408 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 • 96 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.

    Ron Friedman talks about Reverse Engineering Success

    Ron Friedman talks about Reverse Engineering Success

    Ron Friedman is an award-winning social psychologist who specializes in human motivation. He is a frequent contributor to HBR, CNN, Fast Company, and Psychology Today, as well as the author of multiple books including ‘Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Success’.

    Find out how athletes, artists and entrepreneurs succeed so you can create your own breakthrough formula. Ron is on the show to discuss keeping score of success, how to creatively copy, finding your meaningful metrics – and Macklemore’s ‘Ten Thousand Hours’.

    Talking Points

    How to reverse engineer greatness

    The stigma of copying

    The curse of creativity and the confusion with originality

    The Scoreboard Principle

    Setting desirable and undesirable metrics

    Why reverse engineering extends to all areas of society


    Quote
    "Make an established idea different."

    Helpful Links

    ‘Decoding Greatness’ by Ron Friedman


    ‘Four Thousand Weeks’ by Oliver Burkeman 

    Cal Newport – ‘Take Control of Your Time’

    DecodingGreatnessBook.com

    Ignite80.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. Also don't forget to check out all of our podcast sponsors found on our podcast sponsors page.
     
    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.

    • 38 min
    Juliet Funt talks about a Minute to Think

    Juliet Funt talks about a Minute to Think

    Juliet Funt is a renowned keynote speaker and tough-love advisor to the Fortune 500 who is regularly featured in top global media outlets, including Forbes and Fast Company. She is a white-space warrior as the founder and CEO of The Juliet Funt Group, helping business leaders and organizations to unleash their full potential by unburdening talent from busywork. Juliet has earned one of the highest ratings in the largest speaking event in the world, and she has worked with brands such as Spotify, National Geographic, Vans, Costco, Pepsi, Nike, Wells Fargo and ESPN.

    Juliet shares some key insights from her book ‘A Minute to Think: Reclaim Creativity, Conquer Busyness, and Do Your Best Work’. We also discuss finding your spark, making time for mental space, why we fill time, the humane element of productivity – and increasing the sales of salmon tips. 


    Talking Points

    Performative busyness

    The curse of insatiability

    How to not confuse activity with productivity

    What is white space?

    Time sketching

    Taking one minute to think

    Establishing your non-negotiable white spaces



    Quote
    "Interlace space throughout the day."

    Helpful Links

    ‘A Minute To Think’ by Juliet Funt

    ‘Four Thousand Weeks’ by Oliver Burkeman

    ‘Indistractable’ by Nir Eyal

    ‘The Reinvention of Work’ by Matthew Fox

    Episode 360: A World Without Email with Cal Newport

    Episode 229: Exploring Digital Minimalism with Cal Newport

    Episode 93: Deep Work with Cal Newport

    Episode 238: How to Keep Going with Austin Kleon

    Why Is My Life So Hard? (Ep. 280) - Freakonomics

    The Busyness Test

    JulietFunt.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. Also don't forget to check out all of our podcast sponsors found on our podcast sponsors page.
     
    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.

    • 47 min
    Jesse Mecham talks about YNAB, Money Management and Future You

    Jesse Mecham talks about YNAB, Money Management and Future You

    Personal finance expert, speaker, and business leader, Jesse Mecham is the Founder of You Need A Budget (or YNAB if you are very busy and important). He is also a podcast host and best-selling author of ‘You Need A Budget’. He is deeply passionate about teaching individuals, families, and business owners to help them gain total control of their money. Jesse first developed the YNAB method and original spreadsheet as a broke, newly married college student who really needed a budget. Now, YNAB has a growing team living and working all around the world, and has built a thriving remote culture that earned recognition as Fortune’s #1 best small company to work for.

    Jesse shares YNAB’s Four Rules, and how we can all master money management. I’m such a huge fan of the tool, so I also explore with Jesse the power of simple tools, building a community, being clear with your expenses, and Alexa requests.


    Talking Points

    Launching YouNeedABudget.com as a spreadsheet business

    How to start budgeting your finances

    Embracing your true expenses

    Identifying what is urgent

    Setting intention versus attention

    The parallels between time and money management

    Budgeting with your partner

    How YNAB works



    Quote
    "Consider the future within the constraint of current resources."


    Helpful Links

    ‘You Need a Budget’ by Jesse Mecham

    ‘Four Thousand Weeks’ by Oliver Burkeman

    YNAB

    Episode 388: Mike Michalowicz talks about Getting Different

    jesse@ynab.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. Also don't forget to check out all of our podcast sponsors found on our podcast sponsors page.
     
