We spend a lot of time doing nothing.

For real…

If you’re on your IPhone right now try this out

—–> Settings

—–> Battery

IMG_3421

Check out what apps eat most of your battery.

Most people I do this with have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or twitter topping the list. All great ways to waste time…

Here is what I would suggest if you’re looking to be more productive:

Learn to put the phone down.

Designated Distraction Hours

Take 3 points throughout the day to check emails, check Facebook (or other social media) and buzz through your texts. Actually schedule those times through the day in your iCal, google Calendar journal or otherwise.

Set aside time to intentionally do these things. If it’s work related or not, you’ll be much more productive.

But what if I miss something?

Don’t worry, Trump is doing something ridiculous every few hours. You’ll catch the next one.

If it’s important, people will call you. You won’t miss anything. It’ll be okay. Set aside designated hours and get distracted with intent. You may not even need the whole hour. But set the alarm and get to it so you stay productive the rest of the day.

Try it out. Let me know what you think.

Til next time… Stay sweet!

Ps. I’ll be dialling back to just one post per week starting next month. With intent, my writing will be of greater value and most importantly I will be writing because of want, not need.

My whole business schedule is evolving so if you’d like to learn more and follow along, please be sure to join my newsletter.  Here’s the link to opt in –

http://eepurl.com/c1M_Hb

See you there!

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On Stillness:

Do you ever just sit down and tune out?

This has been fairly effective way for me to prioritize my thoughts and I had an awesome experience last night as I was packing things up from my parents farm out just east of the city.

The cold air made for a deafening silence and I only really heard the crunching under my feet. I was filled with love from having just played with my niece and nephew for three hours, totally surprise style visit as my ma and pa didn’t tell me Sean and the fam would be there… intentionally surprising me I’m sure, knowing how rough of a last couple weeks I have had and what seeing the kiddos would do to my heart.

Those two kids just have a way of warming up the room, but it was the reflection piece of that that got me the most this time. Playing with those kids, not being glued to my phone, all the work I could be doing, the news, the Instagram likes and Facebook news – none of that distraction… that was the stillness I needed.

On Productivity:

I’ve been up since 7am working away on a few different projects. Get up, stretch it out, train some clients, eat some food, have some meetings and get back at it. One of these projects I’m particularly proud of is something I had been sitting on since the fall, before MusicFit. Of course, another entrepreneurial expansion of my trades, Monkey Tree Marketing. It’s my Personality Marketing venture – Head here to find out what that’s all about.

And check out this video below to get an understanding of how I came up with the name, the brand and my experience from the ashes of some of the worst depression I have had since 2013. Enjoy. These guys are pivotal in my life, both musically but more importantly on a social construct kinda way…

Hug those you love, do good and be well.

Thanks for listening,

Take action. I don’t care if the path you’re going down leads to another fork in the road. Worry about that when you get there. If you’re thinking about whether or not you’ll need bug spray, you’ll never take that first step.

So this week I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn, going out for a walk with Darwin, or a nice bike ride first thing just to get some movement in. It’s the “me” time I like before I get set on the tasks of work and settle into productivity. I find this stimulates my mind and my body and allows me to really lean in on all of my activities and interactions through out the rest of the day. Well, Tuesday morning rolls around… it was a walk day with Dar and I was up out of bed, to quickly down a glass of lemon water and start out on a quest to the big off-leash park, a playground for my super excited Golden Sheptriever pup… all before 6:15. (yes, that’s a hybrid super dog mix – Golden Retriever – German Sheppard)

We start out down the back alley and turn east towards the beautiful Calgary sunrise, seeing all those commuters stuck on the early rush hour mess that is Deerfoot, day in day out. Not too long after I let Dar run wild with his homies, leashless – I feel a sharp little stab in my ankle. Shit! I think. I forgot the bug spray. Long grass. Bit of rain last night. Perfect breeding ground for a bunch of those nasty prairies “skeeters’ to feast on the unsuspecting morning walk-n-podcast types such as myself. Meanwhile, Dar is off chasing a bunny that’s the size of a small kangaroo…

Needless to say, it was a less-than-awesome and abbreviated walk, however on the plus side, I got my heart rate up a lot higher as my pace was reminiscent of those power walking women you tend to see at most community centre running tracks… so go me! Dar didn’t care. He met some doggo-friends and had a good time sniffing butts and breaking girls hearts and stuff. Typical boy…

The next day. Do you think I remembered the bug spray? Heck no. But I stuck to the plan and got eaten alive again at 6:30am on Wednesday and have been consistent all week. If I had concerned myself with the bug spray…

As a sidenote, anyone who thinks they’re powerless because they are just one person… one small tiny voice in the world… try going for a walk in the off-leash park behind my place and experiencing the relentless mosquitos of a Calgary post-summer sunrise…

Trigger-pull

So many of us get paralyzed when we over-analyze. I’m telling you, anything I’ve ever achieved that’s worthwhile in life, I have had to make some big, nasty adjustments to what I knew as safe and just trust in the process and leap. With. No. Fear.

