My favorite productivity tips ever

You know what’s popular these days? Articles or videos talking about “my favorite productivity tips ever”.

I recently read Noah Kagan’s favorite productivity tips ever post and was like… why not share mine?

So I’m spending the next 30 minutes organizing my favorite Asian productivity tips and hacks for navigating life and business.

And plus it gives me a great excuse for me to shameless plug all my affiliate links so you can support Refugee Hustle 😎

Here they are!

Speed up your mouse/trackpad

I actually got this from Noah Kagan himself and playing years of Counterstrike and Starcraft. Most Americans spend at least 10 hours a day in front of their computer.

Like Noah said “if you’re going at half speed on your mousepad you’re going at half speed on your day.”

So turn up those speed settings to the max. It might feel awkward for a bit, but you’ll get used to it in no time.

All the way turnt up

Buy the FASTEST computer and phone as possible

This where Asian parents get it wrong – don’t go cheap here!

Ramit Sethi agrees in his book, I Will Teach You to be Rich. Check out my review here.

This is the same principle as speeding up your trackpad settings. Don’t bottleneck yourself and go cheap on something that you spend literally 50% of your day on.

Buy the fastest and best computer and phone as possible and drive this phone into the ground and future proof yourself.

This is my 2013 Macbook Pro still going strong in 2019

Fly through airport security with Global Entry

If you are a US citizen who travels at least once every five years on an airplane, Global Entry is is a MUST, especially internationally. It comes with TSA Pre-check.

You need to renew it every five years, pay $100, and go on an interview, but this will save you so much time and headache from missing your flight.

Let’s be real. We all had moments when we’ve cut it pretty close rushing to the airport. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, just go to LAX. Global Entry has saved me THOUSANDS in rebooking fees.

Biggest perk? You get to keep your shoes on and laugh at your friends while they’re waiting in the regular line.

I usually laugh at my friend Sylvia as she waits in the regular security line

Want a cool bonus? Also some credit cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Platinum Card will cover the fee and give you travel credit.

Optimize your sleep

Have you ever fallen asleep in front of the TV watching Drake back when he was on Degrassi? Or worked an overnight pharmacy shift?

I’m guilty of both. And if you’re like me, chances are you felt wicked groggy the next morning.

Sleep is important because the amount of energy you have affects performance mentally and physically.

Want to know one of the biggest factors that affects the quality of our sleep? It’s light.

Light affects our pineal gland, decreases melatonin synthesis, and decreases quality of sleep. So ideally we want to be sleeping in a dark environment.

But not all of us can black out our curtains. And if you’ve ever used those sleep masks, they always fall off while I’m sleeping.

That’s why I use a sleep turban instead.

This is one of my FAVORITE sleep hacks

Fun fact – Brian Rose from London Real uses one too.

Cook your meals using an airfryer

This is America. We all love good things fast. And that’s also the battle of healthy eating.

We’ve all used a microwave at some point, but food always turns out soggy or dry. Ideally we could use a stovetop, but cleanup is a bitch.

And that’s what an airfryer comes in. It’s the easy solution to cooking foods that you actually like fast. This is a godsend from the keto and macro friendly gods.

In less than 8 minutes, you can pop out a keto and macro friendly steak with asparagus.

If you want easy clean up, you can just lay some foil at the bottom of the fryer.

Does it beat the cast iron skillet? Hell no. But for everyday eating and minimal effort, it’s pretty damn good.

This is the one I personally use…

This is the EXACT airfryer I personally use

Order a catering tray to meal prep

Even with the ease of an airfryer, we all have those days when we just don’t want to cook.

So if you want to be macro friendly and avoid the whole headache of cooking, you can order a catering tray from your favorite restaurant and portion it out in food containers.

I usually like to order protein and vegetable trays, but honestly get creative with it. My personal favorites are Thai food and BBQ joints.

The best thing about catering trays is that it’s still cheaper than eating at the restaurant all the time, but you get that same taste.

Macro friendly goodness

When in doubt, plan out your order BEFORE you eat out with friends

Face it. Unless you want to be antisocial, you can’t avoid eating out.

Me and my pharmacy friends first time at In-N-Out

So whenever I go out, I have a list of “go to” meals for every single cuisine. Here’s some examples:

  • Thai food: Yum Nua salad
  • Vietnamese Pho joint: Pho Dac Biet with no noodles.
  • In-N-Out: Flying Dutchman with whole grilled onions and no salt

The only tricky one is Italian, but my point is that you should have a “go-to” for every single cuisine.

