Creating Focus

Regular people are watching the Super Bowl as this post is being written. We have no interest in the game since we didn’t see a good set up for blow out odds to make money (unlike the presidential election where numbers were *emotionally* set at 10:1). Instead of writing some non-sense motivational speech on how to get amped up about your life, we’re going to outline a way to consistently get into “the zone”. Getting into the zone is something everyone has experienced at least once in their life and figuring out how to replicate that will separate yourself from the pack rapidly.

Create the Zone First

Step 1: Write Down One Task: This is pretty simple, every day you wake up and you write down the one thing that is most important to you. It should be no longer than one sentence long. “My #1 priority is X”. Now you won’t waste your time hitting the snooze button on the alarm because you have not done anything to progress on the most important item on your list. Don’t waste your time worrying about your other priorities, this will actually kill your focus. Instead you wake up and write down one thing most important to your life and we have no right saying what that item is. Some will say “build second source of income” for others it may be career related. So on and so forth. At this point the only thing you’re allowed to do is eat or drink something (get ready for the day) and don’t allow yourself to do anything until *progress* is made on the #1 item on your list. Finally, the phrase is not an “end-goal” the phrase needs to be set up as progress otherwise you’ll get sick of it rapidly.

Step 2: Create a Reminder: The #1 item on your list should have a substantial reason behind it. You then want to create a visible item to look at on a daily basis as you progress. We are not sure what the reminder will be, that said, we prefer a personal quote made by yourself (not some motivational dude who doesn’t care about you and just wants your money). If the task is building up your second source of income then it could be something as simple as “Do I want to rely on someone else for my livlihood?”. Place your personal reason in clear view when you sit down to start your task. In this clear example, before you get to do anything to start your day you’re going to be reminded that you’re relying on someone else to put food on your table. Not a good feeling and should spur on action.

Step 3: You’re Not Allowed to Read: That’s right. Reading feels like you’re progressing on something but we’ve seen a total of Zero purchases made by books read. We’ve never seen someone purchase a Ferrari with “number of books read”. In fact, we don’t know a single time in history where a person reads a book and suddenly gets more money. Secondly, if the item is physical “I will lose weight” or “I will gain muscle”, then you’re not allowed to sit down and read up on new diets and exercise routines. You’re going to go straight to the gym to train physically.

The biggest problem with “reading” as it pertains to the most important item in your life is that it feels like something has been done. We’ve done this many times in the past. Spending 2-3 hours reading about a topic only to find that all of your most valuable energy is completely drained by the time you’re done researching…. This is not an efficient use of your brain. Reading is relatively low energy and will simply drain your body before you’re able to even get to work. This is also why we do not recommend checking Twitter, Personal Emails, Blogs, News Websites etc until you’ve started to get to work on the task.

Step 4: Remove All Noise: This is both literal and figurative. Unless the tasks requires phone calls (calling customers as an example) or access to the Internet at that specific moment, you should shut everything out. Take it to the extreme. As an example we prefer turning off our phones before starting to do real work and remove all tabs/browsers unrelated to real time work to prevent any distractions.

This is actually a rare time where we can look to athletes as an example. If anyone has experience in competitive sports… thinking about anything but the present task is a recipe for disaster. The small fraction of a second where focus is lost can cost you the game or the race etc. Just think of all those examples of athletes celebrating before finishing the race, looking to the side or falling asleep as an opponent is able to easily cruise to an extra point. By removing all noise you’re going to be left with two items, your brain and the task at hand.

Step 5: Create a Mental Zone: At this point you’re about to start the task. You’ve already recognized it as the most important to you, you’ve already reminded yourself (utilizing fear) as to why you need to accomplish the task and finally, you’re in a place where you cannot be distracted by any means. Now comes the fun part of creating a “zone” or focus point.