    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.

    • 45 min
    Pieter Geldenhuys talks about Shoshin Walks, Exploring and Nature

    Pieter Geldenhuys talks about Shoshin Walks, Exploring and Nature

    Pieter Geldenhuys – also known as PG Geldenhuys – facilitates hikes and retreats in South Africa and abroad to help you turn your focus inward, through his business Shoshin Walks. He’s also learnt that big shifts come from having a beginner’s mindset. 
    PG’s adventurous spirit is infectious. He shares his travel tales and his philosophy with hiking and being in nature. In this productive conversation, we also discuss meditative walks, writing novels, cliches – and observing ducks. 
    Talking Points

    What is Shoshin?

    The power of meditative walks

    Navigating uncertainty 

    How writing badly helped PG write a novel

    Lessons learnt from completing the Camino de Santiago

    PG’s group tours that include the Inca trail and Kilimanjaro


    Quote
    "Structure will set you free."

    Helpful Links

    ‘Offsides’ by PG Geldenhuys

    The Way (2010)

    ‘Four Thousand Weeks’ by Oliver Burkeman

    Multiplicity (1996)

    About Time (2013)

    Shoshin Walks

    PG’s LinkedIn

    Shoshin Walks Facebook


    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. Also don't forget to check out all of our podcast sponsors found on our podcast sponsors page.
    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
    Jeff Harry talks about Play, Flow and Curiosity

    Jeff Harry talks about Play, Flow and Curiosity

    Jeff Harry combines positive psychology and play to help teams and organizations navigate difficult conversations and assist individuals in addressing their biggest challenges through embracing a play-oriented approach to work. 

    For his work, Jeff was selected by BambooHR & Engagedly as one of the Top 100 HR Influencers of 2020 and has been featured in the NY Times, Mashable, Upworthy, & Shondaland. Jeff has worked with Google, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, the NFL, Amazon, and Facebook, helping their staff to infuse more play into the day-to-day.

    I had a really fun time catching up with Jeff. In this episode we explore rethinking how people work, historical innovators, the power of curiosity and long-term thinking – and John Steinbeck quotes.

    Talking Points

    Jeff’s definition of play 

    Building a psychologically safe place for your company

    Measuring quality over quantity

    Building trust with your staff

    How certain environments unlock play and flow

    Identifying your play value



    Quote
    "Play is the joyful act when you forget about time."

    Helpful Links

    Rediscover Your Play

    Episode 365: Purposeful Play with Gary Ware

    Episode 90: Productivity & Play with Dr. Kirsten Milliken

    ‘Four Thousand Weeks’ by Oliver Burkeman 

    ‘B******t Jobs’ by David Graeber

    Episode 379: Erin Meyer talks about No Rules Rules

    Dig to Fly

    Episode 266: Becoming Indistractable with Nir Eyal

    @JeffHarryPlays 




    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. Also don't forget to check out all of our podcast sponsors found on our podcast sponsors page.
     
    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.

    • 38 min
    Kristoffer Carter talks about Permission, Purpose and Fear

    Kristoffer Carter talks about Permission, Purpose and Fear

    Kristoffer Carter is a spiritual teacher at the intersection of consciousness and business. He is the founder of This Epic Life, a website and podcast devoted to conscious living, which has created a daily meditation practice for thousands. He is also an author, international speaker and executive coach. In his latest book ‘Permission to Glow: A Spiritual Guide to Epic Leadership’, he reveals how to lean in to what makes us all ‘glow’.

    I had a great time catching up with Kristoffer, and hearing about his relationship with fear. We also spoke about the four types of permission such as feeling ‘the feels’, the power of compounding effects, how to overcome ‘work for work’s sake’ – and some interesting parallels with WrestleMania. 


    Talking Points

    Why we need to give ourselves more permission

    The four types of permission

    Lessons learnt from wrestlers

    Leaning in to your big scary dream

    Working with coaches and the power of practising



    Quote
    "Learn to dance with the ever-presence of fear."

    Helpful Links

    This Epic Life

    ‘Permission to Glow’ by Kristoffer Carter

    ‘A Minute to Think’ by Juliet Funt

    Peter Gabriel - Don't Give Up (ft. Kate Bush)



    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. Also don't forget to check out all of our podcast sponsors found on our podcast sponsors page.
     
    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.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
96 Ratings

96 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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