More on Productivity
1 year ago
7 Scientifically Proven Things You Must Stop Doing To Be More Productive
Smarter work yields better results.
17-year-old me worked and studied 20 hours a day. During school breaks, I did coursework and ran a nonprofit at night. Long hours earned me national campaigns, A-list opportunities, and a great career. As I aged, my thoughts changed. Working harder isn't necessarily the key to success.
In some cases, doing less work might lead to better outcomes.
Consider a hard-working small business owner. He can't beat his corporate rivals by working hard. Time's limited. An entrepreneur can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but a rival can invest more money, create a staff, and put in more man hours. Why have small startups done what larger companies couldn't? Facebook paid $1 billion for 13-person Instagram. Snapchat, a 30-person startup, rejected Facebook and Google bids. Luck and efficiency each contributed to their achievement.
The key to success is not working hard. It’s working smart.
Being busy and productive are different. Busy doesn't always equal productive. Productivity is less about time management and more about energy management. Life's work. It's using less energy to obtain more rewards. I cut my work week from 80 to 40 hours and got more done. I value simplicity.
Here are seven activities I gave up in order to be more productive.
1. Give up working extra hours and boost productivity instead.
When did the five-day, 40-hour work week start? Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company founder, experimented with his workers in 1926.
He decreased their daily hours from 10 to 8, and shortened the work week from 6 days to 5. As a result, he saw his workers’ productivity increase.
According to a 1980 Business Roundtable report, Scheduled Overtime Effect on Construction Projects, the more you work, the less effective and productive you become.
“Where a work schedule of 60 or more hours per week is continued longer than about two months, the cumulative effect of decreased productivity will cause a delay in the completion date beyond that which could have been realized with the same crew size on a 40-hour week.” Source: Calculating Loss of Productivity Due to Overtime Using Published Charts — Fact or Fiction
AlterNet editor Sara Robinson cited US military research showing that losing one hour of sleep per night for a week causes cognitive impairment equivalent to a.10 blood alcohol level. You can get fired for showing up drunk, but an all-nighter is fine.
Irrespective of how well you were able to get on with your day after that most recent night without sleep, it is unlikely that you felt especially upbeat and joyous about the world. Your more-negative-than-usual perspective will have resulted from a generalized low mood, which is a normal consequence of being overtired. More important than just the mood, this mind-set is often accompanied by decreases in willingness to think and act proactively, control impulses, feel positive about yourself, empathize with others, and generally use emotional intelligence. Source: The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest
To be productive, don't overwork and get enough sleep. If you're not productive, lack of sleep may be to blame. James Maas, a sleep researcher and expert, said 7/10 Americans don't get enough sleep.
Did you know?
Leonardo da Vinci slept little at night and frequently took naps.
Napoleon, the French emperor, had no qualms about napping. He splurged every day.
Even though Thomas Edison felt self-conscious about his napping behavior, he regularly engaged in this ritual.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife Eleanor used to take naps before speeches to increase her energy.
The Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry, was known for taking regular naps in his dressing area in between shows.
Every day, President John F. Kennedy took a siesta after eating his lunch in bed.
Every afternoon, oil businessman and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller took a nap in his office.
It was unavoidable for Winston Churchill to take an afternoon snooze. He thought it enabled him to accomplish twice as much each day.
Every afternoon around 3:30, President Lyndon B. Johnson took a nap to divide his day into two segments.
Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, was well known for taking naps as well.
Since I started getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, I've been more productive and completed more work than when I worked 16 hours a day. Who knew marketers could use sleep?
2. Refrain from accepting too frequently
Pareto's principle states that 20% of effort produces 80% of results, but 20% of results takes 80% of effort. Instead of working harder, we should prioritize the initiatives that produce the most outcomes. So we can focus on crucial tasks. Stop accepting unproductive tasks.
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” — Warren Buffett
What should you accept? Why say no? Consider doing a split test to determine if anything is worth your attention. Track what you do, how long it takes, and the consequences. Then, evaluate your list to discover what worked (or didn't) to optimize future chores.
