Sometimes, I feel like I’m a self-help guru.

I mean, I know everything there is to know about self-help. Don’t believe me? Here is a pretty thorough list of things that are taught in 80% of self-help books. Note: This list has contradictions in it. This is because there are many opinions in the field of self-help and productivity.

  • Have a "morning routine"
    • make your bed first thing in the morning
      • #QuickWin, #InstantGratification, #start-your-day-on-the-right-foot
    • avoid coffee and alcohol.
      • These substances generate dopamine in your brain, which breaks your craving for more natural ways (like exercise and meditation) of getting that dopamine hit.
    • don’t watch your phone first thing when you wake up. In fact, start your day in airplane mode.
    • do something with your body to get some blood in your brain and get some oxygen
    • take a cold shower (Iceman, we all know you by now)
  • Meditate
    • Practice mindfulness meditation
    • Visualize your day. Visualize how you’re going to tackle your most significant task.
  • Move your body
    • Take a walk
    • Practice a sport. Jogging, bike, whatevs.
  • Start working
    • Ideally, you’re still in your “power hour” by now, which is the first hour of your day, while your brain is at its freshest state.
    • To determine the task to do, use the Heizenhower matrix
    • Break your tasks into smaller, more easily manageable sub-tasks
    • Find your one task that absolutely needs to get done today. Your most significant one. This is the “frog” that you’ll eat.
    • Use the Pomodoro technique to get going with your small sub-tasks.
  • Eat a good, healthy meal
  • Go to the cafe to focus
    • Your brain is antifragile to ambient noise as it helps your focus. But don’t drink coffee there!
    • Instead of coffee, take a cup of white tea. It’s good for your health. :-)
  • Practice Deep work
    • Emails
      • Use the inbox zero philosophy
      • Open your mailbox only one or two times per day.
    • Avoid social networks as much as possible
  • Manage your time
    • Use a calendar app, like Google Calendar
    • Use a todo list app, like Todoist
  • Manage your physical space
    • Read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and tidy up your space
      • Only have useful things or things that bring you joy, in your surrounding, at all times.
      • Throw away pretty much everything else.
  • Sleep well and sleep enough
    • Have a bedtime routine
      • Go to bed at regular hours every night
      • Avoid screens 1-2 hours before bedtime
      • don’t drink too much
  • Create your mission/vision statement
    • Start with your why
  • Set goals
    • “If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail”
    • Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
  • Don’t set goals
    • “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” -- Mike Tyson
    • Instead, have a system
    • A “system” is a context and a series of habits that you will follow that will lead you towards your vision
  • Tell everyone about your goals, to create social pressure that will force you to reach your goals
  • Tell yourself positive things every morning in the mirror. Your subconscious will conform to those words.
    • Avoid negative statements like “I don’t like fast food”, but instead, tell yourself “I eat healthy foods” (see Unlimited Power for more details)
  • Think like the stoïc philosophers
  • Harness the power of compound interest
    • Learn every day
    • Pay yourself first by investing a bit every time you earn money
    • Automate the money from your paycheck to your investment account, so you don’t have to take the decision of saving/investing
    • Invest in yourself by reading at least 1h every day. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, all credit their success to reading. What you'll learn will compound by making you more productive, and/or by making links to other things you'll learn in order to make your creativity more fruitful.
  • Reduce useless thinking
    • By dressing the same way every day (like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg)
    • By hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to handle your emails and do some other mundane tasks
  • Time is money, so set your personal hourly rate and respect it
    • If some task could be done as efficiently by someone else (like a VA) at a lower hourly cost than yours, then delegate it

Now, you could read books, but in the end, it’s only a matter of being convinced about the truth of these advice. This is why people like me read books anyway, and they become super enthusiast about them because it makes them understand why those advice work. And when you encounter the same advice over and over, you tend to believe them because there seems to be a consensus in the self-help community, if you will.

Conclusion

You then attain objective truth and get meaning out of life.

And you win at everything.

You're welcome.