Our time on this planet is limited. Most of us realize that sooner or later. And yet, we keep on squandering our time and running around in circles.
Why is it that we waste so much of our time? Most people think that we, humans, don’t understand the value of time.
I don’t think that’s the problem. You and I both know the value of time. It’s a depletable resource. By that definition, the value of time is high.
So if the problem is not our appreciation of time, what’s the cause of a waste of time and potential?
The answer is obvious: We simply don’t know what to do with our time. The stoic philosopher Seneca famously said in On The Shortness Of Life:
What does it take to be successful? No matter what your definition of success is, you know that it’s not easy to achieve it.
Even a simple definition of success like “I want to live life on my own terms” requires hard work. Every sane person who aspires to live a good life understands that.
But when people start talking about the things you have to give up for success, I think they are going down a dark path. No matter what you’re trying to achieve in life; under no circumstances should you “sacrifice” anything.
“But what about all the hard work you’re talking about? I need to sacrifice all the other things I want to do.”
The answer to that question is simple. No one said it better than Tony Robbins:
What’s your personal finance strategy? If you asked me a few years ago, I would probably laugh it off: “I’ll leave that for tomorrow.”
Dumb move. If you don’t have a personal finance strategy, there’s a chance you will never get wealthy. The average millennial earns $40-$50K a year and has $20-$40K in student debt.
But the high achieving millennial earns up to 7X more than the average. The same is true for people of all ages. The difference between average earners and above-earners is huge.
Once I realized that, I got serious about money. But I didn’t focus on making more money—a mistake that many of us make. We always think more cash is the solution to everything.
“All my problems will be solved once I have a little bit more cash on hand.” Sorry to disappoint you, but that will never happen. As your bank account grows, your problems will too.
Improving productivity has been a pursuit of the modern human being from the start of civilization.
Somehow, we believe that productivity is something that became important after the industrial revolution. We assume that, because we live busy lives, we need to optimize our time—especially in the 21st century.
That’s not true. Productivity has been a topic of discussion ever since ancient eastern and western philosophy started. It’s a universal theme. I believe it’s in our nature to make better use of our time.
Because that’s what productivity means. On a deeper level, we all realize we have limited time. You and I both know that we’re not getting younger.
Time is ticking. It stops for no one. We need to use it. Etcetera, etcetera—we get the idea. And yet, without a clear productivity strategy, we squander our time like we have a limitless supply.
The reason I study productivity is because I’m an unproductive person. I truly am.
I sleep too much. I talk too much. I read too much. I listen to music all day. I watch movies. I buy gadgets that turn me into a zombie.
If it wasn’t for my productivity system, I wouldn’t get anything done. I wouldn’t even write this article. But if you browse social media, all you see is super productive, healthy, and wealthy people. Is that really the case?
I don’t know. I just know this: You can’t be productive 24/7. And a big part of being productive is about getting rid of unproductive habits we all have.
What follows is a list of eleven unproductive habits that I learned to do less, or eliminate. Do you have a few of these habits? Don’t worry, we’re all unproductive at times. But if you have five or more, it might be time to change.
One of the most popular ideas in personal development is that all successful people have achieved mastery. Many of us believe in this false notion that you have to master a skill to achieve career success.
That’s because we, as a society, admire and glorify winners. We look at billionaires, champions, gold medalists, and other outliers. I must admit, there are many lessons we can learn from people who are masters at one particular skill.
But at the same time, it’s very daunting. Let’s be real, not everyone wants to spend 10 or 20 thousand hours to master a skill. We all have other things we value in life: Our family, friends, hobbies, health, you name it.
So when people write books and articles about outliers, we might get inspired, but from a practical point of view, the advice is useless. Not because we can’t apply the advice—most of the time, we don’t WANT to.
What’s a big goal or dream that you have? Do you want to start a business? Become a fulltime author? Travel the world? Become financially independent? Change careers?
I bet you’ve thought about it, and at some point thought, “I’m not sure I can achieve that.”
If you’re anything like me, you always think about risks that are involved with making a big move in life. And that’s not a surprise. We’re collectively risk averse. We truly hate risk. I’ve never met someone who said, “I love to lose everything!”
But what can we do about our risk aversion? If you think about it, most of us are put off by fear. You think of doing something, consider the risks, and decide not to do it. Here are some examples.