112 episodes

It is no longer necessary to sacrifice your health (and your sanity) in order to be successful. P90X creator Tony Horton...American Ninja Warrior superstar Kevin Bull...Productivity guru and inventor of the GTD system David Allen...World-famous biohacker Ben Greenfield. These are just a few of the many experts ready to inspire you to step outside your comfort zone so you can reach your full potential. Hosted by Zack Arnold (award-winning Hollywood film & TV editor, documentary director, American Ninja Warrior in training, and father of two), the Optimize Yourself program helps creative professionals, entrepreneurs, weekend warriors, and even professional athletes better manage their time, energy, and attention so they can maximize their focus and creativity and minimize burnout. Learn how to combat the negative effects of working a sedentary job...become a productivity ninja...eat better...sleep better...and learn what it really takes to land your “dream job.” You ready? Let’s start designing the optimized version of YOU.

Optimize Yourself Zack Arnold: Hollywood Film Editor, Documentary Director, Blogger, Father o

    • Health & Fitness

It is no longer necessary to sacrifice your health (and your sanity) in order to be successful. P90X creator Tony Horton...American Ninja Warrior superstar Kevin Bull...Productivity guru and inventor of the GTD system David Allen...World-famous biohacker Ben Greenfield. These are just a few of the many experts ready to inspire you to step outside your comfort zone so you can reach your full potential. Hosted by Zack Arnold (award-winning Hollywood film & TV editor, documentary director, American Ninja Warrior in training, and father of two), the Optimize Yourself program helps creative professionals, entrepreneurs, weekend warriors, and even professional athletes better manage their time, energy, and attention so they can maximize their focus and creativity and minimize burnout. Learn how to combat the negative effects of working a sedentary job...become a productivity ninja...eat better...sleep better...and learn what it really takes to land your “dream job.” You ready? Let’s start designing the optimized version of YOU.

    Ep87: [CASE STUDY] Why People Don't Respond to Your Cold Outreach (and How to Get a Response) | with Scott Davis

    Ep87: [CASE STUDY] Why People Don't Respond to Your Cold Outreach (and How to Get a Response) | with Scott Davis

    Cold Outreach - Seriously... is there anything worse than that feeling when you’re about to send an unsolicited message to someone you admire or want to connect with to find work?
    “I’m probably bothering them.”
    “They’re too busy to pay attention to me.”
    “I feel weird asking strangers for help.”
    “I probably sound desperate.”
    “Why even bother? Nobody ever responds anyway.”
    There’s no question that if done wrong, outreach messages can be a surefire path to rejection, isolation, complete lack of confidence, and feeling like you have no way to connect to the right people that can potentially become your mentors, colleagues, or collaborators. But when done correctly,
    A well-written outreach message can change your entire career.
    In today’s interview I chat with Scott Davis who considers himself to be a “hopeless introvert.” As someone who recently made the major career transition from working in documentaries in New York City to working in scripted features in Los Angeles, Scott will be the first to tell you how overwhelming it can feel to have to rebuild your network from the ground up. But with the right mindset, the right strategies, and a little support, Scott’s new career in Los Angeles is not only surviving but thriving.
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    Here's What You'll Learn: Scott’s ‘origin story’ from New York to Hollywood with no connections and ‘no idea what to do’ (sound familiar?) The terrifying feeling of trying to get into this ‘fortress of opportunity’ in Hollywood where the only way in seems to be from people inside who are working & too busy to help you. The dilemma of just 'finding the next gig to pay the bills' vs. ‘playing the long game’ to pursue the career path you really want. The counter-intuitive shift in focus that makes that effectively eliminates that so-called ’dilemma’. (Listen for this key takeaway!) Why there’s no more important skill than networking in this industry and the step-by-step path to networking for introverts. Discover the ’secrets’ to “cold emailing” / “cold outreach” and how Scott boosted his response rate from 5% to 75%. The REAL goal of sending an outreach email. (HINT: It sounds so easy it couldn’t possibly work.) How to ‘crawl inside the brain’ of the person you send an outreach email to and see it from their perspective. How to get people to OPEN your approach email and why doing a few minutes of research goes a LONG way. Why the idea of “nobody wants to help me” is just wrong and right way to tap into people’s natural tendency to WANT share their wisdom & experience with you. Connecting the dots: Scott’s story of turning rejections into opportunities. What it really means to “lead with value” and the power of ‘validation’. The momentum that builds when you invest in building relationships over time. If you’re inspired by Scott’s journey today and you’d like to up your networking game, specifically your outreach emails, then you’re in luck. Because I’m just finishing up something brand new called ‘The Insider’s Guide to Writing Great Outreach Emails’ and as a loyal listener you’ll get first dibs.
    In this guide I’m going to break down the process of writing outreach emails so you understand EXACTLY what will get you a response. I’ll teach you why cold outreach is the most important soft skill you must develop if you want to advance your career, I’ll show you the 5 most common mistakes people make when writing their outreach messages, and then I’ll break down step-by-step how to write an amazing outreach message that will actually get a response so you can seek advice, connect with a potential mentor, set up lunch meetings, and possibly even land your next gig.
    Download this brand ne

