Follow My Productivity Principles to Change Your Life Forever

Follow My Productivity Principles to Change Your Life Forever

I have certain principles in the areas of life I care about the most.

Each is formed after trial and error, learning a ton of stuff and seeing what works best for other people, and then for me.

Nothing is coincidence, or just an approach I’ve added to my repertoire without testing.

While it might not be a game-changer for you, each of the items in the list below is for me. And I believe it will improve the quality of your life in the long-run if made a permanent part.

If it wasn’t for being more productive and understanding what true productivity was all about, I’d never be able to work daily and have enough free time to do anything else at the same time. Or to create an online business, feel good at the end of the day and complete any project I set my mind to.

Productivity matters. Every single person who set out on a mission to change their lifestyle, build a business, become location independent, travel the world, write a book, create a product, or else, began by fixing his productivity mindset, ditching the bad habits that lead to wasting time, and then learned how to focus better and work smarter.

So here’s what I’ve found to work best over the years in terms of getting things done, and why it matters:

My Most Important Productivity Principles Revealed

1. Make your to-do list shorter now.

For a start, use a to-do list. It simplifies life like no other little habit.

But don’t add anything you can think of to it. I know there are many things that need to be done. What I’m saying is most of them just don’t matter.

Hard to admit, but it’s true for everyone.

Over time, if we aren’t tracking results correctly or if we keep ourselves busy, our lists get bigger and bigger and there’s less time left to actually live life.
Well, it’s liberating to know half of the stuff there needs to be removed.

You simply ditch it, and never do that activity again.

What makes it hard is that you’ve probably been doing it for months or years now. So all that time will feel like a waste if you just remove this and never look at it again.

Yes, it’s exactly like that. But that’s the only way to free yourself from doing unnecessary things. It will help you save tens of hours over the next few weeks. You’ll then have more time to do the work that matters and focus on what’s giving you results and taking you in the right direction.

So, what I want you to do today, is sit down and examine each of the items on your to-do list. Be honest when a few of these could be removed. Then cross them off, and never write them down again.

There’s a simple approach to also organize your to-do list better once you’ve removed the unnecessary items from it. Here’s a 1-minute video of that:

2. Work first.

I’ve talked about how we need to be ruthless with our time, goals and habits before. And I still praise this.

That means doing what you said you’d do first, because it’s part of your plan to improve your life and reach your next goal. To do that daily though, and thus see constant progress, you need to be saying no to every other single thing fighting for your attention.

It’s not easy if you’re used to being the good guy and can’t say no. But every time you let others take some of your time, you’re getting further from your dream life. Keep that in mind.

So, what I mean by including that one of the productivity principles is this:

Begin each day by doing your most productive and important work. That’s never more than 4 hours, but could also be 1 or 2. Good work doesn’t mean a lot of work.

During that period, nothing else will matter to you. Anything can wait, unless it’s urgent. But even if others think it is, it usually isn’t.

The first hours of the day are your sacred time, and they are dedicated to your passion project, new business idea, or else.

Do this first, then do anything else you feel like or have to after that.

This is how you prioritize. And by paying attention to your work and making such sacrifices on a daily basis, you’ll be amazed at the progress you see.

3. Work with gratitude.

Climbing The Business Ladder: Top Positions and Salaries Depending on Your Degree -

If there’s one thing you can be, and you choose that to be ‘grateful’, everything else will be perfect too.

Gratitude helps us go through hard moments in life by appreciating all that we already have. And it also helps us live the moment fully by being aware of all the reasons we have to smile.

Take this approach to any area of life you want to improve, and the results will be surprising.

With productivity, for instance, you can do the following things:

When you get to work, take a few seconds to appreciate the opportunity to contribute by doing something meaningful, the chance to do what you enjoy, the fact that you have the mental and physical ability to do it.

That will make the next few hours way more pleasant and you’ll focus more easily and enjoy the process even more.

Remind yourself it could be worse, your job I mean. Or your business problems. That will get you back in the present moment ready to hustle and fix what you don’t like.

When the work is done, be grateful for that too. Feel good about the effort you just invested and be sure it will pay off.

4. Your to-do list should be your new best friend.

You’ll rarely find a millionaire, business owner, or just somebody you admire who’s crushing it in a certain field, who’s not writing down his tasks daily and then following this list.

It doesn’t matter what you use and how you organize it, as long as it’s a daily practice and the list goes with you everywhere.

What I love about the to-do list is that it helps in a few important ways:

  • you don’t need to remember anything anymore as you can just write it down the moment it comes up;
  • you don’t need to think about your daily schedule or wonder what’s next, as you can just take a look at the list and see what the next item is;
  • a productive day means crossing everything off of it and that feels pretty good;
  • you can go back to previous days and compare.

But the reason I want you to take it with you everywhere is this: if you think that when you’re out and you arrange a meeting with someone or think of something that needs to get done by the end of the week, you’ll write it down when you get back home, you’re probably wrong. By then, many other thoughts will be on your mind and this will be lost.

Just have it with you all the time and don’t worry about forgetting anything anymore, or not doing things on time.

There are many other productivity tips I can share, but these stood out as principles. If you do them, it will lead to other good things eventually.

What can you share about the way you get things done? What are your productivity principles?

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

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 (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea 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.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

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 a  graphic 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.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income