This is a guest post by Bilal Safdar. He has a flare for success, and is trying to keep it ablaze nowadays with HomeArena.
Is sleeping five hours a day enough? Is your day a mess when you get less than 8 hours of sleep? Are naps a part of your daily routine? Do you feel unproductive when you don’t sleep well?
Let’s explore some aspects of sleep, how much of it you actually need and how sleep patterns and productivity relate.
It’s hardly ever that any discussion about sleep is not accompanied by these two questions:
How much should I sleep to stay fresh and optimally productive?
What’s the right way of sleeping that I should follow?
Both questions seem quite simple and logical, but their answers aren’t. Almost everyone has a different opinion and different experience about it and almost everyone want you to believe what they believe. So, let’s try to explore this paradox a little further.
Stop Looking for the Magic Number
There is no magic number, the cold naked truth that you might hate to embrace, but the fact remains that no significant studies back up the much hyped “8-hours a day” sleep. Stop believing that your productivity is affected if you don’t get 8 hours a day to sleep, and you might soon observe your productivity not being affected at all, just like so many successful and productive people throughout the history.
Do you know how many hours did the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Napoleon or Edison spare to sleep? Roughly 4 to 5, as many of them preferred cat naps instead.
The amount of sleep needed by people to perform most optimally differs, even from someone with same gender, age or health conditions.
While you may enjoy peak functioning through the day sleeping seven hours a night, some others apparently just the same as you, need 6 or 9 or even 5 hours per night of sleep to enjoy a productive and happy life.
So, if you are aware that something is not right about your sleep patterns, what to do now?
As mentioned earlier, it’s different for different people. What you need to do is believe and try finding the most productive way of life for you beyond that 8 hours a day mantra (though I’m not stressing this much will never work for you!).
The point is to give your body and mind the rest they need to recuperate and rejuvenate to face another tough day ahead, whether it’s 5 hours, 6 hours or 9 hours a day.
How to know whether you need to change your sleep patterns?
One of the best ways to gauge whether you are sleeping good enough to have an optimal day ahead is to observe how hard or effortless it is for you to stay awake during the course of the day. Or if you experience a significant cut in productivity, it also means you better beef up your sleeping patterns.
For now, take a look at those of some highly productive people of our times on the infographic and try to conclude whether or not you need to sleep 8 hours a night.
What do you think? What are your sleep patterns? And how productive are you throughout the day?
Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.
During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.
How did you start your career in finance?
I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.
What made you start blogging?
The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.
The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.
The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.
I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.
I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.
How was The Ways to Wealth born?
I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.
1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.
2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.
3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.
One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.
What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?
The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.
Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.
I then went to Upwork and posted a job for agraphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.
I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.
I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.
What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?
My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.
When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?
My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.
What happened then in January?
First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.
Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.
Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.
How do you balance work and family life?
I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.
When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.
This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)
What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?
Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.
What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?
I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.