If you want to achieve great success, be a better version of yourself, or win at all costs - these strategies and habits will help you do that.
All the hacks you’re going to find in this article have been or are being tested by me.
In other words, it’s not a random list of hacks you’d find on other blogs. There’ll be insights into how I use them, in which circumstances, and, in some cases, side effects of these hacks.
By applying these hacks into my life, I managed to go from being a barista, into generating over $12M in monthly revenue for eCommerce business.
But let’s not bore you with my story and go into the hacks.
One last thing though - they are not put in any particular order. They like a buffet - pick & choose the ones you like and apply to your life.
Table of Contents
It’s such a cliche, right?
Well, it sounded for me. But when you want to perform at the highest level, there’s no way around it.
The mistake that most people do is they have these goals set and never revisit them.
The reality is different. We can’t predict what’s going to happen in the next 2-3 months, and as with all the new information we’re getting, our goals change.
Look at your goals as a fluid thing and be revisiting them frequently. I’ll show you my exact strategies to do that in hack #12 and #13.
But for now - know the importance of it, and be ready to start thinking about them.
There are so many things that grab your attention - they all want something from you.
This is especially relevant if you’re getting some success in life. People will want to meet with you, have a call with you, do business with you.
If you want to continue to be successful - you’ll have to be a master of saying no.
I even have my Saturdays when I go over all the things that I have on my plate and say no to most of them.
Why can’t I say no to these things during the week?
I get way too many requests per week and can’t make a decision on most of them during the week. I found that if I do - they are usually not well-thought-out and I end up having way too many things on my plate than I can chew.
I go back to look at my goals, and if these new projects don’t help me achieve them - I say no to them.
Pomodoro technique means I work for 25 mins and take 5 mins rest.
During these 25 mins that I work - I don’t do anything else, except work. No checking social media, no going to the bathroom, no talking. Just work.
I try to hit 4 tomatoes every day only for my writing, and another 4 for work-related things.
Only then I allow myself to go and reply to all the messages I’m getting from my colleagues or business partners.
I tend to procrastinate quite a lot and the best example of it is - yoga.
I have a rule that every week I should do it at least 3 times. Because I do it at home, I always have these second thoughts on whether I actually need to do it or I should skip it. These should sound familiar to you:
“Aah, maybe I’ll do it a bit later. It’s not that important to do it now.”
My monkey brain is at full force here.
I know it’s important to do it. I know it feels good after, I know it serves my productivity, removes any pain I have in my body and is good for my well-being.
But I always resist it.
Yet, I found a trick around it. Whenever I have these thoughts - I tell myself:
“Ok, let’s do it only for 5 minutes. If I don’t like it, I can stop doing it right there and then.”
I never stop.
I get into the groove of it and then complete the entire session.
The same principle applies to writing, working, studying, reading, or any other thing you tend to procrastinate at.
Every day I wake up at 6 am (except Saturdays) and start working at around 7 am after completing several tasks.
This is my most productive time of the day. There’s no one around me, and I don’t let anyone interfere with me during this time.
I protect this time as if my life depended on it.
2-3 hours of pure focus makes magic happen and if I only have these hours to myself - my day is already a success.
I already mentioned tomato-timer. When I work for these 25 minutes, I don’t do anything else - focus on the activity at hand.
Yet, when I started doing it, it wasn’t that easy.
I had my social media on, emails on, slack on, and my phone was beside me.
I removed all these distractions. Now I leave my phone in another room and don’t touch it until around 11 am or 12 pm.
I also use website blockers to block all the social media platforms, and app blockers, so I don’t check my slack. To find out which apps do I use, go to Hack #34
“I’ll complete these tasks no matter what”.
This used to be my thinking when I was getting stuck with some tasks.
I would sit in front of the laptop and try to somehow complete the tasks at hand, yet I couldn’t come up with ideas on how to do it.
Then one day I decided to do something else.
In the middle of the process, I decided to take a walk. In the beginning, I was very mad at myself.
“How could I leave this task undone?”
But I was able to relax and while walking, I got so many ideas on how to solve the problem, I had to run back home to finish the task.
It took me 20mins to do it and I was able to enjoy the rest of my day.
Since then, I don’t hesitate and go for a walk when I’m stuck.
It works 90% of the time.
“I’m too tired to write copies in the afternoon. I feel tired and not able to come up with new ideas” - my colleague told me once.
“Do the first thing in the morning”.
And he did.
Writing is one of the activities that I can only do first thing in the morning. It requires lots of thinking and consumes quite a bit of brainpower.
That’s why I only write during my first 2 hours of the day.
But there are far more activities that need as much mental power as writing.
Identify them, and block the time to complete the first thing in the morning. Your career, business, or whatever you do will grow.
What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? What do you want to achieve? Is there any way to measure it?
These are the questions you should be asking yourself when trying to identify activities which will make the biggest impact.
These are the things I focus on first thing in the morning.
6 months ago we decided to have some of our team members focus more on our agency’s marketing.
For 3 months they were trying to grow our youtube channel, podcast, organic search, Facebook & Instagram.
Guess what happened?
Nothing grew. And that’s because we gave them too much to chew on.
At the same time, they had their other major roles in other departments. I repeated this mistake many times over the last couple of years, yet, this time I’m trying to put an end to it.
I want one person to focus only on a single thing and be the best at it.
I want our team to focus only on one key metric for 3months. After 3 months - I want them to focus on another one. Then another and another one.
That’s the same thing I do with myself - I have a core skill that I want to learn and give myself 3 months to learn it. Be it a certain skill (like PR), a certain platform, or a language.
One thing at a time.
Every morning I do 3 activities before I go into work.
One of them is journaling about my life, my feelings, what happened last day, what I’m excited about, and my goals for the day.
I see it as a mind cleansing activity.
I end up writing for 15 mins and I can say - this is the biggest discovery for me in 2019 and I see the biggest ROI.
I’m less irritated, distracted, & my thoughts are much clearer.
Write 3 pages per day with your hand. Write whatever you want to write about.
