299 episodes

Built by creative professionals for creative professionals, at Optimize Yourself we believe it is absolutely possible to love what you do for a living…without having to sacrifice your health, relationships, or sanity in the process. Creative burnout is NOT inevitable!

In a nutshell this podcast is a combination of Tim Ferriss meets Ted Lasso (minus the mustache). Hosted by Zack Arnold (ACE) - an award-winning Hollywood editor, producer, and director, a career coach, an American Ninja Warrior, and most importantly a father - these raw, honest, and candid conversations will both provide you with the necessary tools to optimize your creative potential as well as inspiring you to believe that you can.

Whether it’s American Ninja Warrior superstar Jessie Graff (Zack’s ninja trainer), P90X creator Tony Horton (Zack’s fitness trainer), or Ramit Sethi (Zack’s business mentor)...or perhaps industry legends such as Walter Murch, Jeffrey Ford, Roger Barton, or Eddie Hamilton…or productivity gurus such as David Allen (GTD), Cal Newport (Deep Work), or James Clear (Atomic Habits),…we’ll provide you with the strategies, resources, and mindsets to help you design a clear path towards the more balanced, more productive, and more fulfilling life you deserve.

Optimize Yourself Zack Arnold

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 102 Ratings

Built by creative professionals for creative professionals, at Optimize Yourself we believe it is absolutely possible to love what you do for a living…without having to sacrifice your health, relationships, or sanity in the process. Creative burnout is NOT inevitable!

In a nutshell this podcast is a combination of Tim Ferriss meets Ted Lasso (minus the mustache). Hosted by Zack Arnold (ACE) - an award-winning Hollywood editor, producer, and director, a career coach, an American Ninja Warrior, and most importantly a father - these raw, honest, and candid conversations will both provide you with the necessary tools to optimize your creative potential as well as inspiring you to believe that you can.

Whether it’s American Ninja Warrior superstar Jessie Graff (Zack’s ninja trainer), P90X creator Tony Horton (Zack’s fitness trainer), or Ramit Sethi (Zack’s business mentor)...or perhaps industry legends such as Walter Murch, Jeffrey Ford, Roger Barton, or Eddie Hamilton…or productivity gurus such as David Allen (GTD), Cal Newport (Deep Work), or James Clear (Atomic Habits),…we’ll provide you with the strategies, resources, and mindsets to help you design a clear path towards the more balanced, more productive, and more fulfilling life you deserve.

    Ep207: How to Maintain Health No Matter How “Busy” You Are | with Jeff Greenberg

    Ep207: How to Maintain Health No Matter How “Busy” You Are | with Jeff Greenberg

    Jeff Greenberg is an Educator, Editor, Colorist, Author, and Post Consultant who helps smart people become smarter. He's worked with Avid, Adobe, Apple, and Blackmagic, as well as teaching other editors, sports teams, government agencies, and both small & large corporations. But in Jeff’s words, his biggest joy is “teaching something so cool it makes you cry.”
    While we could easily discuss how Jeff manages his undoubtedly busy work schedule (and a family), today’s conversation goes one step deeper. We’re talking about how Jeff was able to balance a busy personal and professional life while adding in a health and fitness journey that led to him losing - and keeping off - over 70 pounds. As you’ll hear in this conversation, both Jeff’s methods and mindset have one very refreshing thing in common: simplicity
    Whether you find yourself reaching fitness goals only to fall back into old patterns when your schedule becomes overwhelming, you find yourself pushing through the “busy-ness” only to reach fitness burnout, or you can’t even seem to find the spare time to get started focusing on your health, this conversation is for you. Jeff breaks down simple, specific, and sustainable methods you can use to make lasting changes to your health and overall life.
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    Here's What You'll Learn:The one simple focus that led to Jeff’s significant weight loss.Why small goals leads to massive (and more importantly, sustainable) resultsHow you can build a workout routine that you remain interested in (and why mine involves nunchucks)The unexpected way that sleep affects your dietary choicesThe secret behind Jeff’s consistency (HINT: it’s not accountability)The dark side of healthy habits and over-training preventionHow to maintain a positive relationship with the scale (and all other methods of tracking your numbers)The difference between positively and negatively using data to track your fitnessWhy rest periods (even for weeks at a time) are the secret to making you strongerWhat boredom does to your brain - and why you need itUseful Resources Mentioned:LMNT electrolyte drink mix
    Nuun electrolyte tablets
    Happy Scale app
    Continue to Listen & LearnEp60: Getting 1% Better Every Single Day | with Westley Silvestri, ANW
    Ep55: How Tiny Changes Can Create Remarkable Results | with James Clear
    Ep84: How to Use 'Intuitive Eating' To Change Your Relationship With Food | with Melissa Costello
    Ep09: Everything You Need to Know About Food Shopping, Nutrition, and More | with Mira and Jayson Calton
    Ep173: How to Reinvent Yourself at Any Age (And Become Badass) | with Scott Morgan
    The Top 10 (Healthy) Must-haves For Any Editing Gig
    Guest Bio: Jeff Greenberg

