How To Get Things Done – Productivity Tips Part #1

Hello guys,

I received a request for an article from a member of my Trading Course Brian. He was curious about how I manage my time and tasks and how I get things done.

Quite an unusual request and to be honest I hesitated a bit whether to do it or no. You see, I don’t have a qualification in this field, I am only a guy who tries his best to get things done. But still, I pay a lot of attention to things like time management, being effective, work/life balance etc… In the end, why not to share some of the tricks I implemented…

I am not going to lecture you on what you should do or how you should manage your life. There are other “gurus” who do that. I am simply going to give you tips that I use and that work for me. 

I would also like to ask you to share your tips in the comments below. I am always eager to try new things. And I am pretty sure everybody who reads this has at least one trick he can share with others.

Here are my tricks, in no particular order:

Tip #1: Time Investing

I wish I invented this term. I didn’t though 🙁 I think I picked this from some TedTalk…

The main idea is to invest some time now to automate some routine tasks. Then you will never need to do them again and save time in the future.

Example: Each month you pay bills, phone, internet… stuff like that. This can be automated, you just need to set it up. It may take for example an hour to do, but once you have it, you won’t need to care about it anymore.

Let’s do some simple math: Some task takes 10 Minutes each month. Automating this takes 1 hour. After 6 Months you will be “Break Even” in our terms :). Then the time invested will start to pay off. Each month you will have extra 10 minutes.

Now, 10 minutes may not seem too much, but it adds up. Especially when you come up with more tasks you can automate.

My advice is to come up with as many things you can automate as possible. Even if making them automatic seems problematic or it takes long – do it.

Example 2: I always wanted to give people the best support regarding trading. As you can imagine this is super time consuming. I came to realize that I need some help. So, I “invested” my time into training a support that you can now chat with on my website. And also a tech support that is available for every member of my Elite Pack course to install the platform, set up data, workspaces, indicators,… simply to help with the technical stuff.

This took some time at first, but now all is automated. You guys have a great support (at least I think it’s great:)) and I managed to save a couple of hours per day.

Tip #2: Do The Important Stuff First

I always start my day doing tasks that require the “full brain power” – like full focus, creativity,…

For me, those tasks are trade analysis, trading and investing decisions, trade planning,… Simply, most of the trading-related stuff. But also working on some new ideas, projects,… Simply things where you need your brain the most.

A human brain is only able to do a certain number of decisions and then the power goes down.

Those can be a really small decisions that drain your brain power. For example scrolling through Facebook. When you do this, then your brain makes many small decisions like – Do I read this post? Do I look at this photo? Do I like this?… As you scroll down the Facebook page your brain makes many small and quick decisions like this. You may not realize it, but you are slowly wasting your brain power…

So, one of the worst things I think you can do in the morning (when your brain power is full and strongest) is to waste it’s potential on tasks like scrolling through Facebook posts.

To get the most of your brain and you daily energy you need to do the big and important stuff first.

This brings me to tip #3:

Tip #3: You First, Others Next

This tip sort of expands the previous one. The main idea is that you should first do the tasks that are important to you and that move you forward.

Everybody gets emails and requests from other people each day and I am not saying not to help them. But start with yourself first.

First, do what you want and what you need and only then help others. If it was the other way around you would only be doing requests from other people and you wouldn’t manage anything that you wanted.

Example: Don’t start your day opening your email and answering all the messages. This way you will only focus on other people’s problems, on their requests…. Then you will find yourself spent, drained and mad at yourself that you haven’t accomplish anything you wanted.

I do this also at home. Still, I don’t think anybody from my family can say I neglect them in any way. They know that I simply focus on my work and on my stuff first and when I am done, I am happy to help with anything they need.

Is this selfish? I don’t know, you guys tell me 🙂 I am just saying how I do it and what helps me get things done.

Tip #4: Block Noise

Do you know what I listen the most on YouTube when I work? My favorite “song” that I can listen for 5 hours straight?

It’s called “Studying White Noise” 🙂 Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLOM8R6lbzg

I play this in my headphones and it nicely blocks all the noise from around. I also feel it helps me to focus better.

Funny thing is that you can play it pretty loud and still, you won’t really notice it after some time.

Give it a go and let me know 🙂

Tip #5: Make 5-10% Of the “Pub” Ideas Come To Life

I heard so many successful people, who build fantastic companies say this: ” It all started when me and couple of my friends were at a pub, having a couple of beers, when we got this idea of…”

Have you noticed that when you have those “beer talks” at a pub with your friends, that you come up with a lot of bold, new and original ideas? And that when you wake up the next day you just dismiss them quickly? Because it’s “nonsense, too bold, too original, too crazy,…”?

You know what? In most cases that’s probably right. BUT in my opinion there is a lot of wasted ideas and opportunities!

I suggest you set a rule for yourself, that you will follow through at least 5-10% of those “pub discussion ideas”. Give them some thought the next day. Realize them! They are not all bad! Some of them are probably pretty cool!

“Pub ideas” are great because you are with friends, you feel good, you think openly and you look at things from a different angle. Don’t waste all that comes out of it.

Those don’t need to be just the “new business” ideas. It could be for example some crazy trip,… anything!

For example: A “pub idea” I had was to take my parents to Africa for a month. To ride elephants, to see lions in the wild,… pretty crazy stuff for older people. Btw. I got this idea when my friend was having a bachelor party. The next day I woke up (yes, with a headache) and I was not so sure this was such a good idea as it seemed the night before. But I followed the rule. I called my parents and to my big surprise they said yes. In the end they loved the “vacation in the wild” even though it was quite beyond their comfort zone.

“Pub ideas” are great, give them a chance. At least 5-10% of them!

I would love if you guys shared some “pub ideas” that you didn’t dismiss and that you followed through!

Wow, this post turned out to be longer than I expected. Still, there is more stuff I wanted to mention. Do you guys want it? A second part? Let me know!

And please share your own tips, thoughts, pub ideas… I am really interested what you’ve got!

Have GREAT weekend,

-Dale

10 Comments

  1. Iqbal

    “You First, Others Next” might sound selfish but it is not. Recall that stewardess always tells passengers to put on the oxygen mask on yourself first, before you try helping others with their masks. You can help and serve others better when you are in a good condition then when you are in a bad condition.

  2. ahmed abouelela

    the trading by volume profile was a ” pub idea ” .
    and it was the best pub idea in my life ! .
    “I always start my day doing tasks that require the “full brain power”” I think it’s impossible for me to use Full brain power , because i begin my day with full time job . after that in night i do my trading analysis .

    Thanks Dale , I’m waiting the 2nd part !

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