ATTN: From The Outbox of Mike Vardy

by Mike Vardy

Every week Mike Vardy (aka The Productivityist) shares ideas, insights, and inspiration designed to improve your relationship with time and help you stop "doing" productive and start being productive.

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Featured Post

What They Don't Say About Familiarity

Hello Reader, Oh, no… I want to do that trip solo.” That was what my daughter said to me after I suggested we all go to Southeast Asia as a family. This was after she declared that area of the world was the next place she wanted to experience. She’d literally just returned from a four-month “gap year” trip to Europe with two of her closest friends, so I’m not surprised that she’d caught the travel bug. I’m not surprised she wants to do the Southeast Asia trip solo, either. But I was surprised...

about 1 month ago • 2 min read
a blue question mark on a pink background

Hello Reader, Jim Vaselopolous was my podcast guest this week and I must commend him on writing his book “Clarity” in a challenging style that is hard to do well. So the idea of challenging myself, even in the simmering of the start of a calendar year, was something I decided to pursue this week. I started that pursuit on social media and I’ve decided to pursue it further here. This pursuit came in the form of a single question: Would you rather live a long life or a full life? Before you...

about 2 months ago • 1 min read
Closed signage

Hello Reader, The song “Closing Time” by Semisonic is a tune I heard countless times when I’d go out to a club in my mid-twenties and early thirties. Even in recent years, it’d echo in a bar as the last call was declared by the bar staff. I’d always thought is was just about getting out of the joint because it was closing time. But it turns out there’s a deeper meaning to the song. The song subtly touches upon the concept of birth and new beginnings. It was was written by lead singer Dan...

about 2 months ago • 2 min read
red and white UNKs building during nighttime

Hello Reader, 2023 is about to end, with only a couple of days left in its cycle. But I’m not celebrating the start of a new year once December comes to a close. No, I have started my new year on September 1st for a long time. But I don’t know how much longer that will be the case. You see, I’ve been thinking more about the dynamic aspects of time compared to its static aspects, and I’ve adjusted the start of my year to coincide with the start of the school year for my kids. But my daughter...

about 2 months ago • 3 min read
woman holding her face in dark room

I’m writing this at 12:26 in the morning. I’ve just finished writing several other pieces, spent time working on my Daily Theme tasks already, and I’m about to head off to bed after a really productive day. That’s why I’m sick and tired of people saying that night owls aren’t productive. Whether it’s imperative to align your body clock with the magic hours of sleep or night owls simply not existing, there is a stigma against night owls and their ability to not just be productive but to...

3 months ago • 1 min read
grayscale photography of elephant

Hello Reader, On November 29th, Evernote announced on their blog that they were placing limitations on free users: 1 notebook, 50 notes. I wonder if this is the first you're hearing from this... other than if you're a free user who tried to add a note anytime after December 4th. Reply to this email if you're hearing this new limitation set here first. I only discovered this new set of limits from a Facebook post from the team at Tool Finder. And I believe they only found out about it from...

3 months ago • 1 min read
six assorted type of camera wall decors

Hello Reader, Welcome to the latest edition of my monthly email series, “6 Things To Think About.” As November comes to a close, I've been reflecting on themes of learning and moving forward, both personally and professionally. Here's a curated list of insights and stories that resonated with me this month, echoing these themes: The AI genie is out of the bottle. It has been for a long time. In this piece by Alexandra Samuel, she shares how AI can serve as your coach. It’s definitely...

3 months ago • 2 min read

Hello Reader, Fostering a good relationship with time involves aligning your actions and goals with the concept of areté, which is an ancient Greek word meaning excellence or virtue in all things. This concept can really enhance your relationship with time, guiding you to focus on quality and purpose in your actions. So why does paying attention to areté matter, especially in our relationship with time? While there are many reasons that areté matters when it comes to time, here are three that...

3 months ago • 2 min read
a close up of a street sign surrounded by leaves

Hello Reader, Time has a beautiful way of weaving stories that, years later, we can look back on with awe. I want to share one such narrative that’s particularly close to my heart. A story about the journey from admiration to peership with someone I deeply respect. Rewind to March 8th 2014 at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. There, amidst the buzz and excitement, I briefly spent time with David Allen, best known as the creator of the Getting Things Done methodology. Although our encounter...

4 months ago • 1 min read
man raising right hand

Hello Reader, Ever found yourself underestimating how long a “quick” task will take? We’ve all been there, trying to squeeze a task into a tiny 2-minute window because, well… it sounds doable. But let’s be real – it’s time for an upgrade. Introducing The Five Minute Rule, your new partner in productiveness. It’s like The Two Minute Rule, but with a twist of reality. We’re not the best judges of time, and a task that we think will take 2 minutes often spills over. The Five Minute Rule gives...

4 months ago • 1 min read
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