    Jeff Greenberg loves the tools of film making craft, whether it's Avid, Adobe, Apple, or BlackMagic.
    He teaches them to other editors, to sports teams, three-letter government agencies, large/small corporations, and sometimes those people with the gold statues. His biggest joy is teaching something so cool it makes you cry.
    As a consultant, he helps smart people become smarter.
    Show Credits:This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.
    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).

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Ep206: Career & Life Advice from The Office Director & Producer | with Jen Celotta

    Ep206: Career & Life Advice from The Office Director & Producer | with Jen Celotta

    Jen Celotta is a writer, director, and producer for both television and most recently an animated feature. Her three most notable credits include The Office, Cobra Kai, and Abbot Elementary, but ask Jen and she will tell you the highlight of her career was when she got to fulfill her lifetime dream of playing a Schrute in The Office.
    While Jen’s highly successful career is clearly impressive, what I find even more admirable is the fact that she has achieved it all while remaining kind, open-minded, team-oriented, and passionate. Being that both Jen and myself are creatives with ADD, it's fair to say this conversation will cover a massive range of topics including: following your passion (or not), how to fail forwards, why you should never “fake it til you make it”, and what specific quality will set you (and your career) up for success.
    Jen is one of those people that has seemingly endless entertaining stories, and today you will hear several. But as a brilliant writer - and therefore storyteller - each story has a deeper lesson, meaning, and message that will add knowledge and inspiration to your life as you aspire to reach your own creative success. I absolutely loved the overall enthusiasm and inspiration of this interview, and know you will too.
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    Here's What You'll Learn:Should you really follow your passion in life? Or is doing what you love better reserved for the weekends…The difference between offensive and defensive decision making (and which one accelerates your success)What specific crew dynamics make an award-winning television seriesWhy the saying “how you do anything is how you do everything” matters so much to understanding your path towards successWhy you should shoot for the stars…but also keep your goals as small as possible The thing that matters more than your job (especially in the beginning of your career)Don’t “fake it ‘til you make it”. Do this instead…The real secret to enjoying your careerWhy admitting you’re wrong will put you on the fast track towards successThe one tool Jen uses that allows her ADD to be her absolute superpowerContinue to Listen & LearnEp01: Understanding the Link Between Creativity and Depression with Dr. Edison de Mello
    Ep11: Making It In Hollywood as a "Creative" (What They Don't Teach You In Film School) | with Norman Hollyn
    Ep106: On the Vital Importance of "Being Nice" | with Jesse Averna, ACE
    Ep131: How Having a ‘Side Hustle’ Buys You the Freedom to Say ‘No’ | with Alex Ferrari
    Ep191: Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace | with Simon Smith, ACE
    Guest Bio: Jen Celotta

    Jen Celotta is a writer/director whose TV writing credits include The Office, The Newsroom and Andy Richter Controls the Universe. She recently directed episodes of Abbott Elementary and Cobra Kai as well as episodes of The Office, People of Earth and Trial and Error. She has done joke passes for movies including Bridesmaids and Spy. She is currently working on her first animated movie. The highlight of her career, however, was playing a Schrute in the series finale of The Office.
    Show Credits:This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.
    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).

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Ep205: Using the Hero’s Journey to Write Better Stories (and Live a Better Life) | with Chris Vogler

    Ep205: Using the Hero’s Journey to Write Better Stories (and Live a Better Life) | with Chris Vogler

