Answer by Terrence Yang, CEO, & Yang Ventures, on Quora

Learn and apply one thing (at a time) that interests you until you at least have some core competency in that area. This can be something that helps you with others (whether it is paying customers, friends, family, coworkers, etc.) or with yourself--physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.

To do this, I recommend you do these things:

1. Sleep, eat well, exercise, relax, socialize, and ponder well.

Meditate or do something spiritual if that helps you. You have to do the basics or your body and mind will break down.

2. Learn something every day that you enjoy, can use, or just plain love. 3. At any time, do what you think is the most important thing you could be doing right then and there.

If you don't know, stop and figure out what that is.

4. Say no to others a lot.

Be nice but focus on what you want to do. If you want to help people, figure out the type of folks you want to help the most and help them. Your #1 priority might not be helping takers who aggressively ask you to do more and more.

5. Figure out your strengths and do that. 6. Shore up weaknesses in key areas, but use a Tim Ferris/4 Hour Workweek approach where you spend the least amount of time to get 80% there.

For example, learning to cook simple, filling, nutritious, healthy meals is huge. You save time and money from having to run to the local drive through. Your heart will thank you.

7. Read a lot.

Find topics or authors that interest you. Read in the format you like--Kindle, eReader, hard back, paper pack. Or use Audible, audiobooks. Maybe you like great literature--shown to improve empathy--a key trait to have for personal happiness, meaning, and success.

8. Take calculated risks.

Doing the same thing over and over can be a bit boring. Stretch yourself.

9. Assume this is it.

No dress rehearsal. No life after death. Etc. You'll use your own time better.

10. Skip or hack most things.

Only do things you don't enjoy if you must. This is related to 6, but different in that it might not be a weakness of yours, but you can do it faster and more effectively.

11. Be stingy with your time.

Be generous with everything else. Hugs, friendship, advice, kindness--and gifts, tips and donations if you can afford it. But manage your time well. This doesn't mean having hyper-efficient 20 minute meetings all day. It means blocking out time for yourself so you can think, learn, and focus on what matters to you.

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Published on: Apr 10, 2015