22 Tips from a 22-Year-Old Content Creator 💡

Freelancing • Career • Digital Tools

by Yassen Shopov


A few weeks ago I turned 22 and wrote a thread titled "22 Life lessons on life design, academics, and wealth generation".

In this article, I will expand a bit more on each and every one of the 22 points. Those lessons come mostly from my experience as a content creator on the internet for the last 2-3 years, as well as my experience as an almost graduating university student.

Let's go into it.

📐 1. Keep applying the 80/20 rule

Also known as the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule is one of the most popular productivity principles. It goes like this:

For many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes.

In simpler terms, usually about 80% of your productivity will come from 20% from your efforts. Most of your grades at school will come from a handful of difficult assignments, not equally from all of them. And since in most cases, we don't need to be perfectionists, we can save ourselves 80% of the hassle by focusing on the most important things.

It will take you exponentially less time to get 80% of the results than to get that last 20.

🕊️ 2. Remember that everyone is winging it

Schools typically teach us to ask for permission for everything. Even when you are successful, you are successful within an already-existing frame.

In life outside of school though, people tend to be far from perfect at what they do - a shock, I know.

In this culture that strives for high productivity and perfectionism, we must remember that all people are far from ideal, and even the best professionals sometimes make mistakes due to lack of knowledge, fatigue, a momentary lack of focus, or just bad luck.

🍲 3. You can “meal-prep” in a lot of life areas

In order to save time, we can apply the process of "meal-prepping".

It means that we do the bulk of our weekly cooking on one day, for example Sunday, and then we store the food to eat throughout the week.

How is that beneficial? Well, first of all, you reduce the total cooking time. You only need to heat up the oven once a week instead of once every day, you can be focused on cooking for a few hours instead of getting into the cooking zone a few times a day, and you have more control over what goes into your stomach.

Moreover, you reduce the uncertainty during the week when you're actually busy. What will I eat today? Guess what, you already decided on that on Sunday.

You can do "meal-prep" in most other life areas too.

⏳️ 4. Take advantage of your long time horizon

The compound interest effect is pretty spectacular by itself, but it only starts really affecting your results after some time passes.

Since you're young, you have one of the greatest assets you could own at your fingertips - a long time horizon.

Start investing early, start working on your career early, invest in your health early on and you'll be much more thankful to your past self one day.

Join 100+ others in the Life Engineering Newsletter 🌱

🍅 5. Trust the staples

Especially in the productivity sphere, there are thousands of methods that probably work, to a lesser or higher degree.

However, there is a reason why a few of them are so popular (remember the Pareto principle?), and why they are so simple:

🌪️ 6. Expect for things to go unexpectedly

In life, in business, in your career, many things are uncertain. One thing that is certain though, is that things will go unexpectedly at some point.

It may be today, tomorrow, a year from now, but you'll reach a point where your plan will get sidetracked or completely busted and you'll have to improvise.

While you cannot prepare for any specific thing that could go wrong, you can (in most cases) put some buffer between you and total failure.

You can secure yourself an emergency fund, make some plan Bs while you can, have a strong support network, etc.

🏗️ 7. Build your online presence

20 years ago only a select few people had a notable social presence.

10 years ago, being online started being the new normal.

Now, in 2022, almost everybody and their mum has some form of social presence - 99% of them as consumers, not creators.

It will benefit you much more in the long term to take control of your online presence now. Take control of what you post, why you post it, where you post it. Find a niche or two you love, speak about them to your small audience and watch the internet spread your messages and content to the right people's screens.

Not sure what to write about? Here's a powerful thread on the topic:

⛅️ 8. Wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days

When you're young, you typically don't pay too much attention to your skincare.

However, sunscreen is shown to be one of the easiest ways to prevent damage to your skin, wrinkles, discoloration, and it should be applied daily as well.

You may think to yourself that if you live in a relatively cold/cloudy country, you won't need to other, but guess what? Sunlight can be damaging to your skin even through the cloud barrier, albeit to a lesser extent.

So do your future self a favour and put on your sunscreen regularly.

(Bonus tip: take Vitamin D as well, especially if you live in the UK)


🎓️ 9. Share notes and tactics with your classmates/coursemates

Academia, be it high school or university, can be quite the hassle.

When I first discovered Notion and its amazing perks for students, I was in my 1st year of university, doing Biomedical Engineering.

Back then, I created some pretty resourceful notes, which I only later found out were helpful to my other classmates as well. What is more, once you share your resources, they will most likely share their own notes with you as well, so it's a beneficial self-reinforcing cycle.