Most of us say yes more often than we should, out of guilt, overextension, and because it's simpler than no. Nobody likes being awful.
Researchers separated 120 students into two groups for a 2012 Journal of Consumer Research study. One group was educated to say “I can't” while discussing choices, while the other used “I don't”.
The students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Meanwhile, the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bars only 36% of the time. This simple change in terminology significantly improved the odds that each person would make a more healthy food choice.
Next time you need to say no, utilize I don't to encourage saying no to unimportant things.
The 20-second rule is another wonderful way to avoid pursuits with little value. Add a 20-second roadblock to things you shouldn't do or bad habits you want to break. Delete social media apps from your phone so it takes you 20 seconds to find your laptop to access them. You'll be less likely to engage in a draining hobby or habit if you add an inconvenience.
Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change. Source: The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
3. Stop doing everything yourself and start letting people help you
I once managed a large community and couldn't do it alone. The community took over once I burned out. Members did better than I could have alone. I learned about community and user-generated content.
Consumers know what they want better than marketers. Octoly says user-generated videos on YouTube are viewed 10 times more than brand-generated videos. 51% of Americans trust user-generated material more than a brand's official website (16%) or media coverage (22%). (14 percent). Marketers should seek help from the brand community.
Being a successful content marketer isn't about generating the best content, but cultivating a wonderful community.
We should seek aid when needed. We can't do everything. It's best to delegate work so you may focus on the most critical things. Instead of overworking or doing things alone, let others help.
Having friends or coworkers around can boost your productivity even if they can't help.
Just having friends nearby can push you toward productivity. “There’s a concept in ADHD treatment called the ‘body double,’ ” says David Nowell, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist from Worcester, Massachusetts. “Distractable people get more done when there is someone else there, even if he isn’t coaching or assisting them.” If you’re facing a task that is dull or difficult, such as cleaning out your closets or pulling together your receipts for tax time, get a friend to be your body double. Source: Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are
4. Give up striving for perfection
Perfectionism hinders professors' research output. Dr. Simon Sherry, a psychology professor at Dalhousie University, did a study on perfectionism and productivity. Dr. Sherry established a link between perfectionism and productivity.
Perfectionism has its drawbacks.
They work on a task longer than necessary.
They delay and wait for the ideal opportunity. If the time is right in business, you are already past the point.
They pay too much attention to the details and miss the big picture.
Marketers await the right time. They miss out.
The perfect moment is NOW.
5. Automate monotonous chores instead of continuing to do them.
A team of five workers who spent 3%, 20%, 25%, 30%, and 70% of their time on repetitive tasks reduced their time spent to 3%, 10%, 15%, 15%, and 10% after two months of working to improve their productivity.
Last week, I wrote a 15-minute Python program. I wanted to generate content utilizing Twitter API data and Hootsuite to bulk schedule it. Automation has cut this task from a day to five minutes. Whenever I do something more than five times, I try to automate it.
Automate monotonous chores without coding. Skills and resources are nice, but not required. If you cannot build it, buy it.
People forget time equals money. Manual work is easy and requires little investigation. You can moderate 30 Instagram photographs for your UGC campaign. You need digital asset management software to manage 30,000 photographs and movies from five platforms. Filemobile helps individuals develop more user-generated content. You may buy software to manage rich media and address most internet difficulties.
Hire an expert if you can't find a solution. Spend money to make money, and time is your most precious asset.
Visit GitHub or Google Apps Script library, marketers. You may often find free, easy-to-use open source code.
6. Stop relying on intuition and start supporting your choices with data.
You may optimize your life by optimizing webpages for search engines.
Numerous studies might help you boost your productivity. Did you know individuals are most distracted from midday to 4 p.m.? This is what a Penn State psychology professor found. Even if you can't find data on a particular question, it's easy to run a split test and review your own results.
