What is good advice and what were myths and whizdumb of the internet that kept you from improving as much/fast as you could have?
Play more games? NO! Focused training helps more than playing random games. Perfect practice makes perfect not making unpunished mistakes against other weak players.
Studying more openings? NO. You need to focus on one opening for white and black. And MASTER them. Learning lots of openings gives you more openings with less ability in each of them. END GAMES will help more than learning more openings. And tactics are also needed to help play middle games better when using a clock.