The final step before starting is to remind yourself of a previous success. It does not matter what it is, just choose the biggest achievement that you remember (or one of the biggest) and lock into that that time frame. After walking through it in your head as if watching a movie (should take a minute or two) you’re going to repeat the task and remember being “in the zone”. This is also more commonly known as neuro linguistic programming, but, we’ll try to take it a step further. Once you have played the event in your head once or twice the final time, instead of remember the event, remember the mental state you were in. Try to remember what you were thinking of during the event. You’ll find out the exact same thing. You were not thinking about anything. Ever wonder why we refer to people that are in the zone as being “unconscious, well now you know.

Step 6: Take Action on the Task: If you’ve done this correctly your mind will not wander. You’ve prevented this by starting an action before doing any research at all. If we look  at the process, by breaking any of the steps… your brain will become distracted. This is human nature and a natural flaw of all humans. You’ll worry about doing other things unrelated to your most important action of the day.

Step 7: All Out or Full Speed: Since our bodies and brains get tired over time the best way to progress is at full speed until exhausted. Since this is hands down the most important task to you, you’ll need to continue in this zone until you lose the mental ability to continue. The vast majority won’t do the check in steps listed above and will pay dearly for it as the value of the work will decline dramatically. If you’re distracted or not 100% focused the value of the work is likely cut into a third. One hour of extreme full speed work and effort will be equivalent to 3 hours of regular effort work.

After Zoning In

After this period of mania (we’ve found about ~3 hours can be obtained) you’ll need to check back out of the intense work mode. Once you find that your mind is wandering onto other topics rapidly and you’re not able to focus specifically on one task only, then you’re likely out of the zone. Instead of attempting to force your body to re-enter, it’s smarter to step out entirely. We recommend meditation for about 15 minutes where you think about nothing.

Re-evaluate the Work: Now that the intense focus period is over, we’d turn to less demanding items that we refer to as clean up. If your time was spent working on a new ad to place online, then we’d switch to proof reading. You can also switch to display issues and other bugs that may occur on your page. Unless you have hired someone to go through everything, you can simply do the lower level items that are less important. After a period of meditation you’ll have enough energy left to go through mundane items that are less meaningful but can make a big impact.

Ask a Few Basic Questions: Part of the reason that you’ll fade out of the mania stage or “in the zone stage” is you’ll run into a hurdle you can’t seem to jump. If you see the problem consistently ask yourself what exactly is causing the problem and write it down once for later research. We’d recommend doing all research well into the end of the day since the energy needed to do so is very minimal.

Switch to Task Two, Three and Research

Now that you have made a substantial amount of progress and “cleaned up” the work you’ve done, it’s very easy to move onto your second less important item for the day. Generally, since it is not the premier item for you, this will not require immense focus on your part (not logically sustainable given no person is operating at peak performance every single minute of the day).

Again, we do not know what is important for you. All we know is that there are several areas where you’re likely interested in improving. For the remaining items we recommend linking up with a person who is more motivated than yourself in that category. Using the most common items “money and fitness” if your goal is money, then you’ll need to find someone who is in better shape than you to hit the gym.

We strongly recommend working in more “team” oriented areas for tier 2-4 priorities. Why? Well if it’s not the most important item to you then it is likely the most important item to someone in the group you decide to be a part of. This makes your progress significantly faster than before.

Finally, once you’re done with your activities for the day you can flip to researching the answer to your question when you’re wrapping up the day. You’ll find yourself getting distracted (more likely than not) and this is normal. The positive side is through the extremely easy task of researching a solution you’ll find at least one answer and apply that the next day.

Massive Pitfalls to Avoid

We have a laundry list and instead will focus on bullets to get the point across quicker

1) Telling people your #1 priority. This will cause nothing but problems for your progress. Psychologically, telling someone you will do something sends signals to your brain that you’ve actually done something to make progress (not the case!). Do not confuse marketing with “telling people”it is not the same because when you market you’re already done creating a specific product (or practically near done).