As I mentioned in the first hack - goal-setting is important. It gives you focus and excitement to work on something.
Here’s how I do it.
Every year, I take 1 week off to get off the grid, reflect on what I’ve accomplished during the year, my journal entries and go over the last year’s goals.
I see what went right, what went wrong, celebrate my successes, and reevaluate my setbacks.
Whenever I do that, I start setting my goals for the years to come.
There are many ways of doing that, yet, there’s this one article I follow for years and my friends’ entrepreneurs swear by it.
“If you fail to plan - plan to fail”.
Goal setting is not something you do every once a year and forget it.
As circumstances change, your goals change. And you want to have a plan, a roadmap on how to achieve them.
That’s why every 3 months I take a weekend off to look over my goals and adjust them if needed. I also go over my journal entries and summarize them during the same weekend.
Every 1 month I take 4-6 hours off, go to the coffee shop and go over my last month.
Every weekend I take 1-2 hours to reflect on my last week and plan my next 7 days.
Yes. There's quite a bit of planning involved in my life, but I love the feeling of being clear on what I want to achieve and execute.
For the past 3 years, I was living a nomadic lifestyle.
Every month or two, I would move to different countries or cities. I liked working from coffee shops and would try different ones every second day.
I was still productive, yet, now that I’ve settled down in Oaxaca, Mexico, and created an awesome workspace to work from - my productivity increased 2-3x.
Instead of thinking about where I’m going to work, I started thinking about what I’m going to work on.
I decreased the number of decisions I have to make every day and it’s paying off with productivity increase.
I’m also able to keep my notebooks at the same place and I’m able to access them at all times.
I hate meetings. I try to avoid them at all costs.
Whenever I get a message asking me to meet with someone - first of all I ask them what it is about, hoping I’ll be able to avoid them.
And most of the time I do.
I have a very strict meeting schedule. I only do them on Mondays and Fridays afternoons and the most time I can dedicate to one meeting is 30 mins.
So whenever people approach me asking for a meeting, I ask them these questions:
And if the topic interests me enough, I’ll give them my schedule. It’s usually tight and has 2-hour slots in the afternoon.
Because of the time difference with some of them, it’s usually too late for them, so they end up writing everything to me instead.
If not, we have a very clear goal of what we want to achieve during the meeting.
At this moment I work with 3 brands that I and my team are spending over $4M in monthly ad spend on Facebook alone.
I also help these companies establish other traffic channels like PR , SEO, or hire and manage youtube ad agencies…
There’s a lot of work, & quite a bit of multitasking involved (in other words - monkey brain work).
Because of that, I try to batch certain activities into segments that make sense. I can sometimes take one department like PR, and create SOPs for all 3 of these clients.
Or I can take one brand and go deep into their business for the whole day.
All them work.
What doesn’t work is when I have to have a podcast, write copies, create SOPs and have calls with different department leaders in a single day.
That’s when inefficiencies occur and our most precious asset - time is wasted.
Whenever I go into a deep work session, as from nowhere, some new amazing ideas appear.
Before, I would dive deep into them straight away leaving my deep work session and focusing on something else.
Once again, my monkey brain/dopamine junky is happy.
But my deep work suffers.
That’s why I have a pen and notebook nearby to write all these ideas when they come so I don’t forget about them, and can revisit them later on.
It takes too much time to get back to deep work.
Trying to be perfect is like going to University to study digital marketing. You study for 4 years, try to be the best at school, and get your diploma...
Yet in 4 years some people like me build multi-million dollar businesses without having any education.
What I’ve noticed is that perfectionism is a dressed-up lack of confidence.
People are trying to be perfect so no one laughs at them, and their mistakes not exposed. It makes them risk far less.
But the thing is that the more mistakes you make - the more “perfect” you’re going to become.
Whenever I hire a media buyer to work with me - I tell them to make as many mistakes as fast as possible.
That’s the only way to gather enough data and become better.
Out of more than 3000 tests I’ve done last year, 2950 didn’t work. Yet 50 of them worked, which have helped us to generate over $40M in 2019.
In 2020 I want to make 12000 mistakes so that I would generate over $100M+ for our clients.
It’s 11.59 am and I’m about to take my first long break for the day and have my first meal.
1 year ago I used to go to a restaurant or cook a big meal and eat myself to sleep. It would take me more than 4 hours to recover after a meal.
Now, instead of eating a big meal, I make one big smoothie filled with as many superfoods as I can get my hands on.
I drink it all the way to dinner.
Here’s the smoothie recipe I use:
This helps me to keep going for another 4-5 hours without getting hungry or feeling sleepy after having lunch.
I get less terrible at it.
If you saw me 6 months ago, I would run to whichever direction anyone sent me to. Broken website, spelling mistake on the ad, new client…
All these things are super reactive and take me off my deep work.
And as I’ve made it clear - deep work is where I’m giving the most value at.
Now I try to schedule times when I’m going to respond to the emails, asana tasks, social media messages, etc.
I won’t lie, I usually do it when I do “big business” in the toilet or while waiting for water to boil.
I have a mission - to create $1bn worth company and there simply isn’t a simple way to get me off my mission.
I always believed self-confidence is something that you either have or don’t.
Back when I was 20, I thought I was one of these unlucky people who didn’t have it.
I was reading books on how to become confident, pick up women... Yet all these books did was to lead me to believe there's something wrong with me...
Yet after living in this bullshit reality and finally feeling confident, I’ve discovered one secret - there isn’t one.
Confidence is situational. Here’re some examples from my own life.
Whenever I have calls with 7-8 or even 9 figure entrepreneurs on video camera, I don’t wear a suit to impress them or feel more confident.
I have it.
But before that? I would sweat, I would think about how I could make a better impression on them. Could wearing a suit impress them?
Now I am who I am and don’t care about my appearance.
Because I know I’m amazing at what I do. I’ve helped to build 3 businesses to $30M+ in yearly revenues and some of them experienced this growth from only $300k yearly revenue.
If you asked me to sing?