And log it into MyFitnessPal so it fits your macros.

If you’re balding, shave your head

Like most men when they hit their 30’s, they start balding.

That receding hairline

Imagine a life without waiting for a line up from a barber, worrying about bedhead, or worrying about hair product. This is my life.

For me the only thing I need to worry about is taking 3 minutes to shave my head every morning with my electronic Panasonic shaver or Omnishaver.

That’s a money and time hack right there. And hell if you don’t like the look, you can always grow it back 🙃

Setup an appointment scheduler like Calendly

Have you ever tried scheduled a time to meet up with your friends, family, or even business clients?

One of the biggest pains in the ass is going back and forth, trying to scheduling things out and seeing what times work for people.

What Calendly does is allow you to schedule in your available times so your the other person can just “book in” with you. It’s really convenient.

You can create different calendars for your favorite coffee shop, lunch spot, or durian joint.

I use it even for virtual video Zoom meetings with my clients or when I’m meeting people online for the first time.

Quick scheduling etiquette – It can be douchy if you just blast off your calendar and tell them “book in with me” so finesse it. Ask them first if they’re open to booking a time with you FIRST, then if they say yes then you’re good to go.

Shoot a gratitude video for your friends, family, and people who you want to meet

Want to introduce yourself to a stranger online? Are you moving to a new city and want to meet new people?

Or has it been years since you talked to a friend or family member and want to reconnect?

The secret to business and life are relationships. And one of the BEST ways to do that with technology these days is shooting them a personal video. Here’s an example to my first online mentor, Ramit Sethi.

Meeting Ramit Sethi at his book tour in Los Angeles

Whether it’s friends, family, or even a stranger, send them an appreciation video. If you fake it, people will know.

And if this is for business, don’t pitch them. Build a relationship first. The key to this is being specific and real. But why does this work?

When you recognize someone for being a great friend or send a YouTuber how you appreciate their videos, it makes you pop out – even when it comes to business.

Like my mentor says…

When you focus on Intimacy with your audience, you develop insanely strong relationships.

Scott Oldford

This is the number one reason how I got my clients for High Ticket Closing agency, built friends for life on Refugee Hustle, and connected with top industry leaders.

Meeting Scott Oldford at his High Ticket Incubator event

If you have sent me an email or IG DM within the last year, there’s a good chance I’ve shot a personal video back to you.

This is a great way to build engagement with your audience or email list!

Buy a physical and audio book to DOUBLE your read time

I learned this from Tim Ferriss, but the QUICKEST way to read a book is to read it while listening to the audio 2x speed.

I’ve literally read full books in less than 2 hours. It keeps on you on task and undistracted. Plus I tend to retain things better doing this too.

And here’s a shameless plug with my personal Audible. You get a 30 day free trial with 2 audiobooks and support Refugee Hustle. Thanks!

Use your Google Chrome Bookmark Manager to manage your projects

I learned this personal tip from my marketer and close friend, Rich + Niche in his Digital Marketing Academy.

I use this to manage all the links for my high ticket sales clients and my YouTube channel.

Basically it’s pretty simple

Basically I open up “Bookmark Manager” and put all the links in one folder.

Here’s all the tabs I open for my YouTube channel

When I’m ready to work, I’ll right click and “Open All in New Window” to get started on my work. No more trying to figure out… what do I need to open in my browser?

Right click on the folder and click “Open All in New Window” to have all your links opened up

Added bonus? Put in a Toggl or Pomodoro timer to time audit yourself.

Use your credit card for purchase protection and double warranty

NEVER use your debit card. There I said it. Shots fired at Dave Ramsey.

Credit cards get a bad rep because people don’t pay them off on time or use them on liabilities instead of assets.

There’s a lot of benefits like rental insurance on your card, but one of my favorite things is purchase protection.

But the truth is your credit card not only protects you from fraud, but also protects you for 90 days if your purchase breaks or gets stolen and you get double warranty.

Literally my Dash egg cooker broke the other day and I’m getting reimbursed as we speak.

A recent claim I submitted when my egg cooker broke 🥚

Want to know my favorite cards at the moment? Chase Sapphire and my AMEX Bonvoy (formerly AMEX SPG). Don’t abuse this benefit though and commit insurance fraud.

