205 episodes

Hosted by productivity strategist Mike Vardy, A Productive Conversation is a podcast that discusses tips, tools, tactics, and tricks that are designed to help you take your productivity, time management, goals, to do lists, habits, and workflow to new heights - both at work and at home. If you're looking to focus your efforts on getting the right things done and start living the good life, then this weekly conversational podcast – crafted in the tradition of Slate's Working, Back to Work, and HBR IdeaCast – is for you.

A Productive Conversation Mike Vardy

    • Business
    • 4.3 • 95 Ratings

Hosted by productivity strategist Mike Vardy, A Productive Conversation is a podcast that discusses tips, tools, tactics, and tricks that are designed to help you take your productivity, time management, goals, to do lists, habits, and workflow to new heights - both at work and at home. If you're looking to focus your efforts on getting the right things done and start living the good life, then this weekly conversational podcast – crafted in the tradition of Slate's Working, Back to Work, and HBR IdeaCast – is for you.

    A/J Jackson talks about Music, Glasses and Color Theory

    A/J Jackson talks about Music, Glasses and Color Theory

    A/J Jackson is an American filmmaker, musician, songwriter, record producer, and the lead singer for the band Saint Motel. From feeling too limited to one color choice with his own eyewear – A/J Jackson took the leap and created interchangeable tinted lenses. He’s now the founder of AVIEW, which helps you experience a new way of wearing glasses where you can swap out colors whenever you feel like it. Colors can affect your mood, productivity, and general sense of well being.

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers you access to your own licensed professional therapist – all from the comfort of wherever you are. You can arrange weekly video chats or phone calls, text with your carefully curated counsellor, and do so at an affordable price. And anything you share is confidential. I’ve been using BetterHelp for a while and I am highly impressed. It’s been a huge help for me and I know it can be the same for you. Start living a happier life today with BetterHelp. As a listener, you’ll get 10% off your first month by visiting betterhelp.com/timecrafting. Give BetterHelp a try today.

    I really enjoyed speaking with A/J Jackson and learning how he maintains his ‘creative muse’. In this episode we discuss how it went from making music to glasses, finding a team of experts to work with, color theory – and the 3D printer at his local library. 

    Talking Points

    Taking on new creative projects

    Color theory and its impact on mood and productivity 

    The meaning behind ‘rose-tinted glasses’

    The power of changing your working environment

    Experimenting with hyper-scheduling

    On being a disciplined artist 


    Quote
    "By chunking your time, you’re starting afresh each time."

    Helpful Links

    AVIEW.com

    ‘Hemingway’ documentary

    ‘The Authentic Swing’ by Steven Pressfield

    ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield

    Jerry Seinfeld: Comedian

    A/J Jackon’s Instagram



    Want to discover some of the books mentioned on the podcast? Check out Scribd, my reading app of choice.

    If you enjoyed the episode, please leave a rating and/or review wherever you listened to the episode. And if you want to have easy access to the archives of the show and ensure you don't miss the new episodes to come then subscribe to the podcast in the app you're using.

    • 39 min
    Mike Michalowicz talks Being Different ‘Enough’

    Mike Michalowicz talks Being Different ‘Enough’

    Mike Michalowicz is an American author, entrepreneur, and lecturer. He is currently an author of seven business books published by Penguin Random House, including ‘Profit First’ and ‘Clockwork’, and is the former host of the "Business Rescue" segment for MSNBC's Your Business. It’s an honor and a privilege to have Mike on the show as we get to explore how to truly succeed through marketing your business.

    This episode is sponsored by Sovereignty. Sovereignty creates game-changing supplements to take your workouts to the next level, make your endless to-do list feel like a cakewalk, and falling asleep and staying easier than counting sheep. Feel unmotivated or lacking focus? Have the best day, every day, with PURPOSE+ – a blend of CBD, CBG (a mood-enhancing hemp-derived ingredient), 7 clinically studied ingredients with the world’s best adaptogens to deliver results you can feel almost immediately. Visit https://sovereignty.co/ and use the code timecrafting for 20% off your purchase.

    This episode is sponsored by Füm. It is a non-electronic natural inhaler made to receive the benefits of essential oils, and has no vapour, leaving the plant’s beneficial properties in its natural state. Pure essential oils carry the beneficial properties of some of the world's best super plants. Find out what benefits you can get by taking their free quiz on their website BreatheFum.com. As a listener to the show, get 10% off your order today by using the code timecrafting at www.breathefum.com. 