I would be shy.
If you asked me to approach a woman on the street?
I would shit my pants.
Because I don’t do it often. I wouldn’t know what to do and would cry before doing that…
Hence a lack of confidence in some situations, but lots of it in others.
I wish I could tell I’ve mastered this one.
I definitely haven’t.
Work is following me up until almost 9 pm. That’s the clear deadline I stop working.
Before that I’m reading, thinking, or learning about business.
I’m getting better at switching off and that shows by the different books I decide to read. I started reading a lot more fiction and exploring different topics.
At the same, I take at least a few hours off in the evening to do some different activities like yoga, or walking down the street.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
I got into a groove of writing these cliches here.
It’s easy to get away looking at the long-term goal you’ve set up for yourself and think it’s impossible to reach it.
It seems too far to reach and you won’t be able to do it.
Yes, when you look at it that way, it definitely seems too hard to reach it. But what if you broke it down to smaller, more manageable pieces?
Let’s say my goal is to write a book. A goal that many people have and usually get overwhelmed by it.
But let’s break it down:
Wuolia, you have a book written in 4 months.
You’ll need to dedicate time to do research, editing, etc., and that’s where the rest of your time could go.
I use the same principle with this blog. I have a goal of writing it for 2 hours Monday to Friday and Sunday. I don’t care how good or bad it’s going to be as I know I’ll be improving every time I write.
And by writing for 4 weeks already - I’ve written 4 long-form posts and have become less terrible at it.
The way I look at music is very different from many people. For me, each song has its own character, colors, and energy.
The most important tip though, when choosing music, is to choose one without lyrics.
Here are my 3 personal preferences:
1 - Psy-trance. Psy-trance helps me to get motivated, energetic and puts me in an amazing mood to be performing at the very highest level. In fact, while writing this article I was listening to psytrance most of the time.
3 - . Well, this one is more of my personal preference, as some of these songs have some lyrics, but I don't pay attention to them. It has a very similar effect as binaural beats. Less energetic, but still gets me into the flow.
As I mentioned, these are my preferences. The rule here is - avoid lyrics.
This is big far the best advice I can give to anyone - become a quicker learner.
This is the skill set that allowed me to be generating 6-figure income, learn 3 languages, travel the world, and work only a few hours per day by the time I was 26.
And there are only a handful of things you need to learn to master this skill. But it’s totally doable.
Here are a few of them:
When I first learned this principle, I was spending 2-3 hours per day doing these activities and when applied, my entire life changed. I found 20 hours extra every week to learn a new skill! How cool is that?
I calculated that by using this method alone, I could reach the B1 level in Spanish by listening to audio courses for 6 months. I managed to do it in 3 months applying other techniques, but I’ll leave this for another article.
You can apply the same principle for any other skill.
Instead of reading everything about the subject (although it has its place) - start experimenting with it.
The trick to learning any language much quicker is to speak a lot more.
The trick to learning digital marketing or any other kind of skill is - to start working on it. Make a lot of mistakes, learn from them, and repeat it again.
You’ll soon see the progress you’re making and will have a compound effect on it.
I haven’t learned how to read 20x faster, but there are definitely some tricks that can 2-3x your reading today. The one I use? I read with my pen. I follow the words with my pen and do it at a higher speed.
There are some apps and techniques that can help you read 10-20x faster. I’ve tried them but didn’t enjoy them that much. But I wouldn’t discourage you from learning them yourself!
I dropped out of 2 Universities, both of them because I started working on my businesses.
And while I learned some useful things over there, there was one that I’m reaping the benefits of even today.
Before every major deadline, I saw my classmates having baggy eyes, not sleeping, drinking 5 cups of coffee per day.
I couldn't do it myself. I loved my sleep too much.
So if I had to hand in our work in January, I would set a deadline to complete it by December.
Now I use the same method. It’s actually even more useful than before.
If we have an idea to test something out, I want to test it this week… Because I don’t know what will happen next week. We could find out there’s another hack that will help us generate $200k more, so I’ll want my team to turn their attention over to that project.
That’s why we move much quicker than others.
When the going gets tough, and it will - the only thing you’ll be able to fall back is your “why”.
Why do you do what you do?
If you end up with an answer - “because of money”, “because I need to” - dive a few levels deeper.
What will money bring you?
Who do you want to serve?
Why do you want to serve them?
I’m not saying everything you do should have a meaning. Myself, 50% of my time in the day is consumed by work that I like, but would not do if I wasn’t paid for.
Yet, every morning, I spend 2 hours writing. I’m not getting paid for it, nor do I’ll get paid for it soon.
There are some other reasons playing behind it. Here are some of them:
They may not be the best ones, or they might differ from yours, but these are some valid reasons that keep me motivated to wake up every single morning (Sundays included) and write.
So let me ask you a question again - what is your why?
Don’t be harsh on yourself if you don’t get to it immediately. It takes time, but answers will come.
I’ll be honest with you…
Just before writing this point, I looked around my workspace and wasn’t completely satisfied so I moved some things around.
Messy surroundings lead to messy thoughts.
Although that's what happens when I'm in a brainstorming mood.
In fact, during the brainstorming sessions, I have lots of A4 pieces of paper scattered next to my bed, on my table, next to the sofa, dinner table…
But outside of that, I try to keep it organized.
Because I want my thoughts to be organized, be less distracted, which leads me to more focused work.
What’s the only thing that doesn’t have problems?
The rest of us?
We need to learn how to prioritize them.
There’s this one misconception that most of us have. We think that by escaping our current situation we’ll somehow manage to reduce the number of problems we have.
I definitely thought so when reaching my career goals.
“If I can only make $10k more per month, I’ll have fewer problems…”
That didn’t happen.
In fact, that extra $10k can create different sets of problems that we didn’t expect… Like taxes (will write a whole another post on it at some point).
It happened to one of our clients…
When his eCommerce store was making above $1k per month, he was thinking that he had a marketing problem and was doing everything to make it grow.