Use a 0% APR credit card to start up your new business

If you want to jump into arbitrage business models or businesses where you “flip”, you need access to startup capital.

Think about it for a second:

  • E-commerce (Amazon FBA/drop shipping): You need to buy inventory and marketing so people can buy your product
  • House flipping: You need to purchase the house before you can flip the house
  • Drug dealing (legal or illegal): You need to buy the drugs before you can sell them

If you don’t know, getting a business or personal loan is a pain. So that usually leaves us with one option – credit cards.

And I know what you’re thinking – what about those 20% APR/interest rates?!?

If you’re going to use credit cards, you need to assume that…

  1. You have a legit and proven business model that others seeing a positive Return on Investment (ROI) with.
  2. Your rate of return is higher than the interest rate

But that should be pretty obvious – after all the whole point of business is to make money and see a positive ROI.

So what do you do if you’re not thrilled about a 20%+ APR, have a 700+ credit score, and want to start your own e-commerce business?

You can use a 15 month, 0% APR card to start up the business expenses like education, marketing, and product, and then use the profits of the business to pay back your initial investment.

Here are some of the 0% APR cards I recommend and personally used.

By the way, if you’re new to business and have very little capital, I’d highly recommend starting a service business instead.

Automate your finances and investments

This is probably the biggest financial hack because I literally did nothing to make my first $133,000.

What’s the secret sauce? Automation.

Although dated, Ramit Sethi has an old article talking about his individual accounts.

Here are some of the tools I use to automate my financial system and create individual accounts is Ally. I also track my accounts with Mint.

You can do the same thing with your Roth IRA, 401k, or taxable investing accounts with Vanguard or Fidelity.

If you need help, check out my Kickass Investing Masterclass, where I teach you how to automate your Roth IRA for FREE.

Rearrange your notes with a Discbound notebook

Back during pharmacy school, I wished for a notebook where I could arrange the pages, customize my notebook, and refill it as needed.

Too bad I found the notebook of my dreams five years after I graduated.

Recently my friend Tom Nguyen recommended me to pick up a TUL by Office Depot (my personal favorite) or ARC notebook by Staples.

Here are the TUL notebooks (Junior and Letter size)

Here’s why these Discbound Notebook systems are my FAVORITE!

  • The notebooks are sleek and lay flat
  • Unlike a 3 ring binder, you never have to worry about “ripping” the holes
  • The notebooks come with high quality paper so it’s fountain pen friendly
  • You have versatility of rearranging the pages
You’ll never have to worry about “ripped” holes again with a Discbound Notebook

I personally like the small one and use this notebook to take notes for my online courses, write down my daily goals, and even my high ticket closing calls.

Double your video editing time with a template

If you don’t know, editing is one the of most TIME consuming tasks.

Sure – you could blaze through your timeline at 2x speed, but the best time saving hack I learned was from my friend Can Nguyen, one of the JK News editors and member of Poreotics.

By having a default template, all I need to do is drag and drop, cut a few um’s and uh’s, and then sit back and relax as it’s uploading to YouTube 😎

Here’s a screenshot of my actual Final Cut Pro X template

Double your video output with an at home video set

When I first started YouTube, I shot in my car most of the time. But it would be such a pain in the ass whipping out and setting up my camera every time I wanted to shoot.

So I started looking at my friends at JK Films and realized they always shot from the same set.

And I thought – I CAN DO THE SAME THING!

So one day I blocked off a spot in my apartment to setup my camera and shoot there every time.

Here’s where I shot 90% of my YouTube videos

It made shooting videos so much easier because I never had to worry about where to shoot.

Leave your charger at home when you work from a coffee shop

This is a new one I’ve started doing because of Noah Kagan’s productivity list, but it’s a must have for people who are workaholics like myself.

Yes – I’m that guy who camps out at coffee shops near an electrical outlet for 8-10 hours a day. Just look how beat up my charger is after 6 years of use!

My MacBook Pro charger after 6 years of use!

But the truth is working that long isn’t productive and it’s definitely not good for your battery.

So something new I’ve been doing is charging my battery before going to a coffee shop and focusing on accomplishing the ONE thing that needs to get done that day.

What are your favorite tips and tricks?

Which one was your favorite one? Let’s hear your productivity hacks in the comment section below!

If it’s really good I’ll put in the article and give you credit!

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