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Time Management Hacks From Tim Ferriss

by Tom Jones on February 21, 2013

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“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” That Mark Twain quote is one of Tim Ferriss‘ favorite maxims. And one that’s certainly motivated him to go against the grain of popular thinking time and time again.

  • The majority of people do not speak six languages. Ferriss does
  • The majority will never win a Chinese Kickboxing Championship. Ferriss did
  • The majority will never write a book. Three Ferris books landed him on bestseller lists.
  • The majority will never appear on a broadcast television show or earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Ferris and his dance partner earned their spot for most tango spins and did so Live with Regis and Kelly — yes, live.

The sad fact is… the majority will never achieve even a few of their dreams.

Why not? If you ask Tim Ferris, he’ll probably say it’s because they haven’t yet dared to figure out how to buck tradition, forget about what the majority thinks or tells them to do, and adopt a new way to transform their dreams into the small, selective, sequenced, high stakes, but malleable building blocks that he models through his lifestyle design teachings in his series of “4-Hour” books and his blog.

Deconstruction, selection, sequence, stakes — whether pursuing a business goal, a personal achievement or filling a financial need — these are Ferris’ time management hacks for slicing, dicing, prioritizing, and cooking up whatever just dessert you want to add to your plate of accomplishments.

Whether Tim Ferris sets his sights on learning a new skill, a new language, a new sport or achieving a new business goal, it’s his time management hacks and the way he carves up a problem with razor-like precision and whittles time and space and the problem down to only 20% of their original sizes that makes his methods so achievable and so effective for others to emulate.

Hack Like Ferriss

Ranked at the seventh most powerful online personality in 2012 by Newsweek and their Digital Power Index 100, Timothy Ferris and his time-goal-continuum have helped many creative problem-solvers finally deconstruct and surmount the obstacles that formerly kept them from achieving their lofty goals.

One group that has embraced Ferris’ profitable learning and time management hack system spends most of their time hanging out on Google and YouTube.

While most affiliate marketers still struggle to make their blogs appear in Google search results after being decimated by Panda and Penguin updates, a few Ferris-following video marketers are finding a profitable niche in slicing, dicing, and focusing all their efforts with that 20/20/80% model in mind.

Following Google Trends each day, they pick one trend that looks marketable. They then search the named trend’s keywords with the free Google Keyword Tool for Adwords to verify how many people typically search for that term.

But instead of creating a video for the main keyword term and competing with the masses to get on page one of YouTube and Google, they search for the next highest keyword that has a recognizable consumer market — a market known to buy products online, not one that just “wants information” or freebies. They search for the trend’s related consumer market that can be clearly defined through quick demographic research easily found online.

Google Real Time Insights

If the trend for the day is a story on a sports figure, they know their audience will usually be focused on young, athletic, single or divorced men, but they check that guess with hard data just to be sure.

Then they ask, what are those guys interested in? What kinds of products are they known to buy online? Working out, fitness, health, and dating websites are their usual haunts with buying habits perfect for their goals.

They then find a highly desired product that can generate a reasonable commission and subtly monetize the description beneath the video with an affiliate link to the product.

The video they make, which might only be a series of a few slides with an appropriate audio track for their targeted audience, highlights the sports figure or story of the day, with the affiliate product link appearing first in the description above a nice article related to the day’s trend.

After they upload the video to their site, to YouTube or both, they’ll find 10 blogs or forums where their targeted demographic market hangs out. They’ll then make meaningful, interesting, helpful comments, reference the sports figure trend of the day, and add the link to the video within the comment. The link could lead an interested reader to the marketer’s site where he’s embedded the video or directly to YouTube where he also uploaded it. He then repeats the process for each of his ten targeted blogs for those demographics.

And after getting the hang of it, they do all that within an hour, confirming Ferris’ time management hack theories and his 20/20/80% rule. With so few competitors directly vying for page one with their specific, highly focused keywords, they’re apt to reach their goal with little trouble.

Ultimately, many of these trend-hackers are reaping the rewards when hundreds of thousands of eyes start to fall on their videos, click their affiliate links, and earn them a commission for their troubles.

By thinking outside the box, by looking at trends, by choosing the “trend-market” that delivers hundreds of thousands of eyes to them daily, by breaking both their market and video tasks down into bite-sized pieces, by choosing to focus on what others don’t focus on, these video marketers are finding that Tim Ferris’ influence in their thinking is helping them succeed online.

And they’re succeeding where others are typically failing by still trying to directly compete with the masses. Still listening to the majority. Still following the herd mentality.

Think Like Ferriss

Ferris thinking follows herds, but then segments them and focuses attention to the fringes with the most profitable possibilities. Focusing on the twenty percent of the audience that deliver 80% of the desired results. On twenty percent of the tactics that deliver 80% of the desired results.

That’s how savvy, successful video marketers are beating the odds online — with Ferris’ deconstructive, selective, sequenced methods with built-in high stakes. Succeed and profit; fail and perish.

Recently, Ferris-following video marketers have been selling their own how-to products online through internet marketing platforms like the Warrior Forum. But what they’re really doing is selling their own story of how they successfully modeled and adapted Tim Ferris’ time management hacks for their own profitable purposes.

How do you put Ferris-Hacks to work for you and your company? Whether attempting to better manage your team’s time, better train yourself in marketable skills you currently don’t have or to conquer an old habit that you’ve vowed to vanquish, here’s some Ferris-Hacks to get you started:

1. Deconstruct your goal into basic building blocks that make up the whole of want you want to learn, accomplish, achieve, best or conquer.

2. Use Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20/20 rule, to choose the most crucial building blocks and most important tactics that comprise 20% of your subject or target that will complete 80% of your entire goal.

3. Next, sequence your tasks for maximum effect, focusing on hard data to support your choices and to track your progress at specific points along your way.

4. And finally, set up stakes with both positive and adverse consequences that ensure you either complete, achieve, reach or win your targeted goal or suffer harsh consequence, like having to donate to a cause you hate or something equally detestable that rewards something opposite from your goal.

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Tom Jones is the editor for make-a-web-site.com, a resource source for people wanting to make their first website. Visit their site for more helpful website building tips.

Tom has written 1 articles at iBlogzone.com

1 Dragos February 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Very refreshing article Tom! Thanks for sharing! I feel a lot more motivated to review my schedual now, do things my way and not what others expect me to do and why not take a little risk from time to time- it will probably make things more dynamic.

2

Tom

February 22, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Thanks Dragos,

I have always been a massive fan of Ferriss ever since I read the four hour work week.

Glad you feel motivated.

3 anil bhogia February 23, 2013 at 11:12 am

Thanks for sharing! I feel a lot more motivated to review my schedual now so the thanks alot.

4 Becca February 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Sometimes we need to hear things like this to motivate us. I really believe that having a good understanding of what you do can help achieve your goal.

5 Sarah Park February 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Very inspiring article. Thank you for keeping me motivated. I really need posts like this to keep me inspired.

6 Denaj February 25, 2013 at 12:49 am

I don’t think we realize it, but folks like Ferriss have are revolutionizing the learning process. I apply his methods to EVERYTHING I want to learn. No he is isn’t an expert, but he get results and that’s all people care about.

7 Organized February 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

This method seems so simple to follow that one is compelled to start using it rightaway, but if you are not trained in all the necessary skills you must have to make it happen, the process is not easy at all.

Anyway, online marketing is not for fainthearted people…

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