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Ep86: How to Become 'Indistractable' | with Nir Eyal

    Ep86: How to Become 'Indistractable' | with Nir Eyal

    DISTRACTION is a word everyone is familiar with. When your livelihood depends on your ability to be creative and summon superhuman levels of hyperfocus for hours (or even weeks) at a time, there is no greater enemy to your livelihood than distraction. The problem in our 24-7 hyperconnected world of endless notifications, emails, text messages, and 100 other different forms of interruptions is that we are all simply looking for hacks, tricks, and apps to help us eliminate distractions.
    But what if instead of trying to eliminate distraction from our lives we instead worked towards having more “Traction?”
    When the thought of putting my efforts towards building traction as opposed to avoiding distractions first occurred to me it absolutely blew my mind. And in today’s interview with productivity expert Nir Eyal, bestselling author of the books Indistractableand Hooked, this is simply the tip of the iceberg of mind-blowing ideas to help you become less distracted, more focused, and more intentional with your time and attention.
    Want to Hear More Episodes Like This One? » Click here to subscribe and never miss another episode
    Here’s What You’ll Learn: Discover Nir Eyal’s 4 steps to becoming “Indistractable” Nir explains how the premise of his book: Hooked which focused on the design choices that makes smart phone apps “sticky” (i.e. “addictive”), led to the focus of his latest book: Indistractable. The opposite of distraction is ______. (HINT: It’s NOT focus) How to get to the root cause of distraction & frustration at a deep emotional level. (HINT: “It’s not the device in your hand, it’s what’s going on in your head.”) Most ‘productivity hacks’ are about becoming more efficient versions of ‘busy’, which is like spinning on the hamster wheel faster. Becoming Indistractable is about being more effective. With all the information at our fingertips on the Internet, we essentially know what to do. The question is, why don’t we do it?Why do we keep getting distracted? The answers may surprise you. 5 years of research reveals that the greatest source of distraction is not the external triggers. It’s internal triggers: The uncomfortable states that we seek to escape. The case against the “pain vs. pleasure” narrative of human behavior.  The reason we do everything is for one reason only. Everything we do is to help us modulate our ____. The 3 areas of our lives we must reimagine: the tasks, the triggers, and our temperament.  Practical techniques for dealing with the most important triggers – the “internal triggers”. Follow this advice and the externaltriggers will lose most of their power over you. Why many people fall into one of two categories: “blamers” and “shamers” – and the 3rd alternative mindset that makes us more effective.  To reclaim our power, we can accept the fact that we cannot control how we feel. But we CAN choose how we respond… and RETRAIN our brain to respond more helpfully.  HOT TIP: How to apply the “10-minute rule” and what it means to “Surf the urge”. The truth about willpower as a ‘finite resource’ in light of the latest scientific evidence and how this connects to the idea of “reimagining our temperament”.  Remember this: “If we don’t plan our day, somebody’s going to plan it for us.” Nir’s unique perspective on using your calendar for time boxing & how it ties into an important lesson from his book: “You cannot call something a distraction unless you know what it distracted you from.”  ACTION STEPS: Open your calendar and ask yourself: “How do I turn my values into time for next week?” Where values = The attributes of the person you want to become. Do this for the 3 domains of life he suggests. Work domain TIP: Schedule time to THINK The life-changing “Schedule Sync” review with stakeholder

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Ep85: Mentorship, Networking, and Surviving Hollywood Blockbusters | with Dody Dorn, ACE

