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168 Hours: What I’ve Learned Tracking Every 15 Minutes of My Week

For the past two weeks I’ve been tracking every 15 minute interval of my life. I’ve borrowed this time-tracking practice from Laura Vanderkam, who writes helpful books including 168 Hours, which outlines the practice in a lot of detail.

One of Laura’s principles is that “you have more time than you think.” Through her research, she’s found that most people who claim to work more than 50 hours a week tend to over report their work hours, sometimes dramatically so. In other words, a lot of the time they think they’re working, they’re not. It’s not just that their priorities are out of order; they also waste a lot of time.

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What Is Your Personal Moonshot?

A moonshot, according to the ubiquitous WikiPedia, is a "is an ambitious, exploratory and ground-breaking project undertaken without any expectation of near-term profitability or benefit and also, perhaps, without a full investigation of potential risks and benefits.”

For a long time my moonshot was going to every country in the world. Then I accomplished that goal (without ever getting to the actual moon—it's not a country, after all) and had to figure out what came next...

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I’d Like to Hear Your Stories About Failure

In many of the talks I’ve done, I’ve noticed that one topic comes up over and over: failure.

What’s your biggest failure?

Are you afraid to fail?

How are people able to recover from failure?

Even though I have a daily podcast that tells success stories, I believe we can also learn a lot from failure. And here's the thing: I don’t know if the learning objective is always to “bounce back.” Some failures may be, well, permanent.

In any case, I’d like to hear from you. Maybe your failure story will help someone else avoid a similar mishap, or maybe the act of naming it will help you move on.

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Where Do Side Hustle School Stories Come From?

Every day on Side Hustle School, I tell a different true story of someone who creates a new source of income without quitting their job. Sometimes people ask, “Where do the stories come from?"

Great question! Many of them come from our listeners and readers. Do you have a side hustle? If so, I’d love to hear about it! We’ll feature some of the stories far and wide to 40,000 daily listeners.

—>Tell Us About Your Side Hustle 

If you don’t have a project like this yourself but know someone who does, will you send them this link? Maybe we can help them get more business, and they can also help a lot of people by sharing their story with people who are starting out.

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201 More Stories of People with Day Jobs Creating Side Hustles

Listen to Side Hustle School:
-in iTunes or Stitcher
-on the website
On January 1, I began a new project: to share a story every day of someone who starts an income-generating project (a "side hustle") without quitting their day job.

The project failed and I decided to give up. Just kidding! We are relentlessly moving along, publishing story after story—and it's getting better and better!

I recently completed the first 100 200 300 days. There's much more to come, but I'm excited about everything I've learned since beginning back in January.

If you're just joining in, you can also catch up on any recent episode from the links below.

Download all episodes from each month:

JAN | FEB | MARCH | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT

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Pandering Never Builds a Legacy

I’m as guilty as anyone else who says that to build a business, or a blog, it’s good to ask people what they want and then give it to them. It works!

But there’s another side to this thinking, and I heard the counterpoint presented beautifully last week by Paula Pant.

For years, she's published a popular blog about personal finance. But as she shared in a talk, after starting down the familiar path of "Hey everyone, what should I write for you?" she realized that maybe it was better to ask herself what she wanted to do.

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Making Money From More Than One Paycheck Can Help You Follow Your Dreams

36793093064_e8ac576920_z This year I’ve been focused almost entirely on helping people take action. Side Hustle School, my daily podcast, shines a spotlight on people who are creating freedom and security for themselves (and making more money, too).

In my new book, SIDE HUSTLE, you’ll get a 27-day plan to go from idea to income. It’s meant to be as straightforward as possible: follow this plan and you will have something to show for it within a month.

A few people have asked: why is everything so practical? What happened to “follow your dreams”?

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What If All Your Work Disappeared At the End of the Day?

Over the past ten years, I’ve thought a lot about building a legacy. In particular, I’ve thought about it as it relates to a body of work that you produce and share over the years. This model has kept me going for a long time.

One of the most attractive qualities of writing the blog, starting in 2008 and continuing until now (albeit in several distinct forms), was the idea that I was building a portfolio of sorts. I could write something today, and it would still be around tomorrow, next week, next year, and so on. It would, as I’ve said more than once, “go on to live a life of its own.”

But is that really true?

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Why Ideas Are Not Enough (Or: How to Sell Out Like Iron Maiden)

Link: Perennial Seller

"What if I'm not good at making ideas happen? I just like to have ideas!"

Ever since I started Side Hustle School on January 1, I've heard this question a surprising number of times. And believe me, I know it would be nice if you could just have ideas and then someone else does things.

That's not how it works for most of us, though—even those who are successful writers, entrepreneurs, or artists of all kinds. Ideas gain value not through brainstorming but through the getting-it-done phase that all good work needs.

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This “1-3-5 Rule” Can Completely Change Your To-Do List

Do you have a cluttered and crowded to-do list? Do you try to get everything accomplished, only to burn out and end up feeling further behind? If so, you're not alone.

While reading The New Rules of Work, a new book by co-founders of The Muse, I stumbled on an alternative to-do list strategy that I thought was worth sharing:

On any given day, assume that you can only accomplish one big thing, three medium things, and five small things, and narrow down your to-do list to those nine items.

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The Best Productivity Hack Is to Care About What You Do

I’m heading out to speak at a tech conference this week. The conference will undoubtedly have many smart people in attendance. In fact, I don’t think it’s self-depreciating to assume that most of them are a lot smarter than me. It's just true.

Continuing with the theme of “Is this really what it’s about in the world of productivity?”, a common question I get at these events is “Tell us about your productivity hacks.” This question usually comes from someone who’s not only smarter, but also most likely far more organized than me.

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The Key to Productivity Isn’t More Rest, It’s Intentionality

It's tempting to think this is the answer. Just take it easy. It will come to you.

And sure, maybe it will.

I just know that for me, there’s more to it than "work in the morning, sit around and think in the afternoon." That’s how it’s always, always been.

The answer isn’t only “work hard all the time,” because of course you can work hard all the time on the wrong things. But I don’t think the answer is to coast either.

It’s more like: find the right thing, then give it all you’ve got. A two-step plan, essentially.

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101 Stories of People with Day Jobs Creating Side Hustles

On January 1, I began a new project: to publish a story every day of someone who starts an income-generating project (a "side hustle") without quitting their day job.

The project failed and I decided to give up. Just kidding! We are relentlessly moving along, publishing story after story—and it's getting better and better!

I recently completed the first 100 days. There's much more to come, but I'm excited about everything I've learned since beginning back in January.

If you're just joining in, you can also catch up on any recent episode from the links below.
Download all episodes from each month:

January | February | March | April

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How Do You Know If Your Idea Is Worth Pursuing?

Creative people usually have no shortage of ideas of things they'd like to do. The greater challenge is: how do you know which ideas are worth pursuing, and which should be abandoned or just put on hold for now?

Here’s one way: consider the amount of time you spend thinking about the idea, even as you go on to other things.

I don’t just mean when you have an idea and you think about it a lot the same day. I mean when you have an idea, and you think about it for a while before putting it aside... and then it comes back to you the next day. Then a week goes by, and you realize you’ve thought about it almost every day.

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