When we scaled him to $300k/monthly revenue in the next 6 months, he called us and said:
“You know what… I thought that if I make more money my problems will go away… I was wrong. Problems are getting bigger now”.
Those who don’t have money, they have a problem with how to get money.
Those who have a decent job, they think about how to get a better job.
Those who have money, they think where to invest it and save on taxes…
So rather than avoiding problems - remember, they’ll always be there…
Yet, the thing you are able to choose is - what set of problems will you want to solve?
Some people are afraid of automation, AI, and all these things that make it to the mass media…
And I can’t blame them. I was in that position too.
I thought how terrible it would be that people would lose these jobs… And it can be terrible if there aren’t certain things put in place…
But now I started to change my stance on it. I'm starting to be happy these borings tasks will be automated & people have more time to do creative work.
Look at what has happened during the Covid-19…
There were so many people who opened their youtube channels, started their podcasts, or eCommerce stores.…
And they dive into creativity.
So as you see I embrace automation and try to automate as many processes as possible.
At this moment I have my PR machine semi-automated with Zappier, email, and HARO. Otherwise, it would take me over 1-2 hours to go over all the reporters that are looking for something I can suggest to them…
There are so many other things we've automated that I don't even remember which ones. Which is exactly what we want - to have more brain space.
Which brings me to the next point…
I’ve resisted the idea of doing that for over 2 years…
But 2 months ago I decided to take a leap and outsource as many things from my plate as possible.
The first thing I did - I hired a project manager to manage the eCommerce projects I’m working on.
And within 2 weeks I’ve seen such a massive difference in my workload…
I was finally able to focus on the things that made a much bigger impact in revenues, rather than being sweapt away by non-essential tasks.
Now, I have a team of 10 people working on auto-pilot and doing a far better job than I could’ve done on my own.
I’m doing the exact same thing with my personal life and branding.
It’s the first day of my assistant working with me, so I’m writing down the list of what I want to outsource to her.
Here it is:
There will be quite a few things on her plate to manage, and I might have to hire someone else to help her out…
But what’s crazy about it is that I was doing all these things on my own…
No wonder I’ve been quite a few times very close to exhaustion.
When should you hire an executive assistant though?
As soon as you can afford it. My girlfriend has been outsourcing these things for more than 3 years already and she started doing when she was making only $3-4k per month. $1-2k went back to the assistant…
But because she had so much more mental space, she was able to grow her business much quicker.
Even though I use project management tools, I still write a list of the tasks I want to do in my separate workbook. This workbook is separate from my morning journal.
If I want to achieve something during the day, I have it written down in 3 different places.
My morning journal, asana (project management tool), and workbook.
And when we get a hit of dopamine… We feel a bit happier and want to get it again, so we get addicted to ticking these boxes.
This definitely increases your productivity as you can keep crushing your task on a daily basis.
It can bring another set of problems… Like increasing the complexity of your goals to maintain satisfying your monkey brain even more.
And if they’re not challenging enough, you might not get your “shot” of dopamine.
It seems like an addiction, but since most of us are addicted to social media, it’s better to be addicted to becoming a better version of yourself.
Over 4 weeks ago I was losing my sanity.
Covid-19 had started to spread in the US and I started reading all the popular news websites…
I did it for 3 days and every day I was getting more and more crippled by it.
It seemed that my life was collapsing in front of my eyes and I couldn’t change anything to avoid this catastrophe.
I couldn’t take it and left for the mountains here in Mexico, taking only my phone (on flight mode) with the only mission - to stay away from the world for 3 days.
During the weekend I managed to relax and that’s when I started realizing - it’s not the virus that can cripple people…
But the fear of it.
And since most of the media thrive on selling us fear, I decided to be very conscious about consuming it.
I still follow the news right now, because it can affect our businesses, yet, I don’t read it every few hours as I used to.
To be honest, my approach to the apps is to keep it as simple as possible.
There are only a few apps I use to stay productive. Here they are:
This is an advanced one.
And you shouldn’t touch it if you don’t have a big team of people to manage, or your company isn’t growing super fast…
Because when it does, you have to be making quick decisions on a daily basis.
For example, yesterday I jumped on a call with a PR consultant. Over the weekend, I read a few books on how to be getting PR for the company and wrote a plan.
I wanted him to stress-test it and give me a green light to go ahead and execute it.
At the end of the call, he offered me his mentorship package. I asked my friends around what they think, if it’s worth it or not & accepted his offer.
First of all, I identified it as one of the key growth factors in the next 6months.
Second of all - I want to train my brain to be making quick decisions on a daily basis.
When our skincare brand started to grow, we had to hire almost 20-30 people in a matter of 6monnths. We’re now about to hire another 10-20 as we grow.
Our revenue department has grown from 5 to 15 people in the same period of time.
Everyone is coming up with their ideas and want to try and try. Sometimes I do allow them to execute on them, sometimes I don’t.
Yet, I’m making all my decision in a 24-hour window.
And that’s the secret to our success - we make decisions fast. We execute quickly. And by doing that we can afford to make a few more mistakes than our competitors and still be ahead.
While they zig and zag, we zig, zag, zig, zag, and then once more zig zag.
How many times have you said something negative to yourself today? How many times did you think you were not worth what you have? How many times did you criticize yourself?
At least I did it many times.
And that self-criticism follows me throughout the day.
I didn’t write well enough, I suck at preparing coffee, I was slow getting out of bed, I’m lazy today…
And it keeps going and going… Like a stuck record player. Never-ending loop.
But it has to stop.
You have to try and be able to snap yourself out of this negative loop, go out of the dark, and switch on the light.
Because there’s no better, more reliable cheerleader (and critic) in the world - only you.
How do I act if I find myself in this self-criticism loop?
I simply repeat “I love myself” whenever I get into a negative state of mind or ask myself a question: “What would love to do?”.
You’ve probably heard the saying “You’re an average of your 5 closest people.”
I heard many times before but never took serious action to build this circle of 5 people around me consciously.
Yet, this year it’s my top priority - to connect to even more high-level entrepreneurs.