2) If you need to tell people… you don’t really want it. This is another good way to see if you’re actually interested in doing it. Material goods are another great example of this. If you actually want to do something and are not doing it just to create attention, then you’re not going to be interested in voicing your priority to the masses.

3) Creating games instead of habits. You’re better off changing your long term habits than making crazy games such as “for 10 days i will do X”. This will just send a quick dopamine rush when you do something for 10 days and complete the task. Instead by creating a habit you won’t have to make up any sort of short term time frame.

4) Constant obsession with priority #1. It’s not physically possible to be at peak performance for the human body at all times (otherwise world records would break daily). Therefore the check in process shouldn’t lead to constant thinking in the future. Once you’ve put in the high quality hours and minutes into the priority, set it aside and move on.

5) Negative Thought Spiral. When getting into the zone you’re not allowed to frame anything as a negative. This is why visualization of a past success is extremely important. Once you think about how much you want to improve on item X then you immediately shift gears into a previous success. If you’re thinking about “what could go wrong” you’ll waste valuable brain cells on worrying (this usually leads to thinking about other items unrelated to your project – negative thinking).

Concluding Remarks: Overall, if we continue to follow these steps to check in on a daily basis into the most important item on the list… we’ll subsequently improve on the other items. Generally, when your primary item is improving by leaps and bounds, the rest of the items tend to fall into place because your confidence goes up (able to do most important item, will be possible to do the second most).

As Usual Absolutely No Questions

Comments

  1. YM says

    Great post. For those still working for someone else (me included), this is why getting up at 4-5am is key. You get 1-2 hours of quiet time to work on priority one AND hit the gym before going to your job (not priority 1).

    On meditation, for those that aren’t spiritual I would recommend “The Relaxation Response” by Herbert Benson a Professor at Harvard – quick Google you’ll find it.

    And:

    “If you’re thinking about “what could go wrong” you’ll waste valuable brain cells on worrying (this usually leads to thinking about other items unrelated to your project – negative thinking).” —->

    I literally just fell into this trap for over a HOUR! In a purely positive state for the first month of 2017, and because of “slow progress”, started thinking about what if this doesn’t work, what if XYZ never works… Obviously ended up in a negative state and needed to remember past success and a vision of where I’m going with confidence in ability to make it no matter what it takes. Also a rational reminder that if progress was fast, everyone would be successful in this vertical.

    Thanks!

    • says

      “… for a team that doesn’t care about anyone in the stands! ”

      This is so f_ckin’ true for any major sports.

      Here in Brazil people literally die for soccer teams, fighting each other before and after (sometimes during the game).

      I can’t understand.

  2. says

    Good stuff. Essentially, just find #1 priority, focus on it intently as your first task and eliminate distractions and negative thoughts.

    On a side note, I never understood why people buy into the paradigm of watching sports. It provides no benefit to the viewer, rather it wastes time to watch it when you could be doing something more productive. Sports is to men as reality TV(ie emotional appeal) is to women. Following sports is living a false sense of happiness through another man’s success. Quite sad.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      It’s one thing to just do something related to your most pressing interest it is a whole different game to actually force yourself into high quality work.

      Most people believe just “doing” something related to what they care about most “counts”. It doesn’t count at all. (Reading is a great example)

      You either check in as if it’s the final chance to succeed every day or you don’t. Those that don’t will always be mediocre and progress at meaningless rates of speed.

      • Anonymous says

        Enough with the hate on sports games. It’s an excuse for people to come together with their loved ones and celebrate together.

    • Deep work summary says

      For me there is an appreciation watching someone who has cultivated their talent to a high level.

      Doesn’t matter to me if it’s a golfer comedian or fine artist.

      This post sums up Deep Work by Cal Newport rather succinctly

  3. says

    Another amazing post, thanks. As an ex sniper, I can tell that focus is the most important thing to hit the target (to achieve the goal). Nothing should be in your mind, but steady breathing and focusing on target. Smallest distraction in your mind, means target won’t get hit.