    Chris Vogler is the author of "The Writer's Journey”, a wildly popular (and flat out must-read) guidebook to mythic structure for storytellers. Beyond being a successful author, Chris is also a Hollywood story consultant who has worked with multiple studios, including a long stint with Disney, where he heavily influenced the projects The Lion King, Hercules, and Aladdin to name a small few. Throughout his career Chris has reviewed and provided coverage for over 20,000 scripts (you read that correctly).
    In our conversation, Chris effortlessly breaks down the stages of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey into simple, accessible principles that you can use to write your own story (both literally and figuratively). Beyond Chris’ detailed explanation of how you can write more captivating stories - and select the perfect characters your audience will adore - we dive deep into how you can use the principles of the Hero’s Journey to both understand and change the story of your own life.
    Whether you’re interested in learning how to apply the Hero’s Journey to your own work, or if you’re looking for ways to better understand (and rewrite) your own personal story, this conversation is for you. I absolutely loved this interview and have no doubt you will find Chris’ breakdown of the Hero’s Journey as mesmerizing and entertaining as I did.
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    Here's What You'll Learn:A SIMPLE break down of each principle in the Hero’s JourneyHow you can identify the exact stage of the Hero’s Journey you are at in your own lifeThe importance of trusting the path of our own life story, especially when you feel overwhelmed by the unknownWhy understanding the Hero’s Journey can help you better understand your own story (and even allow you to rewrite it)How plagiarism led to Chris working on the Lion King…How to simplify the writing process by leaning into the formula rather than relying on creative “magic”The specific ways you can captivate your audience as a storyteller using the Hero’s JourneyUnderstanding the deeper aspects of the mentor and mentee relationship (and why Chris says the mentor needs the relationship just as much as the mentee)How our own desire for transformation fuels our passion for stories (and how your writing can benefit from this fact)How to select the perfect characters for your story as a storytellerThe special way Chris views the Hero’s Journey (that absolutely blew my mind)How to move forward in your story even when you are afraidUseful Resources Mentioned:The Writer’s Journey by Chris Vogler
    Joseph Campbell
    Memo from the Story Department: Secrets of Structure and Character
    Chris Vogler's Writer's Journey Blog
    Christopher Vogler Hero's Journey: What is a Scene?
    Continue to Listen & LearnEp11: Making It In Hollywood as a "Creative" (What They Don't Teach You In Film School) | with Norman Hollyn
    Ep181: Overcoming a Dark Past (and Managing the Voices In Your Head) to Become Successful In Hollywood | with Christopher Titus
    Ep158: Leveling Up Your Ability to Tell More Engaging Stories using EditMentor | with Misha Tenenbaum
    Ep127: Chasing After the Next Gig vs. Building Your Career | with Kabir Ahktar, ACE
    EditMentor Review — An Invaluable Training Tool To Learn How to Edit (and Become a Better Storyteller)
    Episode Transcript[fusebox_transcript]
    Guest Bio: Chris Vogler

    Chris Vogler has had a long career as a Hollywood story consultant and executive, but is probably best known as the author of "The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers", a popular guide to the Hero's Journey concept that has deeply influenced storytelling in Hollywood and publishing. Now in print for over 25 years, the book is a standard text in screenwriting programs and has been translated into fifteen languages. His model of the Hero's Journey, inspired by the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, was developed duri

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Ep204: [CASE STUDY] How to Make Your Dream Project a Reality | with Matt Allen and Matthew Gentile

    Ep204: [CASE STUDY] How to Make Your Dream Project a Reality | with Matt Allen and Matthew Gentile