That’s one of the reasons why I started a podcast. And that’s one of the reasons why I put aside $50k this year for masterminds with 8 and 9 figure entrepreneurs.
I’ve already reaped the benefits of podcasting.
I’ve connected with people who helped me with media buying, finding lawyers, other brand owners, and have brought many clients to the agency.
Try to check your 5 closest people and see where do you stand among them?
Most likely you’ll be right in the middle of it.
Right now I’m my own best critic.
I set goals and make sure I complete them no matter what.
Yet when I was learning languages I found some neat tricks to make sure I have accountability to learn them.
There were 2 things I was doing:
When I was learning digital marketing, I was already telling everyone I’m going to travel the world working from my laptop. Was I lying?
In my mind, I was predicting the future.
I wanted to promise everyone I was going to do it, so that if I don’t do it - I would feel ashamed about it.
And that was one of the reasons why I was doing everything I could to achieve that.
I did the exact same thing with language learning.
When I was learning Spanish I found one platform which allowed me to make bets against me.
Here’s how it works:
a) Choose what you hate. Back at that time, I chose Donald Trump.
b) Decide the amount of money that would motivate you not to lose.
c) Bet this amount of money and if you don’t complete certain activities - this money will go to the thing you hate. In my case, it would’ve been Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Quite a strong motivation to perform, no?
P.S. I forgot the website I used for it, so my best advice would be to google it.
For over 7 years I’ve been working on my MacBook air.
I’ve seen friends of mine and copywriters I respect telling how much more productive they became since they started using dual screens.
I didn’t understand why it would be the case, until one day I tried it out myself…
It was a game-changer. On one screen I can pull up all the research information, and on the other one, I can write, or execute.
I bought an iPad, yet, if I wasn’t traveling, I would most likely invest in an iMac to have a huge screen.
I’m a big SOPs guy (although I don’t like to project manage it later on).
Whatever I do, I try to put it in a sequence that would maximize everything we do.
Just like a piece of content - I want to write this one piece of content and then be able to maximize my efforts. At the end of the day, I spent almost 20 hours writing it, so I can maximize it.
For the next 1-2 weeks, I execute on it, to see if I have any further questions about it, and once I’m done - I have another call with an expert.
I outsource it to someone else.
I’m still pretty bad at this part though, as I’m pretty impatient when it comes to guiding people how to do things, but hey, no one is perfect, right?
For almost 2 years I was going to google drive trying to find certain documents there.
They were usually always the same.
Until one day I decided to create a bookmark for it.
This one thing helped me to save at least 5-10 minutes of my time every day.
One of these “vooo vooo” things that I didn’t believe for a long time, but enjoy the process of creating it.
Yet, when I look back 10 years ago, when I read Napoleon Hill or watched “The Secret” for the first time, I’ve “manifested” 80% of all the things I put up on my vision board.
Could be. But as I said - I enjoy the entire process of doing it and now have it on my desktop screen.
Have a look:
Ok, so I covered all the productivity habits I use, now, let’s move to the healthy habits, which will affect your productivity habits.
There are a lot more than I gonna cover, yet I mentioned before, I only focus on the ones I’ve tried or active practicing now.
4 years ago I tried to meditate.
Me being me, I don’t go into things light-heartedly. I wanted to start with something huge, to begin with, and signed up for the Vipassana meditation retreat.
For those who don’t know about it - it’s a meditation retreat where for 10days:
People describe it as the worst and the best experience of their lives.
That’s exactly how I would describe it.
Staying with yourself for 24/7 is a difficult task. Especially when you can not interact with your surroundings in any way
For me, I had some good and very bad moments. On the 5th day, I experienced a transcendental state - a total bliss for about 3 minutes.
Yet, because I got attached to it so much, when it was gone, I got sick.
My tonsils got swollen and I could only swallow food or water with massive pain.
After the camp, I got even more sick, as my ears started to bleed because of the infection & because of that (and my laziness) I didn’t “touch” meditation for 3 years.
1 year ago I started doing some of it, yet not consistently. However, 3 months ago I put it on my goal list and started to do it first thing in the morning.
I use guided meditations from Deepak Chopra on youtube or any other meditations that I like.
I’m looking into transcendental meditation classes though, as I keep hearing about it more and more.
I discovered yoga back in 2018.
While traveling around Europe, I went to Berlin to meet a friend of mine.
He swore by this one teacher who lived in Lithuania at that time. He said there was no better teacher even though he has tried 100 of them all over the world.
Traveling for the last 1.5years, I see it was true - she was truly the best teacher I’ve ever seen.
However, that doesn’t mean I’m not doing yoga without her.
What it means is that it’s difficult to make myself do yoga.
I have a goal of doing it every 2 days for 45 minutes via the app. And even though I love the feeling it gives me - it’s not the same as doing it with the teacher.
In any case, yoga helps me relax, reduce physical tension I have in my body, and definitely helps to control my emotions.
The app I’m using is - Down Dog.
I bet there are better ones, but it works pretty well for me.
HIIT training has many benefits.
The reason why I do it is because of the increase in energy I get, relaxation afterward, and many other benefits.
And because I do it in the form of football (soccer for my American friends) - I enjoy it a lot.
I used to be a heavy drinker.
I enjoyed going to parties and getting completely wasted. Drinking half or even a full bottle of vodka per night wasn’t something surprising (although it was definitely too much).
But since I tried psychedelics (ayahuasca) for the first time in Brazil - I reduced alcohol intake and after 3months completely stopped drinking.
In the last 2 years, I have had one glass of wine. That’s it.
Why did I stop drinking?
First of all, I couldn’t control it. Whenever I started drinking, I would have to drink until I don’t remember anything.
It had to do with my self-esteem issues going after beautiful girls and I want to escape myself (by drinking too much) - I was able to finally approach them.
Another reason - hangover.
Because I was drinking quite a bit and did it on Fridays or Saturdays - it meant I would lose the entire weekend and it would take me 2 days to perform at a high level.
I knew that to achieve something great, I had to get rid of this habit completely.
