Productivity Hacks with My Friend Mike Vardy of Productivityist (Ep. 39)

MikeMike Vardy of Productivityist is not a productivity guru.

By his own definition, he’s a productivityist – a productivity enthusiast interested in trying and sharing new apps, strategies, and techniques for getting things done.

He co-hosts Workflowing, a weekly discussion on how to live a better life, and do better work while avoiding pitfalls with playing around with your workflow.

On his blog and podcasts, Mike shares how he structures his time and how it’s enabled him to spend more time with his family.

“Your brain is meant to be a factory, not a warehouse.” –Mike Vardy

In this episode, you’ll learn how to use contexts to keep your tasks manageable and to provide direction to be able to get things done. You’ll also learn how to use start dates alongside traditional due dates – with tasks in between – to boost the quality of the work you produce.

Things mentioned in this episode:

Wondering where the Resources of the Week segment is? I’ve decided to use the 80/20 principle to enable myself to focus my attention completely on the things that matter, so I’ve trimmed it – but worry not, because you can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! It’s easy, you’ll get new episodes automatically, and it also helps the show gain exposure 🙂 You can also leave a review!

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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  1. I really agree with the exclusive pen concept, I bought a mechanical keyboard last year and as a CS & Eng. student I spend a lot of time at my computer. The keyboard is one of my best investments, I really LOVE writing and coding on it!

    As always, thanks for an awesome pod!

    • What keyboard did you get? I have the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate and I like it a lot. The blue cherry switches are just clicky enough for my tastes, though having them does mean I can’t look up things on my desktop when I’m podcasting 😛

      • Oh I can imagine the podcast problem, most of my friends also have mech keyboards and it can be a bit annoying on skype. Personally i have corsair k70 with brown key, love it!

  2. Really enjoyed this episode, Thomas. I love the idea of not worrying about having your system spread out over multiple apps/locations. This is something I’ve struggled with in the past, of thinking that I have to be “all in” on Wunderlist or Trello or whatever it might be. I also love using paper, particularly for keeping track of ideas, especially since I can also make sketches if I want, something that’s more difficult on digital note taking apps.

    I’ve also been applying the note taking methods mentioned in your video. I’m using a sort of hybrid of the flow-based and mind mapping system. I can’t tell if it’s helping me recall things better at this point, but it’s much more engaging than just making bulleted lists.

    I’m excited to check out all these tools and techniques over Thanksgiving Break. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving as well.

    • I feel you dude – there have been so many times that I’ve felt the need to use one system for my entire life because “that’s how (insert role model X) would do it”. Mike’s writing helped me realize that productivity is personal because we’re all weird and all have idiosyncrasies.

      Glad you’re finding better ways of taking notes! Enjoy the break 🙂

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