    Today I have not one, but two guests - Matt Allen and Matthew Gentile. Matt, a former student of the Optimizer program, is a Los Angeles based editor, filmmaker and recipient of the American Cinema Editor's prestigious Eric Zumbrunnen Fellowship. Matt recently edited his first feature film AMERICAN MURDERER, which was written and directed by my second guest, Matthew. Matthew is an award-winning filmmaker who holds a passion for true-crime, action, and thriller genres.
    In today’s conversation, Matt, Matthew and I dive deep into the key mindsets necessary to create your own independent film successfully. Whether you are a starter or a finisher (as Matt and Matthew call their roles), this conversation is packed with practical tools you can adopt and apply to your journey of making your film idea (or any other creative idea or project you might have) a reality. As both Matt and Matthew share here, so much of your potential success comes down to your mindset as well as your ability to do proper cold outreach.
    Matt shares the exact processes he continues to use from the Optimizer program that have led to so much of his success (and Matthew shares why he originally made fun of the Optimizer cold outreach formula…and also why he now is a big fan of using it). As we discuss in our conversation, there is a huge rise in the number of people making films for the first time right now. If you’re the kind of person who wants to join in on the fun, this conversation is the perfect place to start.
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    Here's What You'll Learn:The two specific factors that mark the difference between making a multi-million dollar box office hit and an independent film (that have nothing to do with funding)Why more people are making films now for the first time and why that’s beneficial to everyonePutting together a film crew for the first time? Look for this one specific trait in people (it has nothing to do with experience)The one thing you can do to maintain a positive mindset and reach your goals amidst ANY obstacle that appearsThe number one quality you need to have if you want to become successful in any leadership positionThe key elements of the Optimize Yourself program that Matt used in the real world that directly led him to successHow cold outreach (when done in the proper ways we discuss) is the key to connecting and building relationships with experts in your industryThe one thing you can do in your cold outreach emails that will drastically increase your response rateWhy Matthew originally made fun of the Optimize Yourself cold outreach formula…and why he now uses it so oftenWhat it means to “tell your story” and how that is the secret to working with expertsUseful Resources Mentioned:AMERICAN MURDERER on Amazon
    AMERICAN MURDERER on iTunes
    The Optimizer Coaching and Mentorship Program
    Post Perspective
    Los Angeles Post Production Group - Previs on an Indie Budget
    Avid Rough Cut Podcast
    No Film School Podcast
    CinemaMontage Magazine
    Continue to Listen & LearnEp87: [CASE STUDY] Why People Don't Respond to Your Cold Outreach (and How to Get a Response) | with Scott Davis
    Ep127: Chasing After the Next Gig vs. Building Your Career | with Kabir Ahktar, ACE
    Why Writing Cold Emails Is the Most Important ‘Soft Skill’ You Must Master (Especially If You’re An Introvert) (optimizeyourself.me)
    The 5 Most Common Mistakes You're Making With Your Cold Emails (and How to Fix Them) (optimizeyourself.me)
    Ep105: Ramit Sethi on Forging The Path Towards Your Own ‘Rich Life’
    Ep162: Stop Waiting For Permission to Make Sh*t Happen | with Mark Gantt
    Guest Bio: Matt Allen
    Matt Allen is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and recipient of the American Cinema Editor's prestigious Eric Zumbrunnen Fellowship. Matt recently edited his first feature film AMERICAN MURDERER (starring Tom Pelphrey, Ryan Phillippe and Jacki Weaver). He also served as the fil

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Ep203: Using Time Tracking and Habit Formation to Create Moments That Matter | with Laura Vanderkam

    Ep203: Using Time Tracking and Habit Formation to Create Moments That Matter | with Laura Vanderkam

    Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including the new Tranquility by Tuesday: 9 Ways to Calm the Chaos and Make Time for What Matters, along with Juliet’s School of Possibilities, Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. Beyond being a successful author, Laura is also the host of the podcast Before Breakfast, as well as the co-host of Best of Both Worlds with Sarah Hart-Unger.
    Whether you’re following an overly strict schedule or absolutely no schedule at all, there is one common experience: YEARS go by and you are left with very few (if any) memorable, meaningful moments. In order to “survive” our busy schedules, it seems that we get stuck in a time loop of tasks, interspersed with eating (poorly) and sleeping (not enough). Then we repeat - for decades. But as you’ll learn in my conversation with Laura, there are simple ways we can structure our lives so that we don’t have to choose between reaching our goals and living a present, purposeful life.
    If you’re ready to stop letting life pass you by with your head down assessing to-do lists, this conversation is a must-listen. Laura shares simple ways in which we can use time tracking and habit formation not only to “get more done” but to make sure we aren’t missing our lives as we strive to reach our goals. I personally found Laura’s advice game changing and can’t wait for you to hear our conversation.
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    Here's What You'll Learn:Laura shares her 9 ways to calm the chaos and make time for what matters (that are absolutely game changing)Why avoiding using a “strict” schedule actually sets you up for more success (and how to find that balance)The problem with striving for “work-life balance” and what you should actually be striving for insteadWhat “batching” means and how it is an absolute game changer to your schedule (and sanity)How to build a schedule in such a way that your projects and goals stay on track even when obstacles get in the wayThe difference between daily habits and regular habits (does 3 days a week even count in the eyes of an expert)How to maintain habits without feeding your perfectionism and adding more stress to your lifeHow you can both build and follow daily routines without feeling bored and eventually quittingWhy making more memorable moments can completely change your perception of time (and how you can get started today)The two specific things that keep us addicted to busy-ness and doing too many things, and how we can break that patternUseful Resources Mentioned:The Four Tendencies Quiz
    Tranquility by Tuesday: 9 Ways to Calm the Chaos and Make Time for What Matters
    Continue to Listen & LearnEp75: The Four Tendencies’ (aka ‘The Matrix’ For Understanding Yourself & Others) | with Gretchen Rubin
    Ep04: The Zen-like Art of 'Getting Things Done' | with David Allen
    Ep144: Redefining What It Means to Be “Productive” (and Aligning Your Values With Your Time) | with Tamara Torres
    Ep202: Let’s Stop Talking About “Productivity” and Start Talking About Balance | with Mike Vardy
    Ep128: How to Have a Successful Career Without Sacrificing Family | with Farrel Levy
    Guest Bio: Laura Vanderkam

    Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including the new Tranquility by Tuesday: 9 Ways to Calm the Chaos and Make Time for What Matters, along with Juliet’s School of Possibilities, Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. She is the host of the podcast Before

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Ep202: Let’s Stop Talking About “Productivity” and Start Talking About Balance | with Mike Vardy

    Ep202: Let’s Stop Talking About “Productivity” and Start Talking About Balance | with Mike Vardy

    Mike Vardy - also known as "The Productivityist” - is a highly-acclaimed productivity strategist and the creator of the productivity philosophy and framework known as TimeCrafting. He is considered to be one of the top thought leaders in the personal productivity and time management space and his work has been featured in Lifehacker, Fast Company, HuffPost, Inc., and Forbes.
    Now you might be thinking that Mike and I are going to nerd out over productivity hacks, strategies, and apps in an effort to help you fill every second of your day with activities so you can get more sh*t done (and trust me, we could). But this conversation has a refreshingly different agenda: re-defining what it means to be “productive” and exploring the ways in which we can maintain momentum towards - and reach - our personal and professional goals while remaining balanced.
    If you’re tired of feeling like the only way you can reach success is through packing on even more work to your agenda, this conversation is for you. Not only will Mike help you shift your mindset on what it really means to be productive, he’ll share simple and practical ways in which you can achieve your most important goals while remaining present, balanced, and SANE (all without using a single time management app).
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    Here's What You'll Learn:Why the era of using systems and apps in order to maintain high levels of productivity is endingThe mental shifts necessary to break away from the “productivity cult” that helps you create more space in your day…only so you can fill it with more productivityWhy using productivity tools can actually make you less productiveWhy you need to understand the difference between work-life balance and work-life presenceHow you can prioritize the tasks of your day in a way that involves balance (without losing momentum towards your goals)The two factors you need to know about that will determine the level of your successWhy taking short breaks to move can one of the most impactful productivity hacks imaginableWhat it means to create “themes” during your week…and why this will save your sanityWhy we need to stop putting all of our focus on “time” when we build our schedule, and start factoring in our levels of energy throughout the dayWhy Mike calls journaling the most undervalued productivity and time management tool we have (and how you can get started building that habit today)Useful Resources Mentioned:The Four Tendencies Quiz
    Time Crafting Starter Kit
    Continue to Listen & LearnEp04: The Zen-like Art of 'Getting Things Done' | with David Allen
    Ep144: Redefining What It Means to Be “Productive” (and Aligning Your Values With Your Time) | with Tamara Torres
    Ep55: How Tiny Changes Can Create Remarkable Results | with James Clear
    Ep128: How to Have a Successful Career Without Sacrificing Family | with Farrel Levy
    Struggling to “Do” It All? Try “Being” First. (Three Strategies to Reclaim Your Time and Sanity When Working From Home)
    Dear Hollywood: We Don’t Want to “Go Back to Normal." Normal Wasn’t Working.
    Guest Bio: Mike Vardy

    Mike Vardy – also known as "The Productivityist" – is a highly-acclaimed productivity strategist and the creator of the productivity philosophy and framework known as TimeCrafting. He's considered to be one of the top thought leaders in the personal productivity and time management space, with over 15 years of expertise under his belt and having coaching hundreds of clients over that timespan.
    His work has been featured in Lifehacker, Fast Company, HuffPost, Inc., and Forbes. Vardy is a renowned international speaker and has taught productivity practices on popular online education platforms CreativeLive, Skillshare, and LinkedIn Learning where his courses are among the most popular in the business category. He also hosts A Productive Conversation with Mike Vardy, a conve

    • 1 hr 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
102 Ratings

102 Ratings

marcjay77 ,

Inspiring, life changing, brilliant

Zack Arnold is brilliant. If your stuck mentally and physically in your job, this is where you want to be. He is 10 stars. It’s worth your time listening and learning from all his pod casts! You can get more out of your life.

TheSoundOfAH ,

Getting Started

Just started listening as I have started working in the office again and it’s given me a lot of motivation and inspiration to make a change at my desk!

ScotttyMo ,

Great intel!

Zack does a great job at diving deep into the subject that ties in with each guest.
I’m enjoying the listens during my 45 minute commute and can already tell the impact it’s making on me. Scroll the titles, pick one that resonates with you and enjoy the helpful intel.

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