Many people believe they need to hustle all hours like a machine to be successful. Yet this strips them of the only human advantage we have left.


Niklas Göke has earned a following of over half a million people across platforms. The best bit is he only works for a few hours each day. You might think his success is despite this but it’s because of it. 

The best ideas don’t come by glaring at your screen with your fingers on the keys. The best ideas come from living life and its variety to its fullest. He can draw seemingly unrelated things into profound insights because his downtime gives his mind the time to play.

Psychology backs up his methodology. Dr. Barnara Oakley, the creator of the world’s most popular MOOC, explains this as the focused mode and diffused mode. To be productive, most people try to spend most of their time in the focused mode where they can hone in on particular details and get through work faster. The diffused mode where the brain isn’t so narrow-minded is what allows the magic to happen. It was used by the likes of Thomas Edison and Salvadore Dali to come up with incredible innovations.

If you want to think more like Nik, here’s what he does.

This article is based on the Mindful & Driven episode with Niklas, which you can listen to here

Make the most of your energy

People often think time is the limiting factor in what they can achieve in a day. I disagree and believe energy is more important for many of us. You’ve got a ball of energy each day and you choose how you spend it.

You could be like hustle addicts and use your ball of energy up by mid-afternoon then continue working on empty when your mind is fried. You could waste your ball of energy on the things that don’t matter. I’m guilty about this sometimes.

Or you could be like Nik and protect your ball of energy like the precious gift it is. By cutting out all the draining tasks from his day, he had more fire for what he loved. The rest of his time is spent relaxing, with people he loves or playing video games. These things replenish his energy and help him get more done when he is working.

How many times have you cut out something from your day you love to make time to be more productive. Maybe you’re getting it wrong. There could be a point to the pointless things in your life.

Banish your greedy goblin

Last year Niklas quit high paying job because he realized it was stopping him from fulfilling his potential. From a purely financial perspective, his decision was insanity. He was being paid enough to live comfortably, was good at what he did and it didn’t take up much time.

Even once he’d realized the job was sapping his energy, it was hard to quit because of the comfort of the money coming in. He kept at it longer than he should have because like most of us he’s hardwired not to turn down dollars.

Yet he had to be brutal with himself about what he wanted from life. He’d regret not freeing up his time to produce his best work more than he’d feel the loss of income.

I was in a similar position earlier this year. I knew with all my heart I wanted to be a full-time creative and I had matched my day job income. I could live comfortably on far less but it took time to shake off my psychological goblin that was addicted to numbers.

I’d advise you to be honest with yourself about how much income you actually need and how long your savings will last you. You might be able to cut more than you think you can.

I hope you found these tips useful and can see ways you can apply them to your own life. If you’d like to hear Niklas talk about it with me in more detail, check out our conversation in the video below.

Picture credit- Photo courtesy of Niklas Goeke