    Glad you mention sports again. Super Bowl is big in States, I hear, like soccer in Europe. What a waste of time. If you like sport that much you should be doing one, not watching it on TV.

  4. Recent graduate says

    I find that in order for you to start your morning right you should set things up the day before.

    This means exactly as wsp said, clear everything from the desk except for what you really need for the task off – usually no laptop, no internet, just pen and paper. Write down on a scrap piece of paper what you’ll do the next morning, then reread it, then crumble it and write it out again. Then go to sleep (alarm clock already outside the door – no distractions at arms reach before sleep). Wake up only to find that you already know what you have to do and get started.

    Recently, my biggest pitfall is exactly this: “Part of the reason that you’ll fade out of the mania stage or “in the zone stage” is you’ll run into a hurdle you can’t seem to jump.” Sometimes despite my best intentions, I get stuck and I avert back to the reading mode to try to solve the problem but then an hour later I realized that my only free time has passed and not much happened the rest of the day. I’d feel bummed out for wasting a day and just want to give up and negative thoughts pop up left and right.

    The thing that kept me going? Ironically the thing wsp said to try to avoid before actually doing something: telling people what I want to do and accomplish. The difference is that this is after trying my best and failing at doing something. Not the very best strategy but it’s working for now. Definitely the first hurdles are the toughest. Nonetheless, one of the greatest feelings in the world is when you overcome those first few tough hurdles.

    “Most people believe just “doing” something related to what they care about most “counts”. It doesn’t count at all.”

    Exactly what I learned recently: “winning” for your ego vs winning as if your life depends on it is totally different.

  5. says

    Several points:

    * It feels like WSP have stumbled upon the “Cone of Learning” : After 2 weeks we remember 90% of what we do but 10% of what we read. (Look for the inverted grey one with purple header and 3 columns on google, not the rainbow shitty ones)

    * We can still learn great things reading. This posts is very… efficient, and feels like a mix between The Art of Learning and The Power of Habit. The first one has a chapter on how to get in the zone, and more importantly how to do it faster and faster, almost at will. The author, Josh Waitzkin was a Chess World Champion and a Tai Chi World Champion as well. You can see how getting in the zone was crucial in both environments, with long periods of waiting (for the opponent to play or for the next opponent). He highlights the importance of interval training, peak performance – rest, because as WSP has said: we human just can’t perform at our best all the time.

    * Strong +1 for Recent Graduate: preparing the day before helps tremendously. By removing friction you get things done much easily and keep your willpower for the actual task. What may be hard at first then becomes habit and then you win.

  6. Ncsmiatwu says

    In regards to the task as hand, begin/contribute progress towards it *as soon as possible*.
    There will never be a convenient time/ideal set of circumstances around you, so just do it as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

  7. Jacktail says

    Very useful and high quality post again by WSP. My respect for you guys is increasing day by day.
    The advice is highly practical. Main key take away for me is that we cannot and should not rely on our mind alone to get something done. Mind is great in bullshitting and will take us on a fantasy ride and we will find that nothing has been accomplished by end of the day.
    Instead use rules and enforce environment to create favourable zones for highest productivity. As an example, George RR Martin uses a DOS machine to wrote everyday using WordStar 4.0 without modern distractions of auto-correct and spell checkers. There is no internet in that machine, so no distractions
    Thank you very much guys for this hard to find wisdom. Looking forward to your book in this year.

  8. O says

    As usual: Great post!
    I especially agree with “creating long term habits instead of a 10 day dopamine kick. Even though reading doesn’t makes me more efficient per se I read “the essentialism” and have to say that book gave me some great tools for being more efficient. It discusses a lot of the same topics as posted here. But written on 300 pages instead of the WSP ´cut the bullshit approach´.
    Looking forward to the WSP-book.

