I recently turned 20, leaving my teen years behind me. During those years, I grew a massive brand, wrote millions of words of content, and interviewed some of the top influencers in my niche.
The question I’ve gotten the most is this one:
How do you find the time to do all of this at a young age while in school?
I still get that question since I’m still in college, but I thought I’d answer it with this blog post. It would give me a good look down memory lane and provide some insights I know you’ll take away from the content.
Start With Elimination
The moment I realized I’d take entrepreneurship seriously, I significantly cut down on useless activities. I cut my TV watch time from 4 hours every day to 4 hours every week. This one decision alone saved me 24 hours every week.
Eventually, I gave up video games completely which saved even more time.
There are habits in your life that are doing you more harm than good. You need to cut off these habits right away. They are preventing you from accomplishing your dreams. You need to get fully dialed in, and that means eliminating any activities that don’t get you fully dialed in.
I only take time off to pursue a small number of active activities and strengthen relationships. Active as in not passively looking at a TV screen.
Quality Of Time
Once you’ve eliminated the bad habits in your life, it’s time to strengthen the quality of your time. Some writers can write 80 words per minute while other writers can only write 40 words per minute. One writer fulfills twice the output than the other writer in the same timeframe.
Boosting the quality of your time comes down to four key steps. The first step is clarity. Get clear on what you should be doing now that will help you achieve your biggest long-term goals.
The second step is to boost efficiency. It’s more efficient if you can get a task done in a shorter amount of time.
The third step is to boost your effectiveness. This usually comes with practice in being efficient. Master efficiency first and effectiveness tends to follow you.
The final step is to always stay in the moment. Every second you think about your past or future is another second when you are standing still and not doing anything beneficial for yourself. Constantly thinking forward or backward prevents you from moving forward in the present.
Research Your Way To The Top
Anytime I want to become good at something, I research it like it’s the guaranteed secret to becoming a billionaire. If you know it existed, I’m sure you’d research hard for it too.
I can consume content for hours on a single topic just to get better at it. I carry out my research in long waves and then short bursts when I know what I’m doing.
All of the research in the world only provides the foundation. Building the building requires that you take action. At some point, I swap most of my researching time with implementation time. I did hours of research to learn how to grow on Twitter. Then I did it.
To this day, I continue researching on Twitter. However, it’s not nearly as much as before. I might read an article a week about Twitter but that’s it. On the other hand, I can read content marketing related articles for at least an hour a week. I need to stay sharp in that area, and I feel like I’ve pretty much mastered Twitter.
The moment you start delegating is the moment you’re heading to the big leagues. You only have so much time available. No matter how efficient and effective you become, there will still be things that you can’t get done in a given day.
Delegation hands off tasks to others so you can get the most important tasks done. I don’t edit episodes, write show notes, schedule episodes, create and optimize Amazon book ads, or grow my Twitter account anymore. I plan on handing off even more tasks in the future. That way, I can focus on the important stuff.
The Most Wasted Moments
I don’t always listen to music in the car. Sometimes I listen to an audiobook. When I’m not driving, I can also write a blog post. We have smartphones with so many capabilities for content creation and consumption.
Car driving and grocery shopping are two of the many common activities that usually go to waste. Instead of listening to music, you can listen to a podcast episode and learn how to move yourself forward. You can even do a podcast episode in your car.
One of the guests on my show was driving around the city while I interviewed him. And his audio was surprisingly spot on. Most people are listening to music or unproductively sitting in traffic during that time.
It doesn’t just apply to driving and grocery shopping. There are many wasted moments that can easily become more productive moments. Anytime you find yourself idly scrolling through your smartphone just to let time pass by, you can be planning out your next piece of content instead. You can be reading articles.
Pay attention to how you are wasting moments that most people would waste. Then, find a way to either consume or create meaningful content.
Creating VS Consuming
I’d rather spend most of my time creating content than consuming content. Even if it’s educational content, you can’t create when you’re consuming. If anything, consuming content helps you gather ideas, but you need to create far more than you consume.
We spend too much time consuming emails, reading, listening to, and watching other people’s content. While I recommend a daily dose of content consumption, the time you spend creating needs to outweigh the consumption phase.
I only start my day by doing one of two things:
- Create Content
Most of the time, I create a piece of content before I even exercise. It gets me on the right foot to start the day. I can exercise and do anything else knowing that I wrote my first blog post.
I actually prefer exercising when I feel like I’m about to burn out. I know I’m about to burn out when I’m looking at a bunch of stats related to my business over and over again. That’s when I close the computer and start exercising or consuming content.
I prefer to consume content in the evening because that’s when my productivity drops anyway. It would be a mistake to consume content at the start of the day because that sets you up to consume more content throughout the day. By creating all of your content at the start of the day, you can consume during the evening.
And when you’re the host of a podcast with guests on the show, you get to simultaneously create and consume content. I consume at least five hours of content every week just by interviewing people.
It’s possible for anyone, regardless of their schedule, to pursue their dreams. I grew my brand as a college student but also as a high school student which was much more time consuming.
I may hear about someone who has the impossible schedule and that I would never understand. A schedule is only as impossible as you make it out to be. You can take advantage of moments that most people wouldn’t even think about utilizing.
Even though I’m no longer a teen, I still live by this approach. If it isn’t broken, there’s no reason to fix it. I’ll experiment and look for ways to add on to this approach, but I don’t tinker too far away from the working mode.
What are your thoughts on my approach? Do you have any suggestions? Do you have a question for me? Sound off in the comments section below.