Productivity Hacking – Uber Rides And Slight Edge Habits

Three days a week, here’s what I was doing:

  • Wake up 6am
  • Stretch, coffee, write, wake up
  • Go to gym + exercise
  • Walk to local breakfast spot
  • Get breakfast burrito
  • Walk to office

Total time (wake up -> office): 2.5 hours
That may seem like a long stretch, but it’s how much time it takes me to get in the zone. Rushing in the morning is great way to burn out in the afternoon.
What I didn’t say, however, is the time breakdown. Specifically:

  • Walk from gym -> breakfast spot: 13 mins
  • Wait time for burrito -> 12 mins
  • Walk from breakfast spot to office -> 25 mins

More importantly, I was subconsciously using a huge amount of mental energy during this 2.5 hour stretch. I love walking and I am a morning person, but I was using all my best creative energy to fuel the commute.
Today, I tried this:

  • Wake up 6am
  • Stretch, coffee, write, wake up
  • Go to gym + exercise
  • Call ahead to breakfast spot and order burrito
  • Get an Uber at gym
  • Drive to breakfast spot, pick up burrito, get back in Uber
  • Go to office

Cost of UberX: $8.22
Time Saved: 40 mins
Mental energy saved: Immeasurable
I did the math – if do this 3x a week and I’m in San Francisco let’s say 35 weeks a year, that’s 105 days, which translates into 4,200 minutes. 70 hours/year.
The cost of Uber would be $863.10.
That’s about $12/hour…WITHOUT including the level of mental energy that this was sucking out of me.
In other words, I was trading my “best” productive time for $12/hr. I was valuing myself and my energy at $11.90/hr. 
I was trading $600/hr time for $11.90/hr time. Ugh.

Change Your Schedule, Not Your Life

As many of you know, habits are the most powerful transformative tool we as humans have. They can create empires and they can destroy lives. Simple decisions we do every day make or break us.
Often, habits are created because of emotional experiences. They’re kept because of repetition.
But this isn’t about changing habits – that’s for another post.
What is so powerful about what I did today is that I’m not CHANGING anything, I’m just making it more efficient. My schedule isn’t HARDER, it’s BETTER.
All I did was audit what I was doing and ask myself objectively if this is actively moving me towards my goals.
It’s easy to forget that every day is a blank slate. There’s a reason why some people can produce 1000x more than others, even though we all have the same 24 hours. While there are clear mental factors that go into it, a lot of it can be attributed to your own life schedule.
When you start to look at what people spend money on, you realize that successful people spend money on things that will put them in a position to feel successful. They don’t sweat small stuff, they focus on creating environments that fuel them.
You may think spending $1,000 on clothing is ridiculous…but what if it makes that person feel so confident that they close a $5,000 deal? Flying first class may seem excessive…but if you feel like a boss when you walk off that plane, you could EASILY pay for the ticket with the work you will get done.
Could you cultivate this energy without spending the money? Maybe – but it takes a long time to do. We’re all humans in society. That’s just how it is.

Make The Shift, Take The Ride

This isn’t about fighting your emotions which I’m sure you feel when you try to do things like not check your email in the morning. This isn’t about changing a lot of your life. It’s about re-arranging the things you are unconscious to, the things we take for granted.
Maybe you wake up every day and automatically make coffee in your house or apartment. That habit creates a certain energy. That energy dictates the rest of your day.
What would happen if you woke up and got coffee at a local coffee shop? How would you feel? How would the rest of your day be different?
Even more important, write down exactly what your day would look like if you had $20M in the bank and were trying to make $50M more. You wouldn’t care about saving $5 or $10 there – you’d care about eliminating ANYTHING from your  life that took away from your creative drive. A good day of work = 100 small cost savings. Maybe even 1,000.
The most amazing part is that we convince ourselves that we need money already to create this security, that we need to have a huge bank account before we start treating each day with respect. It’s a control mindset driven by fear.
I can safely say that everyone I’ve met who’s done well can attribute it to a handful of days that they had perfect mental clarity – they created environments where they were just happy and everything else flowed into place. It’s never people that pushed it as hard as they could and saved every penny for years on end. Those are the people that have money and look like they’ve aged 70 years by the time they’re 40, terrified that they’ll lose it or that they’ll have to work EVER HARDER to make more.
That’s not success, that’s fear. Don’t be that person.
The older I get, the more I realize how much the small things can make such a big difference. It can be as simple as going out to lunch instead of bringing your lunch…getting an Uber instead of taking the subway. Instead of focusing on how much money it will cost me NOW, I think about how much more energy I will have to create something that day. 
The biggest wins in life don’t happen from saving on the small things, they happen from cultivating the energy required to make the big things a reality.
Rock and roll,


  1. Nico Leon

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