“Change Your Habits for the Better, and Your Whole Life Will Change for the Better”
Changing your habits is the one thing above all else that has the power to change your life.
Don’t think of habits as smoking, or biting your nails, or jogging every lunch break. They’re too obvious. Thinking of these clichés when we think of habits is dangerous, because the really important habits (not that giving up smoking, or doing exercise isn’t important!) that we need to be conscious of are insidious.
Everything about you is a habit. The way you walk is a habit, the way you talk is a habit, the way you sit is a habit, how you deal with last night’s dishes in the sink is a habit. The sum of all your parts is habit.
I started to pay close attention to my habits after reading the book, ‘Superhuman By Habit‘ by Tynan (read it). Within about two months of doing so, my productivity had gone through the roof and the results I was getting from my SEO work was extraordinary.
It makes sense really. If you want to rank your website higher in Google, then you need to become better at SEO than the 10 other website owners on the first page for your target keyword. To become a better SEO you need better knowledge, and you need better habits to apply that knowledge.
To ‘scratch my own itch’, I thought I’d contact some of the most influential SEO experts out there and ask a few questions surrounding habits and productivity…
|Having started his SEO agency in 2013, Nathan Gotch has become one of the most influential SEO bloggers in the world.||Matt Diggity is a top affiliate SEO living remotely in Thailand where he runs his online marketing company.||An expert in Local SEO, Chase Reiner lives in Santa Barbara, CA, where he runs his blog and YouTube channel.|
- What time do you wake up in the morning?
- What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
- Do you have any routines that the average person would find unusual?
- Day on a plate. On a working day, what do you normally eat for breakfast, lunch & dinner?
- What time do you get to bed?
- If you could only physically work 2 hours per day, what would you spend your time doing in your business?
- What’s the one book you have most frequently recommended, gifted, or has given the greatest ROI from reading it?
- What has been the biggest ‘Aha!’ moment in your life/business?
- What one piece of advice would you give your 20 year old self?
- What’s the one thing that you’re trying to get better at?
What time do you wake up in the morning?
Matt: Between 6:00-6:30. I use the Sleep Cycle app to wake me up when I’m ready to be woken up.
Chase: 6:00 or 7:00 AM
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Nathan: Kiss my wife, take my two dogs out, make coffee, use two POMs for reading, and then I plan my day on a post-it note to avoid complexity. A post-it note is just enough space to add 2-3 Most Important Tasks (MITs).
Matt: I write in a gratitude journal then practice yoga followed by meditation.
Do you have any routines that the average person would find unusual?
Nathan: Here is what my wife said about this question… “it’s unusual that you A) work most hours of the day and B) you prefer to read non-fiction books instead of watching TV (or other forms of entertainment)”
Matt: I pour water down my nostrils every morning (neti pot).
Chase: I work 11+ hours a day
Day on a plate. What do you normally eat for breakfast, lunch & dinner?
Nathan: Right now, I’m in a “bulk” phase, which means I’m trying to put on more muscle mass. That means I’m eating in a slight caloric surplus. I’m currently eating 5-6 meals a day. Every meal (except the post workout meal) consists of a complex carbohydrate, protein, and usually a vegetable. Prior to this “bulk” phase, I was cutting. I went from 200 pounds to 184 during that time. The big difference between these two strategies is the carbohydrate intake.
Matt: In Chiang Mai we have a lot of affordable (and quite delicious) options for healthy food delivery. They deliver three meals a day and are specific to the portions you’re looking for. So normally I end up with a bunch of veggies, some brown rice, and then some protein. It’s boring, but saves at least an hour a day, not having to worry about going out to eat or cooking.
Chase: Salad, Salad, and Salad + lots of coffee
What time do you get to bed?
Nathan: Usually 10pm or 11pm
Matt: Usually around 10pm
If you could only physically work 2 hours per day, what would you spend your time doing in your business?
Nathan: 30 minutes creating/improving products, 30 minutes creating sales funnels and copy for those products, 30 minutes creating content assets, and 30 minutes marketing that content.
Matt: SOPs (standard operating procedures). With only 2 hours a day, there is no way I could ever accomplish much by myself. Instead I would focus on putting systems in place to leverage others who collectively have infinitely more time than I do.
What’s the one book you have most frequently recommended, gifted, or has given the greatest ROI from reading it?
Nathan: That’s a tough question because I love so many books! If I had to chose one, I would probably choose Cashvertising by Drew Eric Whitman (The E-Myth by Michael Gerber is a close second).
Matt: Probably the E-myth, by Michael Gerber.
Chase: “The art of not giving a fuck” by Mark Manson or “the one thing” by Gary Keller
What has been the biggest ‘Aha!’ moment in your life/business?
Nathan: The only way my business can grow is by removing myself out of the equation. That’s why I spend much of my time creating and refining systems, procedures, and policies. By delegating systemized tasks to my team, I can focus on high-impact activities and on what I’m best at.
Matt: Jumping out of the rat race. I was an electrical engineer before and was terrified of being on my own. I thought I’d be starving on the streets eventually.
Chase: “All you can do is all you can do, just make sure you’re doing all that you can do” -Les Brown
What one piece of advice would you give your 20 year old self?
Nathan: I’m still in my 20s, so I have a lot to learn. But I would definitely tell my 20-year old self to start a business.
Matt: Take bigger risks. Just because the people around you are playing a small game, doesn’t mean that the right thing to do. There’s no risk at all to challenging yourself.
Chase: Stop taking life so seriously
What’s the one thing that you’re trying to get better at?
Nathan: I’m always trying to get better at business, but my current focus right now is on sales funnels.
Matt: Right now? Being a better person.Do you ever realize that there’s either happy, cute old people… or there’s grumpy old people? There’s no in-between. I feel like the decisions and attitudes we cultivate now shape what kind of person we’re going to be when we’re older. Most of the “work” I do when I’m not working on my business is personal work. Reading, meditation, yoga. At the end of the day, all that matters is what impact we’ve created for others. Focus there and everything else gets easy.
Chase: Not sure.
what habits do you have that make you more effective?Leave a comment and let me know...
Great post. If you fancy getting more into the science of habit you should check out James Clear’s website (jamesclear.com)
I’ve found that sleeping without my phone in the bedroom has had a dramatic impact on the way I work. I no longer check emails first thing in the morning which was a habit that was putting me in reactive mode straight away.
Thanks Bill, I have seem James Clear speak but other than that Im’m not too familiar with his stuff – I will check him out. The ‘phoneless bedroom’ sounds like a great habit to adopt
I haven’t yet read E-Myth but Nathan and Matt both recommended it. Lets read it soon 🙂
They wake up too early 🙁