  9. Phozo says

    I like the way you show reading can be useless. It’s like meditating. The key is to use the mean to an end. Not the opposite. This is why you have so much BS in the Sillicon Valley culture or success: read books; meditate and everything will fall into place…no. Study a book; find what regulates your cortisol levels (doing dishes, boxing, may outweigh sitting in silence in the morning). End of rant.

    • MBPlayboy says

      Definitely on point about books, key factor in properly written notes + actively reviewing the notes and figuring out how to apply most of the stated ideas in the sub-areas of your craft, and then practicing and learning differentiation/further improving on your own.

      Repeat for all books.

      • VC wannabe says

        One of my biggest sticking points right now is figuring out how to capture knowledge without spending hours on end reading.

        Kibook.com has 5-page summaries of popular books but the selection is not very large at this point. Speed-reading is next to useless as well since you barely remember anything.

        Reading PDF’s and copy/pasting important sections into a cloud solution (evernote, onenote, etc.) seems to be the best option right now. You extract all the important sections as fast as possible, and refer back to your notes when they are needed or seem important to review.

    • Invencivel says

      I agree with everything you said, but you have to understand that meditation is not just for relaxation & unwinding. Its effect is actually much more profound.

      It promotes the creation of neural pathways in the prefrontal cortex. In other words; meditation makes you more rational. And the more rational you are, the better decision-maker you are. Since you’re reading this blog, you know that being successful comes down to decision making and effort, so the value of meditation becomes very clear.

      Also, you’ll notice that the majority of successful people meditate (Tim Ferris states in his new book “The Tools of Titans” that 80% of the guests from his podcast engage in some form of mindfulness”), but you will never ever see a regular person that meditates every day. They don’t exist.

      I hope you’ve persuaded yourself to give it another shot. It is one of those things where it’s really hard to feel the benefit of it intuitively. Oh, I forgot to mention that it also increases your intuition. Yeah.

  10. SartorialPundit says

    I also recommend doing all this while fasted. You’ll be more focused on an empty stomach. Plus you don’t have to waste time with having to worry about making breakfast.

    Make a cup of coffee or tea, if you need to, then get to work.

    Nice post by the way

  11. says

    Straight to the point with a lot of insights,as usual.

    3 hours of peak performance.That’s why working for someone else longterm,is counterproductive.You are giving him 3X30X12 hours of your *best* time.

    That’s why the average guy gets excited getting a 5$ per hour raise.He doesn’t understand what he’s giving up.

    Also,if anyone has worked with code,will know that in order to find a misake in your code,you need to sleep it off 😛

    • MBPlayboy says

      Truth on sleeping on your work, I’ve found out that I become very biased towards my work if I review it too much/obsess on it. Just clean up, send for feedbacks if needed (don’t check until the next day), sleep on it, tackle next day with fresh perspective and a list of ideas to improve on.

  12. Richard says

    Step 4 here is the only thing I disagree with. I don’t believe in monk mode type solutions as I believe most people will tend to waste too much time and energy creating a sanitarium to work in instead of actually working.) Limit the major distractions, obviously.)

    The thing that matters most is brainwashing yourself to believe that nothing is as important as the task at hand. It’s very easy to prevent yourself from getting distracted with reading news websites when you have convinced yourself that the news doesn’t matter and/or your current task is much more important.

    I didn’t watch the superbowl yesterday because my TV was turned off. I didn’t watch the superbowl because I truly believe that football is not important.

    The brain has the supreme ability to shut out everything but the important task. Some of us have tapped into this effortlessly at one point or another.

    For example: If you are in the military and you encounter a critical situation of the highest importance you don’t waste time clearing off your desk before you start responding. You don’t turn your phone off and instead just forget that it exists. This takes zero effort as the brain naturally has this capacity built in.

    Now I’m not saying that you have to go crazy every morning acting like a convoy just got hit by an IED.

    All I am saying is that you must use your brain’s natural ability to compartmentalize things in order to focus.