7. Stop working and spend some time doing absolutely nothing.
Most people don't know that being too focused can be destructive to our work or achievements. The Boston Globe's The Power of Lonely says solo time is excellent for the brain and spirit.
One ongoing Harvard study indicates that people form more lasting and accurate memories if they believe they’re experiencing something alone. Another indicates that a certain amount of solitude can make a person more capable of empathy towards others. And while no one would dispute that too much isolation early in life can be unhealthy, a certain amount of solitude has been shown to help teenagers improve their moods and earn good grades in school. Source: The Power of Lonely
Reflection is vital. We find solutions when we're not looking.
We don't become more productive overnight. It demands effort and practice. Waiting for change doesn't work. Instead, learn about your body and identify ways to optimize your energy and time for a happy existence.
1 year ago
5 ways to never run out of article ideas
“Perfectionism is the enemy of the idea muscle. " — James Altucher
Writer's block is a typical explanation for low output. Success requires productivity.
In four years of writing, I've never had writer's block. And you shouldn't care.
You'll never run out of content ideas if you follow a few tactics. No, I'm not overpromising.
Take Note of Ideas
Brains are strange machines. Blank when it's time to write. Idiot. Nothing. We get the best article ideas when we're away from our workstation.
In the shower
In our dreams
During dull chats
In the gym
No accident. The best ideas come in the shower, in nature, or while exercising.
(Your workstation is the worst place for creativity.)
The brain has time and space to link 'dots' of information during rest. It's eureka! New idea.
If you're serious about writing, capture thoughts as they come.
Immediately write down a new thought. Capture it. Don't miss it. Your future self will thank you.
As a writer, entrepreneur, or creative, letting ideas slide is bad.
I recommend using Evernote, Notion, or your device's basic note-taking tool to capture article ideas.
It doesn't matter whatever app you use as long as you collect article ideas.
When you practice 'idea-capturing' enough, you'll have an unending list of article ideas when writer's block hits.
More books, films, Medium pieces, and Youtube videos I consume, the more I'm inspired to write.
What you eat shapes who you are.
Celebrity gossip and fear-mongering news won't help your writing. It won't help you write regularly.
Instead, read expert-written books. Watch documentaries to improve your worldview. Follow amazing people online.
Develop your 'idea muscle' Daily creativity takes practice. The more you exercise your 'idea muscles,' the easier it is to generate article ideas.
I've trained my 'concept muscle' using James Altucher's exercise.
Write 10 ideas daily.
Write ten book ideas every day if you're an author. Write down 10 business ideas per day if you're an entrepreneur. Write down 10 investing ideas per day.
Write 10 article ideas per day. You become a content machine.
It doesn't state you need ten amazing ideas. You don't need 10 ideas. Ten ideas, regardless of quality.
Like at the gym, reps are what matter. With each article idea, you gain creativity. Writer's block is no match for this workout.
Perfectionism is bad for writers. You'll have bad articles. You'll have bad ideas. OK. It's creative.
Writing success requires prolificacy. You can't have 'perfect' articles.
“Perfectionism is the enemy of the idea muscle. Perfectionism is your brain trying to protect you from harm.” — James Altucher
Vincent van Gogh painted 900 pieces. The Starry Night is the most famous.
Thomas Edison invented 1093 things, but not all were as important as the lightbulb or the first movie camera.
Mozart composed nearly 600 compositions, but only Serenade No13 became popular.
Always do your best. Perfectionism shouldn't stop you from working. Write! Publicize. Make. Even if imperfect.
Write Your Story
Living an interesting life gives you plenty to write about. If you travel a lot, share your stories or lessons learned.
Describe your business's successes and shortcomings.
Share your experiences with difficulties or addictions.
More experiences equal more writing material.
If you stay indoors, perusing social media, you won't be inspired to write.
Have fun. Travel. Strive. Build a business. Be bold. Live a life worth writing about, and you won't run out of material.
7 months ago
How you view the year will change after using this one-page calendar.