    Ep85: Mentorship, Networking, and Surviving Hollywood Blockbusters | with Dody Dorn, ACE

    Finding a mentor in Hollywood is an elusive process that few really understand, but when you find a mentor that really understands your challenges and wants to help you succeed, it can change your career (and even your entire life).
    So then how do you find a mentor?
    In this episode I have the pleasure and honor of chatting with my very first mentor Academy Award nominated film & television editor Dody Dorn, ACE who has worked with such acclaimed directors as James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Baz Luhrman, David Ayer, and Ridley Scott…to name a few. We talk about how and why I reached out to Dody in the first place, why she chose to respond and become my mentor, and how our relationship has worked as mentor & mentee over the last seventeen years.
    But more interestly, we also chat about the major transition in our relationship when Dody went from being the mentor to becoming the mentee after realizing that…
    “Keeping your head down is not the road to a healthy life”
    …and is in fact the path to an early death. Like so many in her field of editing blockbuster features, Dody struggled with major health challenges, both mental and physical, and we chat about the mindset shifts and lifestyle transformations she made to become more active, energetic, and creative.
    Want to Hear More Episodes Like This One? » Click here to subscribe and never miss another episode
    Here’s What You’ll Learn: How Zack connected with Dody and cultivate a mentorship relationship with her. The tragic series of events that led to Dody calling Zack about “Fitness in Post” and work-life balance. Dody shares valuable insights with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight on her career in editing. Her flexible approach to gradually bringing more self-care into her busy schedule. How to stay connected to the rest of the world when internal and external pressures put you in front of a screen most of the time. Why “Keeping your head down” is not the road to a good, healthy life. In fact, it might be the road to an early death. The realities of ‘working in isolation’ and the impacts on our health, wellbeing and relationships. The “how to boil a frog” analogy and how easy it is to get so focused on work only to realize the negative health impacts once we’re already “boiling”. A key shift in mindset after working with a nutritionist for just one day that led to her losing 30 pounds without even focusing on weight loss but instead on lifestyle. On long hours: Dody shares valuable insights on how she overcomes the ‘gravity’ that draws so many of us into long hours at the expense of our wellbeing. HINT: We often have more control than we think we do. Why we editors are “horrible bosses” to ourselves. Dody’s process for preparing for the time when the director’s going to be in the room. On shooting ratios: How the shift to digital has led to “pushing the work to the other side of the camera”. The key to getting a mentor is simple. You need to ask and know what you’re asking for. Useful Resources Mentioned: Article: How I Became a Curmudgeon at 25 Years Old
    Live panel & workshop for Editor’s Guild – Saturday Jan. 18th “Hollywood Networking for Introverts”
    Our Generous Sponsors: This episode is made possible for you by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone who stands at their workstation. The Topo is super comfortable, an awesome conversation starter, and it’s also scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. Click here to learn more and get your Topo Mat.
    Guest Bio:
    Switching easily between blockbusters and independent art house cinema, Dody Dorn is one of the leading film editors in the United States. A native of Santa Monica, California, Dorn graduated from Hollywood High Schoo

    • 56 min
    Ep84: How to Use 'Intuitive Eating' To Change Your Relationship With Food | with Melissa Costello

    Ep84: How to Use 'Intuitive Eating' To Change Your Relationship With Food | with Melissa Costello

