So those of you who have read me a couple times know that I am a big fan of simplicity. I mean, I am not just a fan. I am crazy about it.
I am lazy too (yes, I admit). So that really means: simplicity is the only wave I ride! At least, if I am to have a functional life.
So a few years ago, I found myself in a situation in which I could not help but simplify if I wanted to succeed. I was a University student faced a ton of assignments and a high mountain of personal projects I wanted to finish. I was very ambitious and tunnel focused but still, I could not get my life to work. One day, I just gave up on everything. I took the way out and shut everything down: my ambitions, my Uni goals and all my relationships with people.
You see, the complex world with which I had surrounded myself was crushing me. And to be honest, I had not much to show from my work, despite how highly I would speak of it when hanging out with my friends. I must admit that talking about my projects was fun (lol, it got me laid a couple times). But, it was saddening too because I knew that I did not have enough time to finish most of them.
Knowing this, I would just check out on most of them. I would go on Netflix binges for days, postponing daily goals, and adding more sadness and self-hate into my life.
Then, one day I found Matt Avella’s Youtube Channel (I must admit: it was not hard to find him because, well, his videos rack up millions of views). This guy, I tell you. He was like some form of Deus Ex Machina thrown into my life. I started watching this dude’s videos closely and saw a pattern in what he was preaching. This man was all about simplifying; more specifically, simplifying to win.
Everything from the way his videos were edited to the way he would present his content screamed minimalism. And to someone like me, at the time, this was refreshing.
So I swore to follow his teachings (God, I just made him sound like some spiritual leader! Sorry Matt. But, meh, why not. Free promotion, right?)
Anyway, I got to work, started with cleaning my room, trashed the large collection of wine bottles I had accumulated from my previous day of pre-meditated self-destruction, sold 80% of my clothes and all other unnecessary items in my flat (and trust me, I had lots!), and thus, set out to be that annoying happy go minimalist cousin.
Needless to say, this did not solve all my productivity problems.
Still, there was much to do throughout the day regardless how simple I strived to render my work life (and I do not mean this in that: I-work-harder-than-thou way because, to be honest, most of what I do is chilling. Oh, walking around in my bathrobe and flops, too. I love that. Wish I could create a bathrobe-based fashion brand. Hit me up, dear investors, I got sketches!)
So, given how hard producing good work kept getting in spite of the simple work structure I had put in place. I figured, hmm…, this needs better engineering. So I read more into the matter (ps. hmu, if you need a list of them secret great books which changed my work life.)
What I discovered from trying to re-engineer my work system was two basic truth (and, you know I am all about starting with the basics, right?):
[Tweet “1. Man has a finite amount of energy.
2. The most successful people out there capitalize on the efforts of others (and that includes people and machines.)”]
From there, it was crystal clear to me, I had found that little dime which is only found after hours of chewing through the useless fluff you found in those highly acclaimed bestsellers on productivity.
All I had left to do was adapt these two basic truths to my situation. And what was my situation? Well, to cut through the nonsense, I was, as many of you are:
1. broke (I am talking student-in-debt broke). So I could not afford to hire people or outsource my work to agencies.
2. too lazy to operate the tools which would help fix my productivity problems (and there is a gazillion of those on the internet, if you get researching. Hmu, if you need a list 🙂
That being said I found a solution to my problem. And, I was surprised to see that it had always laid there within reach.
I figured this out from studying the lifestyles of most freelancers and solo-preneurs on the internet. These people were running one-man companies, making millions of dollars and still claiming to only work 4 hours per week at home. I mean, I thought that was insane! How could they manage to do this? (By the way, shout out to Tim Ferris’ 4-hour-work-week book. This book was a revelation. I mean, go get it man. I swear this thing has created some sort revolution.)
I discovered that the hidden secret of all these people was:
Automation. Boi I am telling you, automation is God!
I know that most of my readers are for doing things the organic way but, damn, I was so wrong about this for so many years. Take this seriously, if you want to get ahead. If you really want to outsmart your competition, my message to you today is:
Automate, automate, automate.
How? That is a subject for a later post. But in a few sentences:
There is certainly a gazillion ways out there to set up automated systems which can get you results; some of which can get you those while you sleep. But what I have found to be effective for me is using productivity automation software.
Once again, drop a comment if you need a list of the ones I personally use. And, I mean the ones I have tried, tested and found to be efficient.