This is a guest post by Will from WillYouLaugh.com. He studies business books and the most successful people in history and shares his best insights and tips to help others succeed too.
If you’re into self-development, you know that there’s a million productivity articles on the web. What makes this any different? Well, from what I can tell, a lot of the guides out there often give the exact opposite advice from what you should do.
How do I know? Because I have seen it.
Having studied hundreds, if not thousands, of successful businessmen and businesswomen on my blog , I’ve had a solid foundation on what you should and shouldn’t do. It’s rather unfortunate when you see someone post an article on advice that is the exact opposite of what successful people actually say and people believe it.
An example would be: stop wasting time and money crafting a beautiful business card. Get customers and sales first -> Wrong advice: Buy business cards! You need them!
Today, I want to share with you a list of some incredible material that can actually help you in your life. This is based off highly acclaimed businessmen and business books like Rework by Jason Fried. The advice is useful to everyone even if you’re not in business.
The following infographic shows proven time management hacks that can help you get more done:
10 Proven Time Management Hacks
1. Stop being a perfectionist.
Good enough is good enough! Perfectionism often leads to paralysis and you never end up releasing your piece of art to the world. Let me remind you that you can always improve later on.
2. Use STSMV’s.
STSMV’s are short, time-sensitive measurable victories. Rather than having goals that take a year to finish, do something that will take a week or a day. A small win pumps you up to keep going and motivates you. A long goal drags on, makes you procrastinate, and shuts you down.
3. Communicate as concretely as possible.
There are plenty of examples of how simple sentences can be misunderstood. There’s a great book called Business Adventures where a chapter shows how one of these misunderstandings happening constantly leads to drastic problems in General Electric, which is one of the world’s largest companies.
Their distractions are longer than you think: it interrupts you from your flow-state, you have to address their issue, you have to reboot, it may take longer than you expect, it may lead you to other distractions, and eventually, you are brought back to your prior state but without the flow you once had.
5. Create world-class habits now.
Now, not tomorrow. The older you get, the harder it is to create awesome habits. And we are all creatures of habit. So start with just one or you will get overwhelmed. For the next week, set a goal to create one new habit. For me, it will be to write one new, awesome article that is different from all the other generic stuff out there PER WEEK.
What other proven time management hacks do you know about?
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.