This is a new series I’m starting featuring real examples of life hacking in action.


Manan Kotak is a 24 year old living in India. He was pulled into his family business of publishing, handling the advertising and revenue part while his brother took care of the rest. However, when his brother passed away due to an unfortunate accident, Manan had to learn and take over the departments his brother ran – circulation, administration, website, technology, stock market investment portfolio, etc.

Handling all these departments made his work hours extremely exhausting and and caused a lot of mental stress, until he read Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek.

Here’s how Manan has hacked his life ((Just a quick primer, the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s Principle is the idea that 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions or sources. Ex: 80% of your revenue is from 20% of the customers, or 80% of your time is spent on 20% of the websites you visit.)):

- I started using 80-20 principle in all my decisions/actions. Ex: For ad sales, I started servicing only the big clients (around 5 to 6 of them). These clients gave me more than 80% of my revenue. In fact, at the beginning of the year, I decided to focus and crack this one client which helped me surpass my entire previous years performance.

- Every morning I write down my tasks for the day, and mark a star next to the most important ones (the 20% which would give 80% of the result).

- Applied batching and started checking email only twice a day.

- Putting my phone off the hook during meetings and having a clear agenda greatly reduced interruptions.

- Delaying what people call “REALLY URGENT” which is not really that important and training them to wait.

- For low-information diet, I started reading only what was necessary for the moment. To keep up with news, I started watching television for 10 mins in the morning and 15 mins in the evening – in place of spending hours watching TV or reading magazines.

I don’t feel that stressed anymore. I feel more in control of my work and get time to spend in other areas of my life, which I didn’t have time for previously.


Manan is part of the Chitralekha group of publications which publishes over 8 magazine titles.