And I did.
I never regret this decision.
Although I can sometimes feel odd when I go to a restaurant with my friends and everyone is enjoying a glass of wine, while me… A glass of mineral water.
I’m doing Intermittent Fasting for over 2 years and have already forgotten I’m doing it.
The way it works - you eat for 8 hours and drink only for the next 16 hours. So what it means is that you skip either breakfast or dinner.
I do prefer skipping breakfast, as it reduces the number of decisions I make in the morning, which I mentioned in hack #29.
There are many benefits of doing IF, like cleansing your body from toxins, cancerous cells, regulates insulin levels.
The one that I enjoy the most though - the mental clarity it gives me early in the morning.
Have you ever heard of a keto diet?
90% or more of the keto diet consists of eating healthy fats like nuts, avocados, chia seeds, and a lot more.
I don’t do keto diet by any means, yet, I’m conscious of the fats and whenever possible - I pack my meals with it.
I put quite a bit of chia seeds, nuts, and 1 or 2 avocados to my smoothie. And that’s super useful as it’s my first meal of the day as I’m extra careful not to eat too many calories at lunch, which makes me sleepy.
The way I usually spend my Saturday is the following:
Nature somehow re-energizes me and gives me brand new ideas.
Vitamin D is essential for good health and mood. (among many other health benefits).
Whenever I go back to my home country - Lithuania, it’s cloud 70% of the time, so I buy supplements to replenish Vitamin D in my body.
At this moment I live in Mexico, which has more than enough sun, so I don’t need to be worrying about the lack of it.
20 minutes is the least amount of time you need to on the sun to get all the benefits from the sun.
Ah, cold shower…
There’s no better way of waking up and feeling energized in the morning.
I usually take a 3min regular shower and for 30-60secs go under ice-cold water.
If I felt sleepy before - I wake up immediately.
If I was moody before the shower - my mood goes up to the point that I start dancing around the house.
If I had no energy - my energy levels jump back up and I'm relaxed, energized, and focused at the same time.
The best gift you can give yourself early in the morning.
My “one-way” relationship with Wim Hof started over a year ago. We had our agency trip to Guatemala and we stayed there for the entire month.
After many psychedelics were taken and many cool experiences together we've bonded real well.
But what I’m thankful for the most - the gift my right-hand person gave me.
The gift of Wim Hof breathing.
After doing it for the first time, I wasn’t impressed. It was pretty hard to do it, and it didn’t seem natural to me.
But a few months later I decided to try it on my own…
And since then, I've been doing Wim Hof every day for more than 6 months and will continue doing it for a long time to come.
15 mins of my time every day, but I get instant mental clarity, energy, and I simply feel awesome.
I usually do 3 rounds (which has sometimes led to 9 rounds) before starting my second work session of the day - right around 3-4 pm.
I can’t recommend it enough.
You know all the bad things that come with sugar.
But how can you stop eating it?
I know… It’s addictive.
I was eating sugar after every meal for longer than I can remember.
And when I lived in Bali… I doubled down on it. I was eating ice cream daily.
When I realized it’s a massive addiction I have - I tested many ways to get rid of this habit and found out there was no way to get rid of it completely…
No matter what I did - the craving was still there.
However, I found out I can replace it with something much more beneficial to my body - dark chocolate.
So I got rid of all the sugar I had at my place and replaced it with 85% dark chocolate. Whenever I craved something sweet - I’d grab it.
It was difficult to get used to the taste at first, but in a matter of a few weeks, I managed to completely replace my sugar cravings.
My Father has a tradition to take a sauna every Sunday.
Whenever I come back home, I don’t miss a chance to take part in this tradition.
It helps me relax, clean my body from within, and have an amazing sleep afterward.
Together with a bit of THC oil I crash and wake up at the same exact position I went to sleep at.
And Mexico has a traditional sauna called “Temazcal”. There is an entire ceremony for it, which takes around an hour and can lead to a mushroom ceremony.
Whoever is going to visit us - we’re going to take them there.
A simple hack to ground yourself.
Where I live, there isn’t much grass, so, I can’t be doing it much, yet whenever I lived at a place with grass - I would go for a walk on it for a few minutes.
Instantly improved my mood, felt more relaxed, and more focused.
Neat little hack, but worth trying out.
I wish you could see that view…
Me listening to psytrance, dancing to the rhythm of it, with a chair on my desk and a laptop on top of it and shouting weird sounds…
That’s what my girlfriend has to put up with.
Whenever I feel low on energy, I stand up, put my headphones one, put a chair on the table, and restart my work...
When I’m executing like crazy and need energy throughout the day - this is my go-to routine.
I also conduct most of my meetings and record most of our podcasts.
The energy is so much different.
Ok, this one is not a productivity tip…
This is something more like being happy, keeping your sanity in place, and improving your mental well-being hack…
And I’ll be very honest with you here…
For years I was only thinking about myself. These were the questions I was raising in my head:
How can I improve my life? How can I get more of this situation? How can I earn more?
Yes… I need to take care of myself first, need to love myself first to be able to do good for others.
And now the time has come to start doing some good for others.
As I’m writing this article, we’re raising money for the poorest people where I live - in Oaxaca, Mexico. We’ve already raised $4k and will buy food and other essentials for people in need.
By the time we release this article, you’ll be able to see the entire process of doing that on my youtube channel.
Do you know that an average person on earth now lives 10x better than a queen or a king in 150 years ago?
An average person now has a toilet, sewage system, clean drinking water, food, a car, electricity…
We can have food delivered within 45 mins, have all the information within 2 mins, talk to our parents from the other side of the world…
And these are only a few things that I’ve mentioned.
Should you be grateful for it?
You sure do.
I know, it can sometimes be difficult to recognize how much we’ve got and that’s why I always journal about it in the morning.
It only takes me a minute, but I start my day with a different kind of mindset than I used to do before.
Combining it with writing 3 pages every day, and setting priorities for your tasks makes it a great combo.
What am I grateful about?
