Productivity: The 6 Factors to Getting More Work Done
I’ve always been curious about what separates the high achievers and the slackers in life.
I know a few guys that are like superman when it comes to their lives: they run successful businesses, spend time with friends / their family, and stay in great shape. And then of course we know the guys who are just just kinda there… and going through the motions of life.
Now there are countless books about “success” but I’m just going to write about one aspect of it today: work output. If the average person can get 1x amount of work done, I’m wondering to myself how is it that I can get more done. How can I work and finish 2x, 3x, or even 5x more work than my average competitor?
I’ve simplified how to increase my work output into 6 core concepts. This is the framework I’m using for myself to take things to the next level.
If you want to get more done then you have to put in the time.
I remember watching a video of Marcelo Garcia, who’s one of the greatest Brazilian Jiujitsu practitioners of all-time. Someone asked him where’d his confidence on the mat comes from. He smiled and said, “because I know that no one spends more time on the mat than me.”
In general you’ll get more results with time. You’ll be better at Chess after 1,000 games compared to your experience level after 100 games.
The problem with most people is they want to avoid putting in work like the plague. Instead it’s all about trying to find magic bullets that don’t really exist or trying to find that perfect plan before they actually start.
“A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan next week.” – Patton
Just fucking do it. Maybe you don’t need 10,000+ hours to become an expert, but it’s ridiculous to think you can be one with just 20 hours of practice.
The first stage to get more work done is to simply put in more time.
I did leg day a few months ago with two of my friends at the gym. Whenever I workout with some friends I just follow their lead since it’s good to switch it up sometimes.
Friend A was pretty hardcore. We spent extensive time foam rolling and warming up before we started. Once the workout began, he had me doing some heavy squats and made sure I went ass to grass. My legs felt like jelly by the time the workout was over (don’t get me started on how horrible the next few days were once soreness kicked in).
The next week I worked out with Friend B where we did legs as well. So uhhh…the workout was kinda weaksauce. We did half-ass leg presses, leg extensions, and spent time on the machine where you spread your legs (I call Kardashian’s favorite exercise). He also kept running off to chat with different buddies. By the time the workout was over I was barely sweating.
Each of these guys had me workout 1 hour in the gym, but I’m pretty sure I’ll go further if I worked out more with Friend A.
Same time, different results. The reason is intensity – it’s the amount of force and energy exerted to the task. I’ve found that intensity is a product of the mind. We’re in complete control of how much energy we choose to expend.
Not being intense isn’t limited to just physical, check out this video of Bruce Lee. It’s just a simple conversation but you can feel the intensity and aura of sifu Bruce.
How do we increase intensity? I find the best way is to bring the heat into everything I do in life. I’m washing dishes? I’m going to pretend the President of the United States is coming and will eat off of it. Do you need to clean your room? Imagine your crush texts you that she wants to come over in 15 minutes. You’re going to clean that fucking room.
To get more work done we have to put work in, and make sure that we’re exerting our best effort.
3. Working Smarter
These would be all the hacks that productivity’s known for.
We all want to get more done in less time and this is where working smarter comes in. Rather than share with you every little trick I know, I’d rather tell you the core concepts that matter. Follow these and you’ll be better off than 95% of the world.
- Work without distractions – You can’t focus if you’re checking out Skype messages or Facebook pings. Just close off every program you’re not using.
- Don’t multi-task – There has been countless studies done that show “multitasking” doesn’t work. Your brain works best when it’s ultra-concentrated so I find it’s necessary to limit my work.
- Prioritize your tasks – What are the highest impact actions you can take? Finishing your paper matters more than booking your hotel for spring break. You have to know which tasks are priority and have the discipline to pursue them first.
- Routinize your life – I eat the same breakfast everyday. When I’m going out casually I’m probably wearing a white v-neck and chinos. I go to the gym at the same time everyday. The less time and energy I waste on decisions, the more that goes towards the important matters.
- Tracking your time – You can’t claim to be working your ass off if you’re on Reddit 4 hours a day. Protip: RescueTime
- Deliberate Practice – Simply put, this is practicing with a purpose rather than just putting in time. Here’s an article explaining what it is.