    This episode is sponsored by UCI Division of Continuing Education. With over 80 career-focused programs - ranging from business, education, tech, engineering and so much more, there is something for everybody. What is more, enrollment is open to all. Stand out from the work that you do and gain the practical skills you need today by enrolling on to one of their courses today. Visit ce.uci/edu/LearnNow.

    We explore how to be in control of your leads, Mike’s ‘DAD’ methodology, being different ‘enough’, plain text emails – and fun houses.

    Talking Points

    What inspired Mike to write ‘Get Different’

    The attitude of experimenting vs planning

    How to specify your audience

    Being ‘different enough’

    Seeking inspiration from other industries

    Learn how to instantly analyze your marketing campaigns 


    Quote
    "The creation of new is an improvement of old."

    Helpful Links

    GoGetDifferent.com

    ‘Clockwork’ by Mike Michalowicz

    Clickup



    Want to discover some of the books mentioned on the podcast? Check out Scribd, my reading app of choice.

    If you enjoyed the episode, please leave a rating and/or review wherever you listened to the episode. And if you want to have easy access to the archives of the show and ensure you don't miss the new episodes to come then subscribe to the podcast in the app you're using – or you can do so on a variety of podcast platforms by clicking here.

    • 39 min
    Stephen Warley talks about Self-Awareness, Reflecting and Life Skills

    Stephen Warley talks about Self-Awareness, Reflecting and Life Skills

    I’m excited to finally have my good friend Stephen Warley on the show today. He founded Life Skills That Matter in 2016, a platform that teaches individuals how to create a business that is in alignment with their values, needs and abilities. He is also the host of the Life Skills That Matter Podcast, where he has interviewed 500+ people who have made the transition from employment to working for themselves... and all the different ways they’ve done it.

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers you access to your own licensed professional therapist – all from the comfort of wherever you are. You can arrange weekly video chats or phone calls, text with your carefully curated counsellor, and do so at an affordable price. And anything you share is confidential. I’ve been using BetterHelp for a while and I am highly impressed. It’s been a huge help for me and I know it can be the same for you. Start living a happier life today with BetterHelp. As a listener, you’ll get 10% off your first month by visiting betterhelp.com/timecrafting. Give BetterHelp a try today.

    This episode is sponsored by Sovereignty. Sovereignty creates game-changing supplements to take your workouts to the next level, make your endless to-do list feel like a cakewalk, and falling asleep and staying easier than counting sheep. Feel unmotivated or lacking focus? Have the best day, every day, with PURPOSE+ – a blend of CBD, CBG (a mood-enhancing hemp-derived ingredient), 7 clinically studied ingredients with the world’s best adaptogens to deliver results you can feel almost immediately. Visit https://sovereignty.co/ and use the code timecrafting for 20% off your purchase.

    This episode is sponsored by TextExpander. With TextExpander, you can unlock your productivity with its many features. With TextExpander you can make everything you write repetitively available everywhere you type: text documents, spreadsheets, web forms, and more. Unlock your productivity with TextExpander. Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.

    This episode is sponsored by Sit Down, Startup, a new weekly podcast from Zendesk. Getting your business off the ground is hard. Find out why customer experience is at the heart of success. The startup’s team chats with Zendesk leaders, founders, and CEOs in a coffee-shop style conversation about starting up when the world is upside down. Catch weekly fresh new episodes on Apple, Google, and Spotify. Head over to Sit Down, Startup here.

    Tune in to this productive conversation as we discuss scheduling time for reflection, journaling, creating healthy habits, what Stephen does to slow down – and learning how to ski.

    Talking Points

    How to cultivate self-awareness 

    Stephen’s workshop at the BIG Ready 2021

    Scheduling time for reflection and meditation

    Finding activities to stimulate mindfulness

    Building habits before tools

    Creating a retreat for yourself



    Quote
    "Are your habits taking you where you want to go?"

    Helpful Links

    Life Skills That Matter Podcast

    The BIG Ready

    LifeSkillsThatMatter.com/GetStarted



    Want to discover some of the books mentioned on the podcast? Check out Scribd, my reading app of choice.

    If you enjoyed the episode, please leave a rating and/or review wherever you listened to the episode. And if you want to have easy access to the archives of the show and ensure you don't miss the new episodes to come then subscribe to the podcast in the app you're using – or you can do so on a variety of podcast platforms by clicking here.

    • 37 min
    Jeff Brown talks about Reading To Lead

    Jeff Brown talks about Reading To Lead

    Jeff Brown was a reluctant reader at school, but he fell in love with it when he had to learn more about marketing in his career. Jeff is a podcaster, mentor, and speaker, with a mission to help people like you bridge the gap between intention and implementation. He does this primarily through public speaking, mastermind groups, membership platforms, courses, coaching, and consulting.