No other calendar is simpler, smaller, and reusable year after year. It works and is used here.
Most of us discard and replace our calendars annually. Each month, we move our calendar ahead another page, thus if we need to know which day of the week corresponds to a given day/month combination, we have to calculate it or flip forward/backward to the corresponding month. Questions like:
What day does this year's American Thanksgiving fall on?
Which months contain a Friday the thirteenth?
When is July 4th? What day of the week?
Alternatively, what day of the week is Christmas?
They're hard to figure out until you switch to the right month or look up all the months.
However, mathematically, the answers to these questions or any question that requires matching the day of the week with the day/month combination in a year are predictable, basic, and easy to work out. If you use this one-page calendar instead of a 12-month calendar, it lasts the whole year and is easy to alter for future years. Let me explain.
The 2023 one-page calendar is above. The days of the month are on the lower left, which works for all months if you know that:
There are 31 days in January, March, May, July, August, October, and December.
All of the months of April, June, September, and November have 30 days.
And depending on the year, February has either 28 days (in non-leap years) or 29 days (in leap years).
If you know this, this calendar makes it easy to match the day/month of the year to the weekday.
Here are some instances. American Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November. You'll always know the month and day of the week, but the date—the day in November—changes each year.
On any other calendar, you'd have to flip to November to see when the fourth Thursday is. This one-page calendar only requires:
pick the month of November in the top-right corner to begin.
drag your finger down until Thursday appears,
then turn left and follow the monthly calendar until you reach the fourth Thursday.
It's obvious: 2023 is the 23rd American Thanksgiving. For every month and day-of-the-week combination, start at the month, drag your finger down to the desired day, and then move to the left to see which dates match.
What if you knew the day of the week and the date of the month, but not the month(s)?
A different method using the same one-page calendar gives the answer. Which months have Friday the 13th this year? Just:
begin on the 13th of the month, the day you know you desire,
then swipe right with your finger till Friday appears.
and then work your way up until you can determine which months the specific Friday the 13th falls under.
One Friday the 13th occurred in January 2023, and another will occur in October.
The most typical reason to consult a calendar is when you know the month/day combination but not the day of the week.
Compared to single-month calendars, the one-page calendar excels here. Take July 4th, for instance. Find the weekday here:
beginning on the left on the fourth of the month, as you are aware,
also begin with July, the month of the year you are most familiar with, at the upper right,
you should move your two fingers in the opposite directions till they meet: on a Tuesday in 2023.
That's how you find your selected day/month combination's weekday.
Another example: Christmas. Christmas Day is always December 25th, however unless your conventional calendar is open to December of your particular year, a question like "what day of the week is Christmas?" difficult to answer.
Unlike the one-page calendar!
Remember the left-hand day of the month. Top-right, you see the month. Put two fingers, one from each hand, on the date (25th) and the month (December). Slide the day hand to the right and the month hand downwards until they touch.
They meet on Monday—December 25, 2023.
For 2023, that's fine, but what happens in 2024? Even worse, what if we want to know the day-of-the-week/day/month combo many years from now?
I think the one-page calendar shines here.
Except for the blue months in the upper-right corner of the one-page calendar, everything is the same year after year. The months also change in a consistent fashion.
Each non-leap year has 365 days—one more than a full 52 weeks (which is 364). Since January 1, 2023 began on a Sunday and 2023 has 365 days, we immediately know that December 31, 2023 will conclude on a Sunday (which you can confirm using the one-page calendar) and that January 1, 2024 will begin on a Monday. Then, reorder the months for 2024, taking in mind that February will have 29 days in a leap year.
Please note the differences between 2023 and 2024 month placement. In 2023:
October and January began on the same day of the week.
On the following Monday of the week, May began.
August started on the next day,
then the next weekday marked the start of February, March, and November, respectively.
Unlike June, which starts the following weekday,
While September and December start on the following day of the week,
Lastly, April and July start one extra day later.
