I am about to make my biggest time management mistake, right before your eyes. Before I tell you what that mistake it, let’s look at some general principles.
Focus on 80/20 plays.
20% of your moves will give you 80% of your wins. Each percentage will be a grind.
For most of us, 80% is enough. Everyone who has dieted knows that going from fat to lean isn’t that bad. Going from lean to a six-pack is agony. Your entire life is focused around your eating and training, which means other areas of your life get screwed up. For the vast majority of people, being “not fat” or lean will get you the same results out of life (sex with women, feeling good, being healthy) as being ripped will.
If you adopt the Charles Munger “mental model” or Scott Adams “talent stack” views on life, 80% proficiency is where you should move on.
“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.” Scott Adams
Pick a talent. Get good enough at it. Then choose another talent. Get good at that. Do that for a few years and you’re something special.
Mike Cernovich Talent Stack
- Courage – Excellent
- Public speaking – Good, but no Gerry Spence or Christopher Hitchens
- Writing – Good, but no George Orwell or Tom Wolfe
- Understanding of human nature – Excellent
- SEO – Good at basics, but Google engineers would smirk at my “expertise”
Combine those talents and you have something special, even though I’m not an “expert” at any single subject.
My approach to life has always been to read 3 to 5 books on a subject, experiment with what I’ve read, integrate it into my background of knowledge (mental model) and move on to another subject. It’s worked well for me.
* How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
* Presence by Amy Cuddy
Strong reads in addition to Gorilla Mindset.
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 27, 2016
Find your 80/20 plays – What’s your metric?
Your business surely differs from mine, so I can’t tell you what to do. But you surely have some business goal, whether that’s to acquire more customers or make more money.
For my business, frequent new and good content is what moves the needle for web traffic, book sales, podcast listens.
The Internet has a short attention span. You need new content or else you’ll be forgotten, or if not forgotten, your brand won’t grow as quickly as it could.
My 20% play is to publish good posts, which gets me 80% of my results.
It’s not an insult for people to say any given article or podcast isn’t great. When you put together a lot of good content, the sum of it is great.
For example I don’t edit my podcasts other than to run them through Audacity (noise removal, normalize, compress, treble boost, bass boost, then normalize again). Spending 5 minutes in Audacity gets me the same results as spending 5 hours.
My posts are also famous for having typos and grammatical errors. I’ve spent hours editing. Page views and book sales do not increase at all. Spending hours editing is a time suck and I won’t do it.
My biggest time management mistake.
(Self-audit your life.)
I could sell more books with this one easy trick – write new content for Danger & Play and Twitter on Sunday through Tuesday. On those days more people are online, which means articles are more likely to be shared on social media, which means more new people will find my writing and long-time readers will have great content to read.
Write for my books on Thursday through Saturday.
Web traffic tanks on Thursday and has its lowest point on Saturday. Why create fresh new content when fewer people are reading it?
If I made that simple change to my life, I’d have a new book out every six months. Based on how well my books sell, that would be a real increase in my income.
Also you keep telling me you want more books, and in fact would probably be happier with me if I published less at Danger & Play and wrote more books.
Audit your life.
Even as a mindset and lifestyle expert, I make mistakes. That’s why I take time to reflect on my life with high degrees of self-awareness and analysis.
What’s your life or business metric? It could be lives changed, money made, cars bought, egos strokes.
What 20% effort move will bring you 80% of whatever is you want?
Read what I wrote again. I don’t have to work harder to improve more lives, make a bigger ripple in the universe, or increase my income.
I just need to make a small move (write less for my websites and social media on certain days of the week).
Your life is full of opportunities for massive growth by making small moves.
Find those 80% plays.
Now it’s time for me to write on my next book.