I don't want to brag but I've accomplished quite a few significant things in the last ten years. I won't go into detail because honestly, you don't care and you shouldn't give a damn about what I've did.
However, even if my results were impressive, a few weeks ago, I've understood that everything I've done, everything I've accomplished, could have been done in far less time. Everything I've accomplished in ten years could have been done in as little as 2 - 3 years.
Because no matter how I look at it, the signal vs noise ratio is about the same 20 - 80%. This means that 20% of what I've done lead to 80% of the results.
Here are a few examples:
- 20% of the books that I've read comprise of 80% of the knowledge and wisdom I have now.
- 20% of the people I've meet contributed 80% to my success.
- 20% of the things I've done lead to 80% of my happiness.
In some case, the ratio is even higher, with 10 - 90% or even 5 - 95%.
Or to put it simply, Pareto, the power law in statistical distribution WORKS. It is one of those curiosity in nature that is hard to explain but it is as valid as gravity or as our desire to feel important. It is hard to find any example where a few events did not lead to most of the outcomes in any system.
And this leads me to the second point.
In all truth and honesty, you don't need to work 80 hours a week. Movement does not actually equal results. You need to do those things that help you actually accomplish your goal. Hard work was NEVER the goal. Accomplishing your goals was the always the focus.
I've tried 100 hour workweeks. I've tried 20 hour workweeks. I've tried 50 hour workweeks. At the end of the day, about 20 - 30% actually matters and the rest is just movement for the sake of movement. This is especially true when you move past the 40 hour / week mark.
Life is not Super Mario Bros.
You don't compete for the score. Working 100 hours a week won't actually give you a prize. How much you work, in all fairness, is not even relevant. What's relevant if you do the right things, right. This means if you say YES to what matters, NO to what doesn't and you complete the things you said YES to at a reasonable degree.
In the self-help world, the idea of HUSTLING is very popular.
Don't take breaks.
Work as much as you can.
Fall asleep in front of your desk.
And I'm asking you for WHAT?
It won't make you happy but let's not talk about happiness here but rather, if it actually works. After a point, you enter marginal territory no matter what. Your efficiency decreases dramatically after a threshold. It is like in the gym. Training for two hours instead of one won't actually make you twice as fit. It will make you twice as likely to injure yourself.
So it is with Internet Marketing. You don't need to write 50 blog posts that nobody will read but one that will get shared, featured and distributed everywhere. You don't need to spend 50 hours researching something while having YouTube in the background but actually pay attention, focus, look in the right places and get it done in five hours.
Movement was never the goal and I feel that this is the cancer of the self-help community nowadays. Everyone says the same thing "work hard, hustle, put in the effort" and while it is a good advice, it is missing two key ingredients.
Work hard on WHAT and HOW?
Again, you're not in Super Mario. You're not going to get an extra life if you get 100.000 points. Real life doesn't work this way. In real life you don't give a damn about the mushrooms and about the gold stars. Instead, you take a bus, you go to the princess, you save her and you marry her. Yet, no matter where you look, there is someone shouting that you must work HARD, HARD, HARD ... while ignoring the fact that HARD is defined ONLY by the required amount to achieve a goal and that working hard on the wrong thing is worse than not working at all.
Not everything in life can be reduced to 20%. However, chances are that whatever you are doing right now, you could be doing it a lot better by STOPPING many things, by saying NO, by IGNORING the things that are not important and by FOCUSING on those that are.
You know what I do?
I start my day with a morning ritual. In this ritual I journal, I eat, I exercise. I prime myself for success. Then I set only TWO MVPs (most vital priorities) or the most important, the most critical things I could actually work on at this point in my life. These are the crop of the crop, the things that will make the most impact. In total, these take about 2 - 3 hours a day. Sometimes it can take 5 - 6 hours but just yesterday, I've planned six hours for a project and I've finished it in 15 minutes.
I've just found someone who have done it before me and provided the exact answers I was looking for.
Then I study for one hour and again, exercise. I finish my day with my evening ritual.
And you want to know what's the best part from this?
My life is BETTER, from virtually all points of view (lower stress, better work results, happier, etc) than when I was working eight hours a day for a total of about 50 - 55 hours a week. It is BETTER than when I was waking up at 05:00, going downstairs, buying myself a coffee and working for four hours straight before even having breakfast.
So don't glamorize hard work so much. If there is a way available to get something in 20 minutes for 80% of the quality, as opposed to spending 3 hours for 100% of the quality, go for the first one. Marginal returns never pay a good return on your investment.
Plus, it is not only about marginal returns but also about downside in general. You're far more likely to screw things up after eight hours of work, when you're hungry and ruin your 100 hours of work than you're likely after going for a 5 kilometer run and you feel like a million bucks.
Take care and good luck. I've wrote this because I want you to succeed.