The fact that I’m able to do what I love first 2 hours in the morning. That I can have an amazing coffee, that my parents are healthy. That I have enough food not to worry about it. That I’m able to travel the world and even more granular things - like meeting a friend, a smile that a stranger on the street gave me.
And I sometimes write about things that I don’t have yet… Because I know they will soon come. Like reaching a $1 billion valuation with our skincare brand.
All the previous hacks are sexy.
But none of them would work if you didn’t have a good night's sleep.
Here are some of the hacks I use to improve it and try to keep it optimal.
When it comes to sleep, consistency is the name of the game.
I’ve been waking up at 6.03 am for the last 3months (I’ve changed time zones from European to American one then) and I felt amazing.
I was waking up full of energy and had nothing to
But a few weeks ago something changed.
I was waking up and immediately had brain fog and had to do short exercises (jumping jacks to get my blood flowing and have some mental clarity.
Yet I was still not at my best.
I was doing everything exactly the same as I used to do.
I was going to be at 9.40 pm instead of 9 pm as I used to do.
And because of this 40min change - I wasn’t getting enough sleep, didn’t rest long enough and my entire day would suffer.
Yesterday was my second that I went back to bed at 9 pm and I don’t even need an opportunity clock to wake me up - I woke myself up full of energy and a clear mind.
One thing to mention though…
I had noticed this change in my routine because of the morning journal. When I went back through my journal entries - I immediately saw what had changed in my routine.
It’s difficult to do this one…
I have a bad habit of checking our eCommerce revenues every 2 hours and it usually gets me back to check the ads and other work-related things.
So I’m trying to do this one and honestly - I haven’t managed to get rid of this habit completely.
However, I’m conscious of it and trying to improve.
Little by little.
No one is perfect, no?
Blue light sucks.
It blocks the production of melatonin, which is crucial for your good nights’ sleep.
So even though I can sit in front of my laptop 30 min before the sleep or read from my kindle or iPad - I put on my blue light blocking glasses 2 hours before sleep.
I’ve been using them for almost 2 years now and it has made a big difference in my sleep.
I love this habit.
4-6 months ago I used to read only non-fiction books. Business, personal development, investment, etc.
Over the years I’ve read lots of them…
I would say even too many.
But around 4 months ago I realized I need to develop my own writing skills, imagination, and enjoy reading a bit more.
So I decided to read some fiction books and I’m now completely hooked.
An added benefit to it - I don’t think about work going down to sleep, which is usually a big killer, as it gets difficult to stop my mind.
An ideal sleeping temperature is around 19 Celsius.
Even though I didn’t have any fancy things like temperature controlling mats or air conditioning, I always had two guns in my pockets - a window and a cold shower.
When I lived in Lithuania, I opened up my window for 30-45min before sleep to get some fresh air into my room and reduce the temperature in my room.
Now, that I live in Mexico, it’s harder to control the temperature that way.
So I do something counter-intuitive. I take a cold shower, which helps me to reduce my body temperature, relax, and fall asleep much easier.
I’m looking forward to buying a temperature controlling mat in the future though.
Ok, this one is more on my to-do list rather than the one that I tried myself.
The only thing that’s holding me back from using it is - anxiety. Yup, that’s right.
I don’t want to be anxious about whether I had enough sleep, or if I went into REM states for 1-2 hours that night and over analyze what I did wrong to cause that.
Working out at night is bad for your sleep.
It increases core body temperature, heart rate, and prompts the system to increase adrenaline production.
My rule is to finish all my workouts at least 3-4 hours before sleep. I found this way I don’t have any issues with sleep.
I always go to sleep with my sleeping mask on, which makes 95% of my vision completely dark.
However, I’ve noticed that if there’s even the smallest source of light - I sleep a lot worse. I’m not able to fall asleep, I wake up a lot more & in general wake up not feeling rested.
Because I travel quite a bit, it’s difficult to control it all the time (and my girlfriend makes it much more difficult as she loves watching youtube videos at night whenever she has a hard time sleeping).
At least I try to control it as much as possible.
How do I do that?
I’ve been drinking teas for my entire life.
I love them.
There are many ones that can help you fall asleep easier and have a deeper sleep.
Look for the ones that have the following leaves:
Chamomile, lavender (my favorite), valerian root, passionflower.
I’ve recently started drinking chai with almond milk, which has an even better taste than the ones mentioned above.
This was my recent finding - use lavender oil before sleep.
I put 3 drops of lavender on my wrist, inhale 3 times and then rub it into my neck.
Amazing feeling and it relaxes me immediately.
Some of you might not like this list. Some of you will be willing to experiment with it. And some of you will thank me years to come.
Because this was the biggest discovery of mine and have helped me achieve what I have achieved.
I’m not here to persuade you to do any of these things. Instead, I’m here to share what has worked for me, what didn’t work, and share my experience with them.
However, one thing I need that I need to tell you - I’m not a doctor and don’t have a clue how these supplements will affect your body. Although I did my own research and chose to test them out because I felt there was little or no harm to my body.
I can say one thing though - these substances have helped me to reach a much higher level of focus, work longer and improved my creativity.
So if you want to try some of them, do your own research.
Or in other words - KIDS, PLEASE DO NOT REPEAT THIS AT HOME.
Coffee is the most used nootropic in the world and I don’t think I need to explain how it works for you.
How do I drink my coffee?
I add 2 spoons of MCT oil and a spoon of cinnamon.
There are many benefits to it. It helps to increase cognition even further, prevents the “coffee crash”, and gives me a bigger energy boost.
It also helps me to not eat even longer and prolong my intermittent fasting to 17 hours or makes it more comfortable to do it for 16 hours.
Simple, pretty cheap, and safe way to boost your cognition.
I have an addiction to tea. I drink at least 2-3 cups per day.
One at around 10 is another one at 2-4 pm (not every day, but I sometimes do) and one at around 8 pm (hack #10).
The one I drink at 10 am is to boost my energy and cognition even further. The ones I found work best to do that for me are - Pu Erh and Yerba Mate or a combo of them both.