  13. High Quality Questions says

    As always – excellent post.

    Although I agree with the hate on sports, for those of us still employed reading on the sport highlights so you can have conversation with average people/ clients is important.

    When I mentioned I’ve never watched a live football game to my co-workers, the looks of “shock” & “horror” was priceless.

    Lesson learnt – play dumb.

  14. mate says

    In other words, simply structure your day and time slot according to your energy level for different tasks. For most people it’s in the early morning with the minimal distraction. During this period you focus on creating value. Before I start, I ask myself one question: Am I offering MY best possible value to other people? If yes I proceed.

    High productivity + daily practice = create the maximum value times compound effect

  15. MBPlayboy says

    Also recommended -> Binaural Beats while working w/ noise cancelling headphones, at a background volume, shouldn’t create pressure.

    Obviously zero music, the waves, woozy choirs and rainy sounds also get ditched, stick to pure tones.

    • MBPlayboy says

      Beta or Gamma waves preferently, depends on what makes you tick. Theta, delta or alpha are too deep and will leave you sleepy

    • Sir Alfred D. says

      Are there any studies that proof that Binaural Beats improve focus?
      Just curious…

      BTW great article like always WSP.

      I like to prime myself the night before for the #1 priority.

  16. Playing Catch Up says

    Great post as always but I have to say, I think these days this sort of stuff is below WSP. If a person cannot even focus on their primary goals and fails to get important things done, I cannot see them lasting in a career such as investment banking or making a lot of money.

    While the advice is 100% on point and excellent advice, arguably on par with Power of Habit, I think this is like being a manager for a top tier soccer club (lets go with FC Barcelona) and showing a pro soccer player how to properly the kick the ball when trying to score a goal. You’re a pro soccer player, you should know how to properly kick the ball just like anyone who has been reading this site and taking it seriously should know how to maintain focus and get important things done.

    I hope that we get the opportunity to see more “big picture” posts in the life category such as where a guy should be in life at the age of 25 versus the age of 30. How to properly approach making big lifetime decisions and what to do in today’s age.

    My favorite posts on this blog that stick to me even years after reading them are those about finding your skill where you say a person does not have much time, careers worth going into, and the life (losers vs winners version).

    Regardless of all that, I guess this post was needed because so much of advice out there on maintaining focus is off.

    • Pork N' Beans says

      Sometimes its the little things that can make the biggest difference. Manager of a “soccer” team shouldn’t have to teach a pro how to kick, but sometimes after watching large amounts of film review can pinpoint something small like the way the player picks up his foot, that if adjusted, will give him a major edge.

  17. V says

    WSP talk about sales being the most transferable skill, but almost definitely being able to focus is. Focus transfers to learning sales, gymming harder etc. unfortunately sales doesn’t transfer to learning focus 😉

    Essential reading for everyone, people in our world, including myself currently, are mediocre and don’t understand how distractions weaken us. One of the most successful people I know has a brick phone and the only distraction on it is Snake.

    I would also suggest, this focus will lead to happiness as it is being in the moment. This in turn will be used on other aspects of one’s life, gym, spending time with loved ones, relaxing etc. This singular focus brings about a certain peace and confidence that can’t be gained elsewhere.

  18. YM says

    “Priority Task” does not have to be busy work like launching an ad campaign, or creating 15 ads of the same type. Although I think it definitely can be in the early days.

    Better off is reviewing data or a problem and spending 1-2 hours problem solving and determining where the improvement points are developing a very educated hypothesis on how to improve and launching it, and reevaluating.

    All of the “busy” work can be outsourced eventually. Not all ppl can analyze data and solve problems. Or they will analyze data and then just look to message boards to solve their problems – not self reliant.

