When you picture an internet marketer, what do you imagine their day to be like?
Some gurus will paint a picture of a guy working a few hours a week from his laptop on a beach in Thailand. On the other hand, if you follow the updates or tweets of some guys, 4am bedtimes and 18 hour work days seem typical.
I went full-time in this business around late 2008. Very busy time period and working long hours, 7 days a week was the norm. I didn’t understand productivity or outsourcing – the only way for me to get more work done was to put in more hours, at the expense of my health and sanity.
When I started traveling Asia 2 years ago, I was living the 4 hour work week lifestyle for a few months. I had some crazy ROI placements and just spent my time traveling and partying. I had to tone that down because it’s hard to stay competitive working that little, and part of my happiness does come from work.
Anyways what we have now is what a day in my life is like. Keep in mind that it constantly changes according to what my goals and priorities are for the year. Right now I enjoy work and going to the gym. When I’m traveling it looks different. Once I start having a girlfriend or kids it’ll be different. Instead of looking at this as a template to follow, just see if there are elements you wanna add into your day.
7am – 8:30am Morning Routine
- Roll around my bed for 5 mins asking why I wake up so early
- Drink 12oz Water
- Hygiene (Shower, Brush Teeth)
- Breakfast (Scrambled eggs, microwaved oatmeal)
- Walk Dog
- Meditate (15 mins)
- Make tea or coffee
- Light some incense for my ancestors
- Look over schedule / tasks for the day
I don’t wake up and immediately start working. A strong morning routine gives me direction and energy for the rest of the day.
I try to avoid social media or checking my emails as soon as I wake up. We all know once you check your Facebook, you have to check 10 other things. Next thing you know that’s an hour gone.
8:30am – 2pm Work Power Hours
Your willpower and strongest after you wake up. Spend that time working on your most important tasks.
2pm – 2:30pm Power Nap
I take a power nap everyday at 2pm for 25 minutes
2:30pm – 6pm Work
6pm- 8pm Gym
I workout 4 – 5 times a week. Actual training takes around an hour depending on my routine. I add in an another hour to account for driving back and forth, taking protein shakes, showering, dinner, and laying around in bed exhausted.
If it’s a rest day, I’ll spend those 2 hours working or add it to my leisure time.
Lets do some math: 5 days a week, 2 hours a day is around 10 hours a week I’m spending in the gym. That’s 10 hours a week I could be spending doing more work right? Not really. I’m a better worker because of exercise. Some of the benefits I get include socializing, becoming sexier, stress relief, setting goals outside of work, more gray matter in my brain, etc.
Don’t say you don’t have time. 3 times a week, 30 minutes at home. Do some pushups, situps, burpees, get a pull-up bar, go jogging, etc.
8pm – 10pm Leisure Time
My mom always told me no video games or TV until my work is done. Same rules here guys.
Work comes first, then dates, friends, video games, TV, etc.
I do another hour and half of work before sleep. I need to do this mainly because that’s when me and my virtual assistants are both awake. I use this time to assign them tasks and check over my campaigns before I head to bed.
11:30pm-12am – Evening Routine
- Clear my work area
- Plan my day tomorrow
- Brush teeth
I pretty much work 7 days a week. However my weekends are flexible. If there’s not a lot of work to do then I’ll just take the day off.
Sundays is where I’ll focus more on personal things like errands and grocery shopping.
Principles of an Efficient Day
Sharpening My Mind
I think of my brain like an axe.
A dull axe could take 10 hours to cut down a tree. That same axe could cut down the tree in 4 hours, if you spent an hour sharpening it. 10 hours vs 5 hours to do the same amount of work, but the different is the sharpening.
What sharpens my brain? Planning my day, meditating, getting enough sleep, exercise, having a distraction-free work environment, reading, routines, eating a healthy diet, etc.
I feel 2 of my hours with a sharpened brain is equivalent to 6 hours of of working when I’m dull. I’ve gone days before with 4 hours of sleep and I’m like a zombie. I don’t want to make big decisions when my mind’s not at its best. Shitty decisions can cost me thousands.
Learn how the brain works with Brain Rules
Wake Up Early
I wake up at 7am every morning even though I don’t have to. Lets say you wake up at 12pm everyday. Most people in the industry go home at 5pm so that only gives you a 5 hour window. Waking up at 7am gives me a 10 hour window to work with them.
I use to go to bed around 2-3am every night. I realize from 12-3am I’m just wasting time. Instead I rather wake up early, and have more productive morning hours than more wasteful late nights.
Eliminating Low Value Activities
I use to spend a lot of time on Reddit and forums. It didn’t feel like much time because in my mind they were just 10 minute breaks here and there. It wasn’t until I actually started tracking it that I realized I was spending around 3 hours a day on average. I started thinking about the benefits of that time, and I realize it wasn’t worth it. I decided to just block time-wasting websites from my life rather than trying to moderate it.
If you cut out a low value activity that takes 2 hours a day, that equals 30 days a year.
Dealing with Routine
Some people can’t handle such a fixed schedule or routine life, but I love it. The more routine my life is, the more things get done.
Sometimes I do get burned out. When that happens I buy a plane ticket and go travel for a few weeks to reset myself. Know when you’re burning out and do something about it.
A pattern I see is some guys want to make drastic changes to their lives. It doesn’t work that way. My goal is always to make lasting changes and hardwire habits. If you’re surfing Facebook 3 hours a day, then focus on only spend 2 hours a day there instead of completely deleting your account.
Tiny, consistent actions snowballs into big results.
Keeping It Real
We all have 24 hours in a day. How we choose to spend it determines what we achieve.
When I was coming up in the game, I spent my weekends at home working. While other guys were going out clubbing, playing Halo, or watching sports, I was working on my dream of of becoming a full-time internet marketer.
We make multiple choices everyday and often times you’re having an inner battle. Should you do what gives you instant gratification, or should you work on something that won’t have a payoff for a long time? Most people think like a fucking fish and can’t see past tomorrow. I was dealing with this earlier today. This article took me hours to write, time I could’ve spent playing DOTA 2 or watching Netflix. But I know which one’s going to help me more in the long run.
What powers me is I want to live a life without regrets. I don’t wanna be an old Asian man one day and feel like shit because I didn’t live life to the fullest. I am my own boss because I put the time in. I can travel whenever because I put the time in. Accomplishing goals means I have to put the time and work in that most won’t.
Realize time and energy are our currencies, and how you choose to spend it determines your destiny. Everyday you’re either getting close to your goals, or getting further away.
This guest post is brought to you by The Blog of Charles Ngo