping patter to make you more productive.
To give you an example, back in my high school days I was really excited about playing Runescape at a competitive level. I would feel sleep deprived all the time, exhausted. But still I would find a way to continue playing sometimes even driving myself to become sick. The reason why this much excitement was bad is because I would spend too many hours sitting and I would not eat or drink water for long periods of time. From this experience, I learned a balanced lifestyle is really important.
Runescape taught many valuable lessons. Some of my friends in the game valued GP and game items more than friendship. Then there were many hackers who had all sort of methods to steal accounts and the gold pieces (GP) within the accounts. More than 6 times I had to start from scratch, I think this is what built persistence in me.
In Runescape I also learned is not about how hard we work. Instead is about working smart. One way to advance in the game much faster is to learn the methods and strategies the top players on the highs cores use. While some of them may be private script (bots that run automatically), some of the users which rank at the top are real and produce guides to help others.
This is the same way it works with building a business. Once you learn from other people and adapt the ideas and concepts to your own arsenal of strategies then you have better chances to succeed. The more you learn and the more you know the better you can connect ideas in new ways. Sometimes adapting the best strategies of one industry into another one, makes all the difference.
The last thing that happened is I lost one of my main accounts. The way I lost it was unfair but Jagex never gave me the opportunity to recover it. Looking back it was for good as I started focusing on other projects and aspects of my life which are far more important than playing online games.
Then during my college years I became excited about technology and something similar happened. Somehow I was active most of the day learning about programming, networking, systems and how to build and repair computers. During this time I was sleeping 4 hours per day and I did not feel exhausted. When we become excited about something is like we have so much more energy. Some people claim we absorb energy from around us.
More recently I found excitement in learning about online businesses and testing performance marketing strategies. This is the first time I actually got to reach a point of burnout. What I have come to realize is that to scale an online business you need to use all the previous knowledge you have learned and combine it in such a way to produce something new.
Is super challenging, it really does require your best ideas and willingness to challenge yourself in multiple areas in order to succeed. Right now I’m sleeping more than I usually do because I don’t have a regular job but I spent the last 3 years going at it non stop.
What helped me sleep so little and stay greatly productive when I began learning about tech and building businesses on the internet was a simple routine. I would set my work for the next day, the day before. Usually I would leave myself a note with goals to achieve when I woke up the next morning. By not having to decide what I needed to do the next day, I could be productive right at as the day started.
Other than this, I would pursue relentlessly my goals. If there was something I did not know how to do I would seek advice in forums or I would reach out to people who could know the answer. Sometimes, someone would know the answer and help. Other times, it would send me in a trail of research where I would learn indefinitely until I could solve the problem.
To give you an example, something which had been bothering me for the biggest part of a year is how cache works. Sometimes I push an update to a website I’m working on and within my browser it looks broken. However, if I use a private window (or incognito window) I realize everything is working fine.
At times I look at a website from different devices. The website in question may look great from my desktop computer but then I look at it from my phone and it’s missing some images. I look at it from my tablet and some specific widget doesn’t work as expected although it works everywhere else.
Every device is different. It contains different components and different software/firmware which allows each component to work. Furthermore cache works differently on each device. Your computer has cached information at the browser level. Your router also has cached information. If you use CDN like cloud flare or Ezoic, these platforms also store cached version of the website in question.
So when something is broken on your website and you are going crazy trying to fix it. First try to check using an incognito or private window. Use “CTRL + F5” to ensure cache is flushed. If it works okay with the incognito window this is the version of the website more users are looking at.
If is still broken in the incognito window, then try to flush your router cache by powering off and back on which is the easiest way to do it. Go back and check if it’s working ok. If the website on the incognito window is still broken after this, then check whether you are using a CDN like Cloudflare and Ezoic. Clear the cache in those systems as well. Go back and check if the website is now ok.
If at this stage it still shows as broken, then the problem has to be with the browser or the device that is accessing the website. Try to clear browser cache and see if that fixes the problem, try accessing the website from multiple browsers as well. If it does not work, then you are down to the device. Research how to clear cache on your specific device and see if that does the trick.
This is why skilled developers are in such a big demand. To properly troubleshoot a problem can be such a difficult task. In order to be able to build your online business you will need to become good at troubleshooting yourself or becoming good at asking the right questions. Most times I don’t know how to fix a specific problem but I have built sufficient skill to know how to ask the right questions to get the answer I need.
Curiosity is extremely important aspect of building success. I keep a trello board containing a bunch of questions I have never been able to solve. However, as I do more research and understand more, eventually I come to a point where I can answer them. The questions I keep track off and try to solve get progressively harder as time goes by.
This is how is meant to be, as entrepreneurship is about solving very hard problems. If you want an easier route you can also optimize already existing products and services to make them better. By relentlessly pursuing answers to my questions I keep myself excited and feeling some sense of accomplishment when I solve another part of the puzzle.