Put in the time and bring the effort. But make sure you’re working intelligently.
4. Energy & Rest
It’s important not to over-work yourself. I’ve seen countless guys in the industry work all day and just leave themselves 4 hours of sleep a night. What happens is they end up crashing hard. They get depressed, unmotivated, and burned out.
I always work hard but I make sure not to over-do it.
I sleep around 7 hours a day, I get proper exercise, and I take naps if I need them. If I’m exhausted in the middle of the break I’ll grab my dog and take a walk. I make sure my diet’s proper by avoiding junk food. Whenever I feel like I’m getting burned out I’ll go on a vacation (I’m writing this post from Hong Kong).
Your brain’s like an axe. If you use your axe too much without sharpening it, it becomes dull in ineffective. That’s how I think about my body and brain, I need to take breaks to sharpen it.
Word hard but make sure you manage your energy levels.
The ultimate form of productivity requires delegation. One person can’t outwork a well-oiled team.
If you insist on doing everything yourself then you become your own bottle neck. You can’t grow after a certain point because your worst enemy…is you. You’re holding yourself back.
Time is the most valuable asset we own. I can’t buy more time of course, but money lets me buy other people’s time.
How do I do that?
Well the simplest way is to pay other people to do stuff for me. Why spend hours cleaning my place when I can hire a maid to do it?
Let’s say it costs $70 to hire her for 4 hours. How much is your time worth? I could launch a campaign in 4 hours that makes much more than $70. On top of that I suck at cleaning and I can leverage her strength. Outsource anything you can: bookkeeping, mowing the lawn, whatever.
Remember that anyone can help you out with that stuff. I’d rather spend my time working on the things only I can do such as my campaigns or writing knowledge bombs. The world needs you to do bigger shit than wash your car (unless you really want to).
If you can train someone to do a task 80% as good as you, outsource it.
The other way to multiply your work-rate is competent employees.
I don’t upload ads. I don’t waste time setting up servers or tracking. I don’t do any low level activities.
Instead I am getting stronger at my strengths: relationships, optimizing, etc. Also, by training my employees they are adding in new perspectives that I might have overlooked. If the average affiliate has a 1x work rate, mine could be 5x with a super team.
The most common question I’ll get is, “but how can you trust them, how can you be so sure they’ll be loyal.” Nothing is guaranteed in life guys. You have to do a risk vs reward analysis and do your best. Some won’t work, and some will.
If you’re competing against me directly it’s not a 1 on 1 fight – it’s 1 v 10. There are no rules.
6. Being Effective
Here’s the most important aspect of productivity that’s not really mentioned: being effective.
What does that mean?
Lets use a shoe factory as an example. Being efficient would be improving the operations so that it can produce 1,000 shoes a day. Impressive right? But what is not so impressive is how the shoe factory has thousands and thousands of pairs of unsold shoes because they didn’t do their market research properly.
Being effective is about strategy – are you taking the right actions?
Remember that it’s impossible to always use the perfect plan or to avoid failure. It’s important though to recognize when the plan is going bad and to change strategies.
Being a Superman
I often get asked when will I be “happy” or content? When can I just relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor?
When people ask me this I think about Arnold.
This man was the greatest bodybuilder in history by the time he was 25. He could have just chilled and lived comfortably for the rest of his life promoting supplements or something.
Nah man! He was always hungry and striving for more. He become successful in business, a movie star, and became the governor of California. Seriously…holy shit.
You can be happy and content with life, yet be striving for more. Living to me is about evolution – it’s about continuously pushing yourself to see how far you can go. It’s fun to look back and see how far you’ve come in life.
I want to experience all the world has to offer. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was in debt or if I had to sit behind a desk 5 days a week.
It’s not just about me either because I want the best for my future kids. Instead of reading about the Great Wall of China, I want to bring them there and see it for themselves. If my kid gets into an amazing college, I don’t want them to be denied that opportunity because Daddy couldn’t afford it.
One life to live playboys, why settle for mediocrity.