Since 2024 is a leap year, February has 29 days, disrupting the rhythm. Month placements change to:
The first day of the week in January, April, and July is the same.
October will begin the following day.
Possibly starting the next weekday,
February and August start on the next weekday,
beginning on the following day of the week between March and November,
beginning the following weekday in June,
and commencing one more day of the week after that, September and December.
Due to the 366-day leap year, 2025 will start two days later than 2024 on January 1st.
Now, looking at the 2025 calendar, you can see that the 2023 pattern of which months start on which days is repeated! The sole variation is a shift of three days-of-the-week ahead because 2023 had one more day (365) than 52 full weeks (364), and 2024 had two more days (366). Again,
On Wednesday this time, January and October begin on the same day of the week.
Although May begins on Thursday,
August begins this Friday.
March, November, and February all begin on a Saturday.
Beginning on a Sunday in June
Beginning on Monday are September and December,
and on Tuesday, April and July begin.
In 2026 and 2027, the year will commence on a Thursday and a Friday, respectively.
We must return to our leap year monthly arrangement in 2028. Yes, January 1, 2028 begins on a Saturday, but February, which begins on a Tuesday three days before January, will have 29 days. Thus:
Start dates for January, April, and July are all Saturdays.
Given that October began on Sunday,
Although May starts on a Monday,
beginning on a Tuesday in February and August,
Beginning on a Wednesday in March and November,
Beginning on Thursday, June
and Friday marks the start of September and December.
This is great because there are only 14 calendar configurations: one for each of the seven non-leap years where January 1st begins on each of the seven days of the week, and one for each of the seven leap years where it begins on each day of the week.
The 2023 calendar will function in 2034, 2045, 2051, 2062, 2073, 2079, 2090, 2102, 2113, and 2119. Except when passing over a non-leap year that ends in 00, like 2100, the repeat time always extends to 12 years or shortens to an extra 6 years.
The pattern is repeated in 2025's calendar in 2031, 2042, 2053, 2059, 2070, 2081, 2087, 2098, 2110, and 2121.
The extra 6-year repeat at the end of the century on the calendar for 2026 will occur in the years 2037, 2043, 2054, 2065, 2071, 2082, 2093, 2099, 2105, and 2122.
The 2027s calendar repeats in 2038, 2049, 2055, 2066, 2077, 2083, 2094, 2100, 2106, and 2117, almost exactly matching the 2026s pattern.
For leap years, the recurrence pattern is every 28 years when not passing a non-leap year ending in 00, or 12 or 40 years when we do. 2024's calendar repeats in 2052, 2080, 2120, 2148, 2176, and 2216; 2028's in 2056, 2084, 2124, 2152, 2180, and 2220.
Knowing January 1st and whether it's a leap year lets you construct a one-page calendar for any year. Try it—you might find it easier than any other alternative!
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1 year ago
What TikTok Paid Me in 2021 with 100,000 Followers
I thought it would be interesting to share how much TikTok paid me in 2021.
Oh, you get paid by TikTok?
They compensate thousands of creators. My Tik Tok account
I launched my account in March 2020 and generally post about money, finance, and side hustles.
TikTok creators are paid in several ways.
Fund for TikTok creators
Sponsorships (aka brand deals)
My own creations
Only one, the TikTok Creator Fund, pays me.
The TikTok Creator Fund: What Is It?
TikTok's initiative pays creators.
YouTube's Shorts Fund, Snapchat Spotlight, and other platforms have similar programs.
Creator Fund doesn't pay everyone. Some prerequisites are:
age requirement of at least 18 years
In the past 30 days, there must have been 100,000 views.
a minimum of 10,000 followers
If you qualify, you can apply using your TikTok account, and once accepted, your videos can earn money.
My earnings from the TikTok Creator Fund
Since 2020, I've made $273.65. My 2021 payment is $77.36.
I made between $4.91 to around $13 payout each time I got paid.
TikTok reportedly pays 3 to 5 cents per thousand views.
To live off the Creator Fund, you'd need billions of monthly views.