  19. Mike says

    Another fantastic post. I do have mixed opinions on the no reading rule, however, which stems from different perspectives. The first part which I do agree with is that reading has a lure where it makes the individual “feel” as if they are progressing or accomplishing goals when in fact they are not. I am not a betting man, but I would place the odds at 8/10 that a person who wakes up at 5 a.m. and then reads still under the covers would fall asleep within 15 minutes. He would still feel accomplished because in that short time span he had read three chapters, but what has he accomplished? Nothing. Compare this to a person who gets up and follows the procedures listed above and instead of reading he is studying (not memorizing). Taking notes, identifying key parts, cross-examing, summarizing and find connections. As someone who loves military tactics, this is where the difference is clearly apparent. Too often classmates read & memorize various maneuvers, but their understanding is shallow. For example, they can quote how the Roman Empire lost against Hannibal by a pincer move but have no idea why.

    The goal should not be “I will read x amount of books this month, or “read that the Roman army lost against the pincer move.” But, more importantly, will understand that Hannibal saw a weakness and manipulated the battle by controlling the space with a mixture of environment and units to squeeze the Roman army to a point where they were unable to even swings their swords.

    In short, I look at reading through two lenses. One in which you read to meet a page or book count or read to study and understand.

    Once again great post and I look forward to “reading” the upcoming book.

  20. A says

    Great post. Apologize in advance for the question but I think it’s both original and practical.

    I picked up a long term illness during last year of high school that I have had for over a year. I still got in to economics at a target school in my country (England) and working finance internship during year out recovering. However, I might not ever recover physically to the point where investment banking would be an option. Can currently only focus for about 20 hours of work/week. I also interview terribly as I look and sound constantly fatigued. (already cost me oxford offer..)

    What’s the best strategy for financial independence if you are not physically capable of competing in IB? I am thinking of switching my degree to compsci and leveraging tech skills into a career/ potential entrepeneurship. Also please advise whether a compsci degree is translatable into FO IB if I do recover soon.

    Ty

  21. Dutch guy says

    Yes, this is it. Thank you WSP. To people who have trouble relaxing/meditating after an intense session: you use this method als for relaxing. Just imagine or remember a situation in which you were extemely relaxed. Repeat and and remember mental state. 5 minutes and you are relaxed as hell. You can combine it with relaxation response. Again, thanks for sharing. You could be monetizing this stuff by the way.

  22. Anon1 says

    It was a good game. I watched it after the fact.

    I think the odds for patriots winning when they were 21-0 down in the second quarter were something ridiculous.

    Obviously not a smart bet as not really guessable.

    Article was good, looking forward to your efficiency book. And with the exception of that I agree on the not reading thing. Delays action and learning from practical steps.

  23. says

    Keep these style of posts coming and that book will be completed in no time. Fucking love this.

    I once heard “if you can stay focused on one single thing for five years, you would be in the top 1% for that skill” i’d say he was right.

    Goddamn that’s hard to do though, struggling to stay focused for even one year. Appreciate all you guys do and write.

  24. says

    Great stuff here. I’ve applied a similar approach but more towards smaller tasks, i.e. the most important thing I need to get done at work that day. I’ve found that if I don’t jump into it immediately, I have a heard time motivating myself to start on it later in the day. Realizing this has really increased my productivity and allowed me to accomplish a lot more that I would normally put off.

  25. Hustler says

    Thanks for this actionable piece of advice.

    I have applied your “Getting into the zone” tutorial during the last 7 days and it made my productivity raise significantly.

    It has always wondered me what happens with those hours I spend “working”, but now I have fully realized that: try-hard work =/= productive work.

    What I still struggle with, is to find a stable long term sleep strategy. I have tried to apply your no-longer-than-6-hours sleeping advice (trying to be consistent with the wake up times) but it seems that after a couple of days I become far to distracted and my will power lowers visibly as well. After that I need to put a couple days with ~8h of sleep to recover and the whole cycle repeats.

    I am wondering how the other readers that consistently put 12-16h of work a day have dealt with it.

