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Productivity Hack: The “Average of 5 People” Rule

As an update, I’ve just arrived in Bucharest, Romania about 4 days ago! Prior to the trip, I was worried about this leg of the journey in fear of loneliness and homesickness. Reason being that I currently have my own flat out here – I don’t have flatmates to fall back on and make friends with. I would have to put myself out there and socialize to meet new people.

Bucharest, Romania

Surprisingly (and fortunately), I’ve been able to make some new digital nomad friends online. I did so by logging on to two digital nomad Facebook groups and publishing a post: “Anyone in Bucharest, Romania? Just got here!”

Okay it did not require that much effort, lol. But it worked!

The shitty part is they’re leaving end of this month to their hometowns, but for now I’m enjoying having a group of cool people to kick it with. They’ve showed me around Old Town, a really fun part of Bucharest…

bucharest romania friends old town

Blurry, of course…

I only live 5 minutes walking distance from the area! Score.

And the best part about hanging out with these people? I’m more motivated to get my shit together.

The Digital Nomad Quest Interview Series!

Well, let me back up a bit. On my 2nd day in Bucharest, I was walking over to a Vietnamese restaurant – unable to find data/mobile internet (Project Fi why are you failing me out here?!) So I had the entire walk over to think about life, my plans out here, etc. Yup no electronics = a clear head to ponder.

I’ve decided I want to start a weekly series interviewing influencers/digital nomads so readers (and myself) can 1. better understand the digital nomad way of life 2. familiarize ourselves on all the ways to make money online while traveling.

I’m super excited about this series. I got the idea after some feedback on my previous post about how to make active income online. A reader thought additional posts on pros and cons of each money-making method would be super helpful for readers as well. But I’m not a legit expert on all of these channels, so I was worried that I would need to master and discuss every single method I’ve listed.

After interviewing a girl boss/nomad/33-year old retiree over at Power of Thrift (I’ll post the interview later), I realized a better way of demonstrating money-making methods would be to interview influencers in each field so we can all learn from them.

Developing the Writing Muscle

After my 2nd night here exploring the Bucharest nightlife, I went to hang out with Jason Wuerch over at Frugalforless the next day. I found out he writes EVERY DAY and can crank out 2,000 words in an hour. Sometimes he’ll prepare 8 articles in one day and schedule them out over the week.


I’ve read about developing a writing habit/muscle from James Altucher and other sources – but I’ve never met a real life example until yesterday.

What a boss.

I’m now even more motivated to get my shit together. I got some work done in Athens but it was definitely not enough. I’m not proud of my progress.

I’m going to attempt to increase my post frequency. If I have faith in Digital Nomad Quest I need to crank out useful content and put in the effort so I can reach more readers.

The “Average of 5 People” Rule – Productivity Hack

They say you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with.

This TEDx talk basically sums up this notion – it’s an incredibly motivating video with research and stats to back up each idea. In the talk, Scott Dinsmore (R.I.P.) brought up research done with a group of cyclists that prove that the people around you can either bring you up or pull you down:

“In 1898, Norman Triplett did this study with a bunch of cyclists, and he would measure their times around the track in a group, and also individually. And he found that every time the cyclists in the group would cycle faster. And it’s been repeated in all kinds of walks of life since then, and it proves the same thing over again, that the people around you matter, and environment is everything.”

average of 5 people

My real life example…

This morning…(well afternoon, as it was 12:45 PM)…my lazy ass woke up to two messages:

Jason – “How’s the writing going so far today? If it helps motivate you, I’ve already written 2k+ words today 😉

Mike (in a group chat)- “Hey dudez, I’m hanging out at Gloria Jeans in old town if anyone is looking for a co-working buddy.”

Lol WTF have I been doing? Geez, I thought about my past month, and I’ve definitely been taking my sweet time, procrastinating, and making excuses. These two Facebook chats got me extremely pumped this morning.

I admire their work ethic, and I plan to get to their level.

So now, I’m in a coffee shop with my new nomad buddies: a web designer, a founder/CEO of a marketing agency, and a full-time blogger and coder, just cranking shit out. I’m feeding off their good energy and I’m feeling better than ever about my productivity! Let’s see if I keep this up.

Easy Way to Increase Your Productivity?

When you think about increasing your productivity, you normally think of things like scheduling out your day, or setting goals, and focusing on one project rather than multi-tasking. I mean, at least that’s what I think about.

But I think the easiest method of increasing your productivity, and one that you wouldn’t normally think of, is really to just make awesome friends and stick with them. I’m starting to see the benefits of surrounding yourself with other BOSSES. It is truly an effective means of increasing your productivity, because birds of a feather flock together. If you hang out with lazy people, you’ll be pulled in that direction. If you hang out with “successful” people, you’ll want to become one yourself.

Another reason why it’s good to surround yourself with people who improve you is that they’ll likely teach you a lot about how to get from point A to point B. In the TEDx talk video I previously mentioned, Scott Dinsmore talked about how his move to San Francisco helped him increase his blog traffic tenfold. Influencers and successful people most likely have nuggets of knowledge to share that you wouldn’t have known about before.

I’m going to make an active attempt to surround myself with people I admire. To me that means hanging out with open-minded people who take life into their own hands. So my advice to you is to seek out with people you truly admire and respect and spend time with them! Who knows – they might be your key to success.

productivity hack

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