Top personal finance creator Sara Finance has millions (if not billions) of views and over 700,000 followers yet only received $3,000 from the TikTok Creator Fund.
Goals for 2022
TikTok pays me in different ways, as listed above.
My largest TikTok account isn't my only one.
In 2022, I'll revamp my channel.
It's been a tumultuous year on TikTok for my account, from getting shadow-banned to being banned from the Creator Fund to being accepted back (not at my wish).
What I've experienced isn't rare. I've read about other creators' experiences.
So, some quick goals for this account…
200,000 fans by the year 2023
Consistent monthly income of $5,000
two brand deals each month
For now, that's all.
1 year ago
In 5 minutes, you can tell if a startup will succeed.
Or the “lie to me” method.
I can predict a startup's success in minutes.
Just interview its founder.
I question "why" till I sense him.
I need to feel the person I have in front of me. I need to know if he or she can deliver. Startups aren't easy. Without abilities, a brilliant idea will fail.
Good entrepreneurs have these qualities: He's a leader, determined, and resilient.
For me, they can be split in two categories.
The first entrepreneur aspires to live meaningfully. The second wants to get rich. The second is communicative. He wants to wow the crowd. He's motivated by the thought of one day sailing a boat past palm trees and sunny beaches.
What drives the first entrepreneur is evident in his speech, face, and voice. He will not speak about his product. He's (nearly) uninterested. He's not selling anything. He's not a salesman. He wants to succeed. The product is his fuel.
He'll explain his decision. He'll share his motivations. His desire. And he'll use meaningful words.
Paul Ekman has shown that face expressions aren't cultural. His study influenced the American TV series "lie to me" about body language and speech.
Passionate entrepreneurs are obvious. It's palpable. Faking passion is tough. Someone who wants your favor and money will expose his actual motives through his expressions and language.
The good liar will be able to fool you for a while, but not for long if you pay attention to his body language and how he expresses himself.
And also, if you look at his business plan.
His business plan reveals his goals. Read between the lines.
Entrepreneur 1 will focus on his "why", whereas Entrepreneur 2 will focus on the "how".
Entrepreneur 1 will develop a vision-driven culture.
The second, on the other hand, will focus on his EBITDA.
Why is the culture so critical? Because it will allow entrepreneur 1 to develop a solid team that can tackle his problems and trials. His team's "why" will keep them together in tough times.
"Give me a terrific start-up team with a mediocre idea over a weak one any day." Because a great team knows when to pivot and trusts each other. Weak teams fail.” — Bernhard Schroeder
Every VC must ask Why. Entrepreneur's motivations. This "why" will create the team's culture. This culture will help the team adjust to any setback.
8 months ago
Looker Studio Pro is now generally available, according to Google.
Great News about the new Google Business Intelligence Solution
Google has renamed Data Studio to Looker Studio and Looker Studio Pro.
Now, Google releases Looker Studio Pro. Similar to the move from Data Studio to Looker Studio, Looker Studio Pro is basically what Looker was previously, but both solutions will merge. Google says the Pro edition will acquire new enterprise management features, team collaboration capabilities, and SLAs.
In addition to Google's announcements and sales methods, additional features include:
Looker Studio assets can now have organizational ownership. Customers can link Looker Studio to a Google Cloud project and migrate existing assets once. This provides:
Your users' created Looker Studio assets are all kept in a Google Cloud project.
When the users who own assets leave your organization, the assets won't be removed.
Using IAM, you may provide each Looker Studio asset in your company project-level permissions.
Other Cloud services can access Looker Studio assets that are owned by a Google Cloud project.
Looker Studio Pro clients may now manage report and data source access at scale using team workspaces.
Google announcing these features for the pro version is fascinating. Both products will likely converge, but Google may only release many features in the premium version in the future. Microsoft with Power BI and its free and premium variants already achieves this.
Sources and Further Readings
Google, Release Notes (2022)
Google, Looker (2022)