    • Recent graduate says

      Test it out – write a sleep log and how you feel vs number of hours of sleep. WSP will tell you this aint CNN news just do it, don’t talk about it.

      Personally I tried waking up at 5 am everyday for 2 weeks but every time about after 1 hr of waking up i feel super drowsy and sometimes sleep for 2 more hours and then wake up groggy. So nowadays I just sleep 7 hours and learn to work more efficiently with the time constraint. But the number of hour of sleep depends on your body and probably your lifestyle and diet but who knows. All you gotta do is test it out until you find your sweet spot.

  26. says

    When I read step 3 I wonder if I should continue reading this. .but it’s really true and I learned it the hard way…reading or doing the wrong things will only get us side track from hitting our goals.

  27. ReasonFromFirstPrinciples says

    24 years old. Own internet business.

    Your 20s are an exhilarating time to be alive. The *rate* of mental GROWTH is so exciting. The world starts opening up to you and you realize that you can use your power to think (at increasingly higher levels) to produce solutions to problems. You realize that your brain is a Formula 1 Race Car and the “teachers” you have had in your life were driving Toyota Camry’s. You realize that the speed limits others adhere to (because of the limited belief system and awareness they operate from) don’t exist. It hits you that there is literally NO LIMIT to how far you can go.

    Why stop at a few million? Why not 10MM? 100MM? Billions? Improbable *but* possible. The money is merely a scorecard. A *challenge* to see how far you can push yourself. Work turns into *fun*. A video game.

    You want more women? Use your power to think. Set up a “funnel”. Use the power of “modern dating apps” + “affiliates” + “the principles of influence” + money to create a “machine” that can churn out beautiful women at will. Since *you* are a legitimate product, all that matters is making the prospect “convert” (Thank You Zig).

    You realize that through critical thought, logic and truth you can control your emotions. This only empowers you to succeed faster as others (again operating from their limited and absolutist beliefs systems) cannot shake you emotionally with *their* problems.

    What wonderful things to realize. To wake up every morning and realize that you can grow *faster* “today” than “yesterday”. To know that there is ALWAYS more that can be learned. To realize that you *can* keep learning and growing. That it is all *your* choice. (Note: Thank you WallStPlayboys for accelerating my thinking via this blog. I am very grateful.).

    But.

    Then you injure your right foot (a week ago). You get on crutches. You start looking around (at your parents/grandparents) and you are reminded that just as you are in the *process* of discovering a life of infinite abundance the game one day will end. That no human *to date* has been able to escape death. You ask yourself why? The answer that comes to your mind is one that is based in the limited beliefs you were taught as a child – “because it is the way it is”. You reject this answer. There must be *some way* (if you can reman flexible in your methods) to get there. You then understand why some of the worlds richest self-made people (read: highest level thinkers) are pouring money into this type of research. You then realize that in addition to your own *enjoyment* the money *your mind* can produce can be used to solve this *seemingly* unsolvable problem (read: new possible hobby outside of money?). That while it is improbable there is no explicit law of the universe that says it cannot be done.

    It enthralls you. It is the ultimate challenge. The one no-one (*you* are aware of) *to date* has “solved”.

    Just like that “impossible” question you asked yourself so many years ago (Why can’t I be rich?), You ask yourself another one – Why do I have to die?

  28. Reformed says

    Another amazing post, guys. And as always with you, it’s 100% actionable advice.

    I just wanted to use this opportunity to thank you for the tremendous improvements in my life that are due to your materials. When I first started reading you about 1.5 years ago, I couldn’t even muster up enough mental strengh and self-discipline to take care even of my physical well-being, like getting in shape and eating right.

    Since then, I have improved my physique, got into a target school and secured a well-paying job, not to mention I expanded my knowledge in several areas significantly and found several new interests that I didn’t even think of before.

    Thanks again, this blog is gold.
    Just wanted to let you know that your effort is appreciated! 🙂

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