    This episode is sponsored by LinkedIn Jobs. When your business is ready to make that next hire, LinkedIn Jobs can help by matching your role with qualified candidates so that you can find the right person quickly. You can pay what you want and get the first $50 off. Just visit linkedin.com/timecrafting to get fifty dollars off your first job post. Terms and conditions apply.

    This episode is sponsored by Sit Down, Startup, a new weekly podcast from Zendesk. Getting your business off the ground is hard. Find out why customer experience is at the heart of success. The startup’s team chats with Zendesk leaders, founders, and CEOs in a coffee-shop style conversation about starting up when the world is upside down. Catch weekly fresh new episodes on Apple, Google, and Spotify. Head over to Sit Down, Startup here.

    I’m excited to learn more about his latest book, which co-authored with Jesse Wisnewski, ‘Read to Lead: The Simple Habit That Expands Your Influence and Boosts Your Career’. In this productive conversation we explore book clubs, speed reading, being a co-author, the free library movement – and why there will always be a place for books. Be sure to check out the links for all the books we mentioned in this interview!


    Talking Points

    Jeff’s relationship with reading

    The co-authoring experience

    Reading books digitally versus physically

    When to keep or let go of books

    The books Jeff re-reads the most

    Interesting findings from writing the book

    A process for skim reading

    The benefits of having a book club



    Quote
    "We are all lifelong learners."

    Helpful Links

    ‘Read To Lead’ by Jeff Brown and Jesse Wisnewski

    Episode 343: Consistency Over Authenticity with Seth Godin

    ‘Purple Cow’ by Seth Godin

    How to Be a Better Reader - YouTube

    Episode 360: A World Without Email with Cal Newport

    Episode 229: Exploring Digital Minimalism with Cal Newport

    Episode 73: Deep Work with Cal Newport

    ‘Digital Minimalism’ by Cal Newport

    ‘Punch Failure in the Face’ by David Knapp-Fisher

    ‘Anything You Want’ by Derek Sivers

    ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ by Patrick M. Lencioni

    ‘Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day’ by Todd Henry

    Episode 340: Your Motivation Code with Todd Henry

    Episode 54: Voice Lessons with Todd Henry

    ‘Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smart’ by Liz Wiseman

    ‘How to Take Smart Notes’ by Sönke Ahrens

    ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen

    Episode 203: The Evolution of Getting Things Done with David Allen

    ‘Greenlights’ by Matthew McConaughey

    ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ by Og Mandino

    ReadToLeadBook.com

    Read To Lead Podcast



    Want to discover some of the books mentioned on the podcast? Check out Scribd, my reading app of choice.

    If you enjoyed the episode, please leave a rating and/or review wherever you listened to the episode. And if you want to have easy access to the archives of the show and ensure you don't miss the new episodes to come then subscribe to the podcast in the app you're using – or you can do so on a variety of podcast platforms by clicking here.

    • 46 min
    Adii Pienaar talks about Measuring Life Profitability

    Adii Pienaar talks about Measuring Life Profitability

    Today’s guest, Adii Pienaar, is not a fan of labels, but he’s a true life-first entrepreneur and avid writer. He also co-founded WooThemes in 2007, founded Conversio in 2014. His latest book, Life Profitability: The New Measure of Entrepreneurial Success distills a new perspective for becoming self-aware, recognising your values, and understanding your impact. I found it really impactful, so I couldn’t wait to bring Adii on to the show.

    This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers you access to your own licensed professional therapist – all from the comfort of wherever you are. You can arrange weekly video chats or phone calls, text with your carefully curated counsellor, and do so at an affordable price. And anything you share is confidential. I’ve been using BetterHelp for a while and I am highly impressed. It’s been a huge help for me and I know it can be the same for you. Start living a happier life today with BetterHelp. As a listener, you’ll get 10% off your first month by visiting betterhelp.com/timecrafting. Give BetterHelp a try today.

    This episode is sponsored by Sit Down, Startup, a new weekly podcast from Zendesk. Getting your business off the ground is hard. Find out why customer experience is at the heart of success. The startup’s team chats with Zendesk leaders, founders, and CEOs in a coffee-shop style conversation about starting up when the world is upside down. Catch weekly fresh new episodes on Apple, Google, and Spotify. Head over to Sit Down, Startup here.