✔️ 10. Set up reminders to check up on people

We all get very busy from time to time. Still, taking 5 minutes out of your time to send a text, arrange a meeting, or just remember to wish somebody a "Happy birthday!" goes a long way.

I have created reminders for myself in Google Calendar to send a message on my close people's birthdays, and it's a fail-safe method to make sure nobody gets forgotten.

📭️ 11. Aim for Inbox 0

Inbox 0 is the practice of actually having zero items in your preferred inbox.

Take for example your email inbox. Any time a new email comes in, it has to compete for your attention with:

Luckily for you, I have written an entire step by step article on how you can effortlessly create a system to organise your existing emails, unsub from the useless ones and keep the inbox clean at all times.

Join 100+ others in the Life Engineering Newsletter 🌱

🍀 12. Quarters aren’t just for finances bros

We tend to associate the concept of "quarters of the year" to the financial or economic sphere a lot.

But there's a reason why it's so important for much of project management. 3 months is a perfect time period for most projects. It's enough time to plan out a project, start it out, review it. At the end of every quarter, review your goals and work and see if everything aligns.

🔗 13. Keep your portfolio updated

Us students tend to sometimes underestimate the power of a good portfolio and a working LinkedIn profile.

University will come to an end soon, and the job search will begin. You'll need to list your strengths, your abilities, your experience, and you'll be able to make the best description of your uni experience while still at uni.

💤 14. Make your bed first thing in the morning

It's a small win! But a win nonetheless.

Join 100+ others in the Life Engineering Newsletter 🌱

💻 15. Use data analysis on your own life

Data analysis [ˈdeɪtə əˈnæləsɪs]: a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modelling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making.

Your decision-making should largely be affected by data. And the data in your life can be very quantifiable as well. Think about your gym stats, your weight, your sleep data, even your mood can have a number associated with it.

Start tracking your numbers and you'll quickly notice patterns forming.

🧨 16. Your first (few) jobs may not be the most exciting

Very few people work their dream jobs from the get-go. Learn to accept that the randomness at the beginning of your career is the price for job satisfaction later in life.

So far I have been a barista, a translator, a digital illustrator, a technical writer. All of those jobs have taught me things, and all this accumulated knowledge has been compounding over time.

🤖 17. Automate one menial task every week

If you know just a little bit of code, you can probably automate a lot of things in your day-to-day life. Such as:

🔖 18. Don’t simply read non-fiction

Many people claim to read a ton of books every year.

This is good for a variety of reasons, but we often overlook the depth of the reading.

You will definitely get much more value from a book if you take notes from it. Then turn those notes into content or actionable tasks in your day-to-day life and you will see much more benefit.

☕ 19. Learn to appreciate caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant.

And still, it is widely accepted in society despite its addictive nature. I even wrote an article going into the ways I actively manage my daily caffeine. Nowadays, I stick to just 1-2 cups of coffee a day, in order to facilitate the most productivity with the least side effects.

😨 20. Your fears can be a compass

Your fears, anxieties, and troubles can affect how you behave and what you run towards.

But as much as they can hold you back, they could also help you.

Whenever you feel scared or worried to do something, try to analyse the reasons why. Are you scared to do something out of a lack of experience, or is it because you need to change the setting somehow?

Your fears can easily be a compass of how to make your life better.

💰 21. Read finance books

Personal finance may not be everybody's favourite genre, and that's normal.

However, we don't really get a choice in the matter - every single one of us deals with finances, so it's better to be educated about it.

Here's a list of some top-notch finance books to add to your To-Read-List:

  1. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by R. Kiyosaki
  2. “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by R. Sethi
  3. “The Little Book That Still Beats the Market” by J. Greenblatt
  4. “The Total Money Makeover” by D. Ramsey
  5. “The Millionaire Fastlane” by MJ DeMarco
  6. “The Psychology of Money” by M. Housel

Here is an explanation of why every book is important over here.

📣 22. Self-promotion ≠ Bragging

Any content creator starts off insecure.

What will people say if I start making content on the internet?

Well, especially in the beginning, nobody will say anything. Your audience will be small enough that it will likely attract no real attention. One of the first hurdles you'll have to get over is the self-promotion concept.

It may feel like bragging on the Internet at the beginning, but it will become natural over time.

You can promote yourself and your brand without bragging by:
→Building in public
→Sharing your tips and tricks
→Providing value to people, for free

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to my newsletter via the form below to stay in the loop ♻️.

Join 100+ others in the Life Engineering Newsletter 🌱