    Counting calories. Balancing macros. High fat/Low carb. Low fat/High carb. Going Paleo. Or Vegan. Or Vegetarian. Or Keto. Or Whole 30.
    Seriously. Shoot me in the face.
    In today’s hyperconnected world of endless information, you’d think it would be easy to figure out how to eat healthy… but it’s become harder than ever. It’s nearly impossible to decipher the latest science that tells us one day that butter and bacon are miracle superfoods and the next day we’re told that eating any kind of fat will kill us all.
    I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the B.S.
    What if there were an easier, less stressful, and practically guilt-free way of eating that didn’t involve counting…well…anything? Can’t someone just tell me how to eat without doing math or measuring or feeling like every decision I make is the wrong one?
    My guest Melissa (Missy) Costello is a transformational eating coach, author, and holistic nutritionist who has completely changed my relationship to food. While I may have a reputation as someone who always makes healthy choices, the reality is anything but. I was raised on the 80’s standard American diet (SAD) of Fruit Loops for breakfast, Chef Boyardee for lunch, and Fruity Pebbles for dinner (I wish that was an exaggeration). And while I’ve reduced or eliminated many of my bad habits, what I’ve realized over the last few years is that the hardest habits to break have nothing to do with sugar or carbs or cravings…they have to do with my emotions.
    In this episode learn from Missy how you can change your relationship to food forever. While the journey isn’t necessarily easy, it’s a lot simpler than you might think.
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    Here’s What You’ll Learn: What ‘intuitive eating‘ is and how to gently & systematically change your relationship with food Understand WHY we make the choices with food that we do How to find a way of eating that works for YOU Why 1% of diets actually succeed and 99% fail The truth about “Clean Eating” (HINT: “Clean Eating” is just another diet) How the Wellness industry is just another guise for the diet industry Why the restriction mindset of dieting is a vicious cycle of judgement and self-defeating behavior How to unravel a lifetime’s worth of negative programming (shame) around “healthy” eating How to listen to your body (On an intuitive level, our bodies know what it likes and doesn’t like) – Hence the term: intuitive eating. The terrifying accountability assignment that Tony Horton gave to Zack which forced him to become more aware of his food choices
    and how they aligned with his training for American Ninja Warrior How to let go of the “starving children in Africa” program that compels you to “finish your plate” and the true cost of letting food go to ‘waste’ What to do about the “all or nothing mentality” that keeps you on the dieting ferris wheel How to uncover the “blindspots” we all have about our own behavior with food The various ways we use food to change our state or deal with negative emotions The simple ‘awareness’ habit to use when you reach for food Four ways you can change your state in a more connected way The “sinking ship” analogy to breaking down the various areas you have challenges around food & the importance of tackling one
    challenge at a time On wasting food… Do you want your body to be the garbage can? Or do you want to put the food in the garbage can where it belongs? How Melissa “cured” a client of her Diet Coke addiction in a week and a half The surprising difference between our desire to eat creamy/sweet foods vs. crunchy foods and their connection to our emotions How one television writer lost 100 pounds in a year – not by dieting, but by eating everythin

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Ep83: How to Boost Your Cognitive Performance with Sleep (according to a Navy Seal) | with Dr. Kirk Parsley

    Ep83: How to Boost Your Cognitive Performance with Sleep (according to a Navy Seal) | with Dr. Kirk Parsley

    Without question sleep is the most important physiological process we require as creative professionals (and humans) to function at an optimal level…yet it’s what our work culture prioritizes the least. Proper sleep slows the aging process, keeps us lean, restores our immune system, and it protects our memory. Much to the chagrin of ‘Type A’ over achievers, quality sleep is every bit as important as oxygen, food, and water.
    So then why do we proudly wear our “Sleep Deprivation Badges of Honor” on our sleeves and work ourselves to death even though every bit of research that points to chronic sleep deprivation destroying our ability to cognitively function at a level higher than being chronically drunk at work.
    Today’s guest is no stranger to the detriments of sleep deprivation. Dr. Kirk Parsley is a physician for the Navy Seals and a former Navy Seal himself. And there are quite possibly no two professions on the planet better known for chronic sleep deprivation than being a Seal or being a doctor. Having experienced firsthand the negative effects of chronic sleep deprivation, Kirk has now become and advocate for the health benefits of sleep and is now a world-renowned sleep expert who travels the world evangelizing sleep, wellness, and hormone optimization.
    Before you considering sacrificing “just a couple hours” of sleep today or this week to get just a little more work done (or to watch just “one more episode”), I encourage you to listen to this interview to better understand not only what sleep deprivation is doing to your creative brain but also more importantly what you can do about it.
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    Here’s What You’ll Learn: Becoming aware of the negative aspects of the culture of sleep Sleep’s relationship with your hormones The problem with sleep studies Coming to terms with your sleep deprivation Fighting indifference towards your poor sleep habits The unprofitable nature of long-term health practices How to confront your accumulating sleep debt The casual deception of concepts like bio-hacking Useful Resources Mentioned: Dr. Kirk Parsley
    Our Generous Sponsors: This episode is made possible for you by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone who stands at their workstation. The Topo is super comfortable, an awesome conversation starter, and it’s also scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. Click here to learn more and get your Topo Mat.
    Guest Bio:
    Facebook|Twitter|Instagram Dr. Kirk Parsley is a former Navy SEAL, a physician for the SEALs, a health & sleep optimization consultant, and performance enhancement coach for some of the most driven achievers on the planet.
    Kirk is the creator of the Doc Parsley Sleep Remedy sleep supplement, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (since 2006), a worldwide expert speaker on sleep, wellness, and hormonal optimization, and the author of the internationally best-selling book, Sleep to Win.
    Show Credits: This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Elyse Rintelman. The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

    Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Ep82: Real Talk About Mental Health and Depression | with Michael Kammes

    Ep82: Real Talk About Mental Health and Depression | with Michael Kammes

    Michael Kammes is the creator and host of the 5 Things tech series as well as the Director of Business Development for the startup BeBop Technology. Michael has also fought a lifelong battle with depression.
    Recently after an extended hiatus from his ‘5 Things’ YouTube series Michael posted this video where he was incredibly honest and open about his most recent battles with depression and burnout caused by a sudden death in the family compounded with a major career change.
    After watching this I immediately reached out to Michael because he understands the importance of being open and honest about mental health challenges. So few are willing to share which paradoxically is the reason why talking about mental health is so taboo.
    When you work a creative career it’s often a very solitary endeavor…alone…for hours, days, and weeks at a time…and probably in a small dark room. It’s so easy to get sucked into the trap of believing “it’s just you” because everyone else around you “seems to have it all figured out.” My hope is that after listening to this conversation you’ll understand that not only is it not just you…it’s all of us.
    If you are inspired to take away a single thing from today’s conversation, it should be that we are all battling this together, and if you feel overwhelmed, it truly is okay to ask for help.
    Want to Hear More Episodes Like This One? » Click here to subscribe and never miss another episode
    Here’s What You’ll Learn: What Michael has been up to since his last appearance on the podcast The challenges of working from home as an extrovert Learning to not assume that everyone knows how demanding your position is The importance of learning to relate to other people as an up and coming creative Michael’s history with ADD and Depression Confusing being depressed with being an unmotivated person Finding the strength to function when you feel unable to keep going Reminding yourself that you are not alone in your struggles Therapy as an essential confrontation practice with your depression Useful Resources Mentioned: Michael Kammes
    “5 THINGS” Podcast
    BeBop Technology
    [Podcast] When It’s Time to Hit the ‘Reset’ Button with Michael Kammes
    Our Generous Sponsors: This episode is made possible for you by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone who stands at their workstation. The Topo is super comfortable, an awesome conversation starter, and it’s also scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. Click here to learn more and get your Topo Mat.
    Guest Bio:
    Facebook|Twitter Michael Kammes has designed and built thousands of production and post-production systems, workflows, and facility integrations during his nearly 20 years as a technology advisor in the media and entertainment industry. He is a frequent keynote speaker on trends, products, and workflows in production and post technology and his “5 THINGS” podcast draws an audience of industry insiders from around the world.
    Michael currently serves as the Director of Business Development at cloud solutions provider BeBop Technology in Los Angeles.
    In addition to the technical side of media creation, Michael’s creative work includes the roles of Dialogue Editor, SFX Editor, ADR Recordist & Editor, Re-Recording Mixer, and Supervising Sound Editor.
    Show Credits: This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Elyse Rintelman. The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

    Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products fro

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

DanielBryantMedia ,

Great Podcast!

Formerly “Fitness In Post” I would recommend this podcast to ANYBODY in the creative field, who feels an obligation / wears the “sit until you’re finished” badge to heavily consider listening to this podcast. You WILL be more productive, and HAPPIER listening (and then taking action) on the tips Zach offers. Thank you Zach for sharing your research and findings with the creative field!

nkwhoa ,

Best podcast for healthier, more focused post professionals

Zack knows his stuff, and the knowledge he’s sharing with his fellow post-production brethren is nothing short of amazing. Every week the podcast brings something new to ponder, and something great to implement into your own life.

Kudos to Zack for doing his best to improve not only the working conditions of all of us, but for willingly sharing what he’s figured out for free. Give this podcast a listen!!!

Jrc1486 ,

Such a great resource, All levels

Zach does such a great job spreading knowledge and empowering his listeners to take control of Their Lives. His first hand experience, paired with interviews from top industry professionals, provides a great wealth of knowledge and insight into the industry.

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