    Listen to this conversation as we take a step back and review how to live an enriched life AND run a successful business. We discuss the power of language, journaling, what ‘harmony’ means to Adii – and cultivating ‘breadcrumbs’ of writing. 


    Talking Points

    Being a seeker

    The pros and cons of ambition

    Why we shouldn’t strive for ‘work-life balance

    Measuring qualitative goals

    How to maintain and sustain your life profitability

    How journaling has helped Adii

    Breaking old patterns



    Quote
    "Seek the newer versions of your truths."

    Helpful Links


    ‘Life Profitability’ by Adii Pienaar 


    ‘Motion’ by Adii Pienaar 

    The Toxicity of Relentless Ambition

    ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi

    Episode 226: How to Build a Company of One with Paul Jarvis

    ‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse

    ‘The Values Factor’ by Dr. John DeMartini

    13 Questions with Dr John Demartini

    Adii.me



    Want to discover some of the books mentioned on the podcast? Check out Scribd, my reading app of choice.

    If you enjoyed the episode, please leave a rating and/or review wherever you listened to the episode. And if you want to have easy access to the archives of the show and ensure you don't miss the new episodes to come then subscribe to the podcast in the app you're using – or you can do so on a variety of podcast platforms by clicking here.

    • 45 min
    Yvonne Heimann talks about ClickUp, Project Management and Patience

    Yvonne Heimann talks about ClickUp, Project Management and Patience

    It’s personal building the right process for your business. ClickUp expert and business coach Yvonne Heimann shares how choosing the right tool will shift your business.

    This episode is sponsored by Canva Pro. It’s the easy-to-use design platform that has everything you need to design like a pro. It has all you need in one place, including a collection of over 75 million premium photos, videos, audio and graphics. As a Canva Pro subscriber, I love so many of their features including the brand kit, which makes it really easy to collaborate with my team. Claim your FREE 45 day extended trial by signing up via (Canva.me/timecrafting).

    This episode is sponsored by Sit Down, Startup, a new weekly podcast from Zendesk. Getting your business off the ground is hard. Find out why customer experience is at the heart of success. The startup’s team chats with Zendesk leaders, founders, and CEOs in a coffee-shop-style conversation about starting up when the world is upside down. Catch weekly fresh new episodes on Apple, Google, and Spotify. Head over to Sit Down, Startup here.

    From having been a German pub owner to now being a Californian business coach, Yvonne Heimann “sees systems everywhere”. I discovered her work on YouTube when I wanted to move over from Asana to ClickUp – and she massively helped me with this transition. Yvonne helps digital entrepreneurs increase profits and reclaim lost time by teaching how to implement proven processes, systems, using project management tools like ClickUp.

    As you can tell from our conversation, Yvonne knows her stuff when it comes to simplifying systems and building processes. Listen to find out more about her ‘Daily Method of Operation’, building a successful YouTube channel, why ClickUp is her favorite tool, using visual flow charts – and what it was like being brought up near the Berlin wall.  

    Talking Points

    Be clear on your ‘Why’ and ‘What’

    Being a woman in the productivity industry

    How to find common values within your workflow

    Having patience with setting up your process

    Defining productivity across the US vs European culture

    Journaling and daily routines

    Tips on moving to a different project management tool

    Having a bigger picture with your process


    Quote
    "Look at the bigger picture, then drill down."

    Helpful Links

    Ask Yvi YouTube

    Ask Yvi Facebook Group

    AskVi.com


    Want to discover some of the books mentioned on the podcast? Check out Scribd, my reading app of choice.

    If you enjoyed the episode, please leave a rating and/or review wherever you listened to the episode. And if you want to have easy access to the archives of the show and ensure you don't miss the new episodes to come then subscribe to the podcast in the app you're using – or you can do so on a variety of podcast platforms by clicking here.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
95 Ratings

95 Ratings

Arlie K ,

Amazing conversations!

A Productive Conversation has become one of my faves - the discussions here are consistently empowering, engaging, and insightful! It’s obvious that Mike puts extraordinary effort into finding guests that are authentic and truly care about being a positive force in this world. Definitely not one to miss!

Marina 'The Trader Chick' ,

So helpful for my business

I love listening to the tips, tricks, and tools from this podcast. Aside from learning a lot from other businesses, I get to apply many to my own, plus it keeps me entertained.

Cindy Bidar ,

Some good interviews

Mike has a few interesting guests and there is almost always a useful takeaway or two in an episode. My one complaint is the crazy long ads break. Six minutes of ads? Really? That big ad block makes me turn it off midway through just about every episode.

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