These both are strong ass teas and I sometimes drink them instead of my coffee.
I love sustainable energy it gives me, and mental clarity.
If I decide to drink tea in the middle of the day, I don’t drink one of these. They would be too strong. Instead - I make a simple green tea and it’s because I want a warm drink.
Here’s a full list of supplements I take:
Maca - I put it in my smoothie instead of having capsules.
Ginkgo biloba - take in the form of a capsule. It improves mood, blood flow, and gives energy.
EPA/DHA Omega 3 - capsules in the morning.
Rhodiola - capsules. Brain function.
Guarana - a better version of caffeine. This one gives me a big boost in energy. As I’m writing it, I don’t have it with me, which reminds me to buy it.
L-carnitine - capsules. It gives a big energy boost.
Magnesium - capsules. Multiple benefits.
Curcumin - capsules. Powerful antioxidants.
Moringa - capsules. Multiple benefits.
L-theanine - capsules. Not using it at this moment, but when I do - it’s good to take it with caffeine as it helps to sustain the energy for a long period of time.
Ginseng - capsules. Energy boost.
Citi-Choline - capsules. I don’t take it that often and can sometimes go weeks after I realize I don’t have it.
Bacopa Monnieri - capsules. Cognitive function.
I’m pretty sure I’m taking too many supplements, but I don't care.
I feel great.
But if you want to get the most bang out of your money - complete the test on cogniora and see which nootropics you should use.
This is my recent discovery and a very good one! Even better - it’s a legal one!
It’s definitely an energy bomb and I made a crucial mistake with it - I took an espresso on top of it.
It was slightly too much.
I tried it 3x already and will definitely do more when I feel I need it.
My relationship with psychedelics started with one of the strongest ones - ayahuasca, which I tried during my travels in Brazil.
I’m kidding you not saying that my life has changed a lot since then & but let’s get back to productivity.
I use LSD or mushrooms to microdose and work on them.
It somehow has an ability to connect some unrelated ideas and mash them into something that works.
I’m able to go deep into the topics that I wouldn’t want to go deep otherwise (machine learning for example) and apply some of the ideas into the business.
It sometimes reminds me of some kind of a thing I saw 5 years ago and connects to the idea I have at hand and makes a unique spin out of it.
I sometimes don’t even think that it’s me who comes up with these crazy ideas, but rather the substance.
And if someone has ever asked me what’s my secret to success - I would say without a doubt - psychedelics.
As for a full-on trip, I go into the mountains here in Mexico, get mushrooms and trip my ass off. Until I can’t walk. Seriously.
Strangely enough, a week after my trip, I see the revenues go up by 10-20% for all our businesses.
If you decide to micro-dose - be careful with the dosage & don’t have any meetings that day.
Otherwise, you might end up in a very awkward situation.
Take 1/10 of what you would take on a full-on trip & do it every 4 days.
When I first had my hands on modafinil - I was blown away. I was working on a few new projects and had some difficult tasks ahead of me.
I completed these tasks in less than 4 hours and couldn’t believe it.
New ideas started coming in, I was 110% focused on whatever I was doing, and I was going much deeper into every subject I was interested in.
After taking it for the first time, I started to believe I could learn coding or other complex skill in a matter of a few months.
It was definitely another life-changing experience that showed me how much our minds are capable of learning.
However, seeing the strengths of it - I made a very strict rule: I would not take it more than once every week.
Later on, that rule changed to not take more than ¼ every 2 weeks, and this is the rule I follow up until now.
The reason for that - there are no long-term scientific studies done on the drug, hence have to be cautious with it.
At this moment I live in Mexico, where I can get modafinil from a pharmacy. In other countries you usually need prescriptions, otherwise, it can be illegal to have this substance.
The way I see modafinil is that it helps you get the initial momentum on a new project or a skill. When the gravity of your old mindset or old skillset pulls you down - it can help you push a bit further and get you further away from it.
When you achieve some level of fluency with the skill, it becomes much easier to execute on it without any substances.
Saying that, if you do get your hands on it, here are my tips:
This one is my new discovery and I tried it only twice but loved the effect.
It put me in a very calm, relaxed state - kind of like a meditative state, and was able to focus on tasks I had at hand without panicking about anything.
The very first time I tried it - I had a podcast interview late in the evening and I noticed I was more energetic and more talkative than before.
When I took it at my friend's place - I was on the way to work from a coffee shop, yet we ended up speaking for 30mins.
In the end, I told him - “I really don’t want to leave your place, let’s just talk”.
Then I realized it was the substance working on me so I had to force myself to leave.
My advice - turn off your slack, messenger, and all the communication apps so you don’t end up chatting with someone for the whole day.
Also, by itself, this supplement doesn’t give energy and if you don’t take it with something that elevates it - you’ll feel relaxed, yet no energy boost.
My advice is to take it with coffee (either bulletproof or with l-theanine to maintain the alertness) and some other supplements like - ginseng, l-carnitine, guarana. I take it with and it works well for me.
As far as I know, a few months ago, this supplement was available in most of the supplement stores, yet something changed and I’m not 100% sure if it still is.
Make sure you’re not doing anything illegal.
No, I don’t smoke and never will.
However, I do (very very rarely) use nicotine spray to boost my cognition and give me more energy for a short period of time.
It could be speaking on stage, negotiation call, or anything else I need to be super sharp at. As I mentioned, it happens very rarely though.
In any case, this is a powerful nootropic to get me the edge for a short period of time.
In only 2 years these productivity hacks helped me to:
Some of them are hard-core (especially substances), some of them are simple tips you can be adapting to your day-to-day life.
And don’t be harsh on yourself if you can’t get to all them from the very beginning. It took me some time to find ones that I love and can stick to long-term.
So take one, test it on yourself, and see how it feels. If you like it - try to stick with it for a month and see how it goes.
And if you ask yourself a question: “Ok, I can be productive, but where do I apply them?” - then read my article on how to achieve 6 figures in personal income in 2 years.