Also, I understand that delayed gratification is part of the equation to building success. Part of what helps me perform and not feel exhausted or burnout frequently is that I meditate and exercise every single day. In fact, the way I clear my mind all the time when I can’t think anymore after a hard day is to go on running or sprinting sessions. Running and swimming are two of the best exercises I have tried which clear my mind really well.
The more hours we put towards learning and building different projects eventually things start to work out. We start to build all sorts of signals in different channels. It is all this aggregation of focused work everyday which eventually leads to success.
Go ahead and learn more about your chronotype in the video below and improve your sleeping pattern. When you wake up refreshed and sleep well your brain functions at a more optimal level. The ideas you produce are better. Your business grows faster and more efficiently. Everything falls on you to make the right decisions and use your time wisely.
Optimize Gmail for Efficiency
Some people like to use Gmail. Others prefer to use Outlook. Either way you should learn to optimize this tool for efficiency. Here is a good guide to get you started with Gmail which is what I prefer. One way I use Gmail is to set calendar reminders.
The other way I use it heavily is to hold text templates and canned responses I can quickly edit and send to brands and business I’m trying to partner with as an affiliate. Or I can also use it heavily for outreach purposes like when I’m trying to build some backlinks to my blog posts and it makes good sense to ask of a webmaster to link to my post.
I want to note that if you heavily use your email account to solicit businesses, you may get reported as a spammer. So be tactical in your approach. Be smart. Send no more than 5 emails a day unless you are a verified SEO agency and have talked to email providers and Internet Service Providers ISP’s to let them know the email addresses you will be using for outreach so those do not get marked as spam.
The horrible thing when an email addresses gets marked as spam is that not only do your emails go straight to the spam email of your potential customer or desired contact. If the email is linked to your domain, it will also hurt the domain as well and make it more difficult to rank on the search engines.
This is why so many people out there are advocates of organic ways to grow. And I will tell you. Organic ways are awesome! But you must promote your website and content at the start in order to create the avalanche effect where more eyeballs get to find your content, who are organically inclined to link to and share your content.
Read Books and Blogs About Productivity
Everything I have shared with you in this post to make you more productive I have learned mostly from Blogs and from Books. This is why I recommend you to read books about productivity or seek sources which can help you become exponentially more productive.
In fact, something I commonly used to do was to search the fastest way to complete a tasks I was trying to do. I did this sufficient amounts of times until now when I need to complete anything I have a good idea about the tools and shortcuts I can use to finish it much faster.
TIP: Don’t learn anything just to learn it. Chances are you will never use it. Learn something so you can execute whatever task you are up to. You will get much farther ahead.
The other day I was reading a newsletter sent by James Clear. He puts out some of the most amazing content there is on productivity and success. Something that struck me in the text was this:
“Focus is the productivity multiplier”…
When I think of the times I multitask, in the end I get so little done. The human mind can only hold one thought at a time. We can only think and focus on one thought at a time. So trying to multitask and think of multiple things at once is counterproductive and puts a strain on the mind. In fact, it may lead to burnout.
SIDENOTE: I’m guessing this is the reason why some people prefer one computer screen. However I have found that when we build habits to do certain tasks repeatedly it then becomes second nature. We no longer think. It runs on autopilot kind of like how Bruce Lee used to perform his Kung Fu drills.
Instead focus on doing one task at a time. Perform that tasks well. For even bigger productivity, create batches of the same task and do them all at once. In this way, the activity you are working on is embedded on your short term memory and you can finish it much faster because is the same action.
You can even train your mind to finish the tasks much faster by building a habit when you complete the tasks in batches. The human mind is similar to a muscle. The more you think. And the more you perform a certain task. The easier it becomes to do the task without much cognitive effort.
Use Ublock Origin and Brave Browser
If you find adds disrupt your concentration or you are wasting a lot of time waiting to hit “Skip Add” on Youtube. The Chrome Browser plugin Ublock Origin can help you overcome this problem. The only problem with using this plug in is that sometimes it will block resources you are legitimately trying to access. So you will need to turn it off in order to load the page or resources you need.
From personal experience, these tools are great and will block undesirable adds. However, there is this thing we know as the law of attraction. Search engines have become very smart machines, sometimes even capable of predicting human behavior.
What I’m trying to say is that you may be looking for a specific answer. Or a specific tool you can use to solve certain problem. Maybe you express the need for such product to a relative. Perhaps, you sent an email to a friend about this problem that you are trying to solve.
Many times, as I have found adds will prompt you to the right solution or drive you in the right direction. Today more than ever, companies are willing to bet on customer lifetime value. Meaning, they are not looking to monetize potential customers upfront. Instead they are more willing to give free trials, giveaways, products and free information in exchange for customer information.
What I’m trying to imply. Is that when you block all these adds, you are also blocking a gold mine of free information and tools you could be using. So if I was you, I use add blockers in forums and websites like YouTube, where perhaps it may make sense to use them. But don’t use them all the time because you will miss out.
Part of being an online entrepreneur is to see what other people are doing. What they are selling. The information they are giving away for free. And use all of this to your own advantage so you can produce better and faster results by adapting those strategies from other marketers and entrepreneurs which are worth using.
I recommend you to block adds when you need to concentrate. Keep them there when you are researching and looking for information as you will find a lot of gold nuggets and bits of information only available in sponsored adds. That’s my experience. I use sponsored adds all the time just like I use the law of attraction to bring to myself, the resources and answers I need at a specific point in time.
Set up Your Environment for Success
Just like I told you we can create multiple virtual machines, and browsers which are optimized around learning an specific skill. Our physical environment can also be molded so as to produce the maximum productivity from us.
For example, you can put on the wall a sheet containing information you most need to access on an everyday basis. You can use multiple screens as I said before. You could add physical books to certain areas of your house where you have already built a habit to read. This makes it much easier to read and absorb the information.
Sometimes I like to give life to old devices like smartphones which are no longer being used, and put on them audiobooks or e-books I’m trying to read. I try to make it easy for me to be able to complete the tasks I need to do. I have that physical notebook in front of my computer where I write the ideas as they come then transfer them to Trello to execute them later.
You should find a similar system for yourself which makes you the most productive and helps you to accomplish your goals. Any task which steals precious time, and you can automate. Be my guest. Automate it, as long as it doesn’t cause SPAM. For example, I used to spend time paying my credit card bills.
What a waste of precious time. It’s been much better to set everything on autopay and check my bank statements once or twice per month. A lot of banks even charge less rates or give out rewards for those who take advantage of autopay feature.
I’m sure there are some more productivity tips I would like to share with you which I can’t think of right now. Maybe later I will add a few more. But this, as you see it. Are some of the best tools and productivity tips and tricks I learned after 8 years of researching and trying to make myself dynamic.
Productivity is a habit. You have to work on it everyday. Try to make yourself 1% better every single day. The cumulative nature of becoming 1% better compounds to a super productive self after a year of iterating and improving the way you accomplish tasks.
In this posts I have given you some of the best productivity tips I have learned in the last 8 years. I told you about the advantages of storing information in password managers and using browsers and virtual machines as environments to help you learn and build productive skills. I also told you about Anki intelligent cards and some other memorization tricks, memory champions use which can help you recall information much faster.
If you use password managers remember to store the master key very well. Commit it to memory as this is the one key you will be using to access all your other passwords you store.
I also told you about other great apps like Evernote and Trello to help record your ideas and manage your tasks. I shared some of the best forums I use, where I go to when I need to find answers to a complicated technical question. Also I told you about Google Advanced Search Commands or Google Operators you can use to find forums and more resources.
In terms of automation I told you about IFTTT, MultiloginApp and Mouse Recorder Pro 2. All of these are great tools to automate a lot of tasks. A premium tool I could also recommend you is Zapier, but it could run on the expensive side. I encourage you to take maximum advantage of productivity plug ins like Momentum and to learn to use Gmail for maximum efficiency. The Google Suite is really powerful.
TIP: For mouse recorder pro be very careful where you download it from. Some hackers like to put keyloggers in the program which they use to steal accounts from Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games like Runescape, Diablo and World of Warcraft. The coins and items of these games are sold for money in black markets. Imagine what they would do with passwords from an online business.
Remember the more you multitask, the worse your performance will be. Focus is the productivity multiplier so you should only focus on one task at a time. I also shared in this post a list of productivity books you should read which will help you become a lot more valuable for your employer and the projects you work on.
Probably the most important of all the tips. Is for you to set up your environment in such a way so that it extracts maximum productivity from you. Willpower can help complete some tasks. The environment you set up is far more relevant in helping you complete those tasks and goals you are after. I shared with you the best Addblocker which is Ublock Origin, and also the Brave Browser which was also designed to block adds.
However, don’t forget about the law of attraction. When you are looking for a tool or answer, sponsored adds can really help you get what you need often times for free. The last big resource I want to share with you is Ryan Stewart blueprint slack channel. As of now, there are over 1000 member who have joined, many of which are marketing agencies and digital marketers. They share lots of templates and intelligent sheets which can help you get more work done faster.
FUN FACT: Want to be 1000 times more productive? Learn Python scripting! The Python programming language can help you automate just about any task and is very hot for SEO. I’m convincing myself to spend a caveman month to learn Python as I would become exponentially more productive.
Of all skills you could work on. I know the skill of productivity is the most important because it will allow you to efficiently pick up more skills. Time is short and we only have so many summers to live. So by becoming more productive you do more, and live more because you acquire experience much faster. Part of the reason we live is so we can reach self-actualization and enlightenment. This process takes years of continuous learning and experimenting. Everyone should strive to become wiser and understand more about the world around them.
I will have more stuff later. Now share with me the best productivity apps you use in the comments!