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How to Become More Productive this Year, with Mike Vardy

Presented by Wealthsimple

Welcome to The MapleMoney Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their personal finances to create lasting financial freedom. I’m your host, Tom Drake, the founder of MapleMoney, where I’ve been writing about all things related to personal finance since 2009.

It’s January, which means that people everywhere are striving to stay on top of their New Year’s resolutions. I hate to spoil the fun, but did you know that most people will give up their New Year’s goals by February?

This week’s guest knows a thing or two about how to become more productive, and according to him, there are better ways to achieve your goals than trying to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Mike Vardy is a productivity expert, founder of the Productivityist website and podcast, and a sought after speaker and coach.

From the outset of my conversation with Mike, it’s pretty clear that he’s not a believer in setting New Year’s resolutions. One reason that he says people struggle, is that the New Year tends to be a time when people have less energy and are just trying to recuperate from a busy holiday season. Instead of setting goals based on the calendar year, Mike prefers another approach, by exploring different themes on a monthly basis, when it makes sense. For example, you might want to focus on finances during the month of February, given that it’s the time you should start thinking about your taxes, and making sure the necessary RRSP contributions have been made.

Mike and I discuss the connection between managing money and time. Most people say they have little time, but how are they using the free time that they have. Are they spending it, or are they investing it. The same principle applies to your money. Mike reminds us, however, not to get hung up on getting everything done. The truth of the matter is that when we die, there will be things that we never got done. And that’s ok. The good news is that today, we have more choice over what we need and want to do than we realize.

It’s January, which means that the RRSP season is here. Opening an RRSP through our sponsor, Wealthsimple, can get a bigger refund AND help you save on investment fees. MapleMoney readers get $10,000 managed for free by opening a new account, or by transferring their RRSP to Wealthsimple. To open your RRSP, head to Wealthsimple today.

Episode Summary

  • Why you shouldn’t start your year on January 1st
  • Over 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by mid-February
  • The concept of setting themes for different months
  • The connection between money and productivity
  • Why it’s so easy to get distracted by email
  • The importance of journaling to get things done
  • How apps can help you become more productive
  • Not everything on your to-do list has to have a date
Read transcript

It’s January, which means that people everywhere are striving to stay on top of their New Year’s resolutions. I’d hate to spoil the fun, but did you know that most people give up on their New Year’s goals by February? My guest this week knows a thing or two about how to become more productive. And according to him, there are better ways to achieve your goals than trying to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Mike Vardy is a productivity expert, founder of the Productivityist website and podcast and a sought after speaker and coach.

Welcome to the Maple Money Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their personal finances to create lasting financial freedom. RSP season is here so it’s a great time to open an RSP through our sponsor, Wealthsimple, so you can get a bigger refund and help save on investment fees. Maple Money readers get $10,000 managed for free by opening a new account or by transferring their RSP to Wealthsimple. To open your Wealthsimple RSP today, head over to Now, let’s chat with Mike…

Tom: Hi, Mike, welcome to the Maple Money Show.

Mike: Thanks for having me. I’m really looking forward to have a conversation with a fellow Canadian.

Tom: Great to have you on as a Canadian. Ultimately, productivity can apply anywhere but…

Mike: It’s a global issue.

Tom: It’s nice to have you on our side of the border though.

Mike: Anybody we can have on our side is good, eh? I can let my guard down and we can talk about hockey and all the other stuff we don’t talk about otherwise. We’re kind of in our in our own little bubble.

Tom: At the time we’re getting into the New Year and everybody is all into New Year’s resolutions. They want this fresh start. They’re going to do it better than last year. What are your thoughts about people looking at resolutions and how it will affect their productivity?

Mike: So, first off, I’m not a huge believer in starting the New Year on January 1st and there’s a reason for that. The big reason—and I’ll kind of lean towards our southern neighbors when it comes to this. But basically, you go through the busy Thanksgiving holiday period which is the start of 6 weeks of craziness, whether it’s shopping, closing out the year strong, family stuff and all that. And then the day after Christmas, you’re thinking about what big thing you’re going to start in five days. Most people are at their lowest energy level at that point in time because they’re just so wiped out. So, to ask yourself about starting a new fitness routine, losing weight going to start this new fitness routine or I’m going to lose weight, you start to panic. Sometimes you don’t make the goals realistic enough, make them too big or choose the wrong times. So I’m a big believer in starting the New Year any time you want. I actually mirror my year around the school year for my children. They’re out of school in July and August. So I start my year in September when they go back to school. I’ve had the summer to kind of chill and hang out with them. I may have some smaller projects that I work on. But once September hits and they hit the ground running, I hit the ground running. That’s the first thing. Just because the Gregorian calendar says you need to start your year on January 1st doesn’t mean you have to. My fiscal calendar starts September 1st. Many companies do that too. They don’t mirror their fiscal year around the calendar either. So think about it from those terms. That’s one way to look at it. And then the other thing is, I’m more into “themeing” months and periods of time and even seasons of time, than to say, “I’m going to do this over the course of an