I’m going all out. I’m leaning in, so to speak. Here is what I am doing.

Das Challenge

Ask yourself this question: How am I living in action?

If you can’t answer that, or need some help towards starting the process, I have a challenge for you. I call it “Start With U”. It’s a completely FREE resource I’m building for you that’s an accumulation of the work I put in to build healthy lifestyle habits in mind, body and soul. Basically, the difference maker between being good and being great each day. With this week’s challenge I will show you the first three steps towards consistent habit shaping, the foundation of self-care and my “Start With U”, project.

Are you in?

I’m only looking to help those that are highly motivated, ready for change and able to take constructive feedback. No prima donnas, no fence-sitters. You’ve got to want it.

If that’s you, here are the rules.

  1. Head to Instagram and follow my account @coach_schwartzy
  2. Comment “I’m in!” on this post on my Instagram account (it’s the little pad and pen picture if you have trouble with the link) https://www.instagram.com/p/BXGc_SqBP6f/?taken-by=coach_schwartzy
  3. Follow the challenge rules on the post. To recap they are:
    1. Make sure you commented on the post
    2. Click the link in my bio to ensure you’re on my radar and get some free stuff from me
    3. Affirm, move and create/learn each day until Friday. Be sure to write it down each day and take a picture once you’ve done it (to make it real and to PROVE it to both me AND yourself…we’ll discuss accountability later)

Pretty easy, eh? Share this post with anyone you feel could use a little more consistency and self-care in their lives. I look forward to seeing all of your comments littering up my IG feed.

 

 

When you have a project that needs to get done, give it to a busy guy…

Anonymous

I get asked this one a lot…

“Mike, how do you get stuff done? You’re always so busy. When do you have time for -insert thing here…-”

Simple, folks. Three steps. Plan. Schedule. Execute.

  1. Figure out what tasks you need to complete. I learned in Steven Coveys “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” to not plan a day, but rather a week. So I arrange all the tasks I need to complete by weeks end on a little task section on my iPhone (sometimes double it up on my whiteboard in my kitchen so I walk past it every morning). I find this act of charting things down holds me more accountable, as it’s a great feeling to check things off that list!
  2. Throw tasks in the iCal! Or whatever calendar program you’re using. I know a lot of people like Google Calendar in order to share their days with coworkers, friends and family. This act of sharing and telling people what you’re up to not only helps them know where you are and what you’ve got going on, but public accountability to tasks helps you out as well! Imagine bailing on that workout, knowing full well your whole office might ask, “How’d the gym go…?” Not likely, eh? Not to say you need to put that in there, but for even the most seemingly minor tasks (such as “lunch”) will be accomplished if you take the time to schedule it. I find it most beneficial to schedule my most important and time sensitive tasks at the beginning of the day, at the beginning of the week so as to give myself the greatest opportunity to successfully complete them.
  3. Stay on track and be realistic to your completion rate! The whole purpose of scheduling things isn’t so that they always get done. It’s in order to build up the habit and show yourself that you’re completely capable of organization. So if you set aside 1 full hour Monday morning to burn through the 100 emails you got over the weekend and you only end up responding to 13 of them, know full well that’s a job well done. Re-prioritize the rest of them for the next email session! (That’s a tip I picked up from the X-Ambassadors frontman, Adam while I was chatting with him in Toronto over Canadian Music Week this past May… he says “if you put it in there, you’ll get it done, eventually. If you don’t plan for it, it’ll never get done…”) Good advice, for sure. Just execute as you can, and keep to the schedule as best as you can. It’ll take some time, so start easily with tasks you’re 100% confident in completing.

One last fundamental concept of this whole theory on getting stuff done kind of piggy-backs on my last point. Be confident in your ability to organize and execute. Don’t go setting daunting tasks if you can’t first complete the “easy stuff”. Don’t run before you walk, you know? Here’s my suggestion. Commit to drinking a glass of water with 1/4 squeezed lemon in it, first thing, every day! Easy, right? Great. Once you do that the confidence you’ll gain in your ability to complete tasks will improve and then you can commit to setting time aside to writing that book, hitting the gym to lose the 10 pounds and cutting the grass or cleaning the basement. It all starts with the habit, so get into the habit of making good habits and it’ll all come together nicely.

Remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become that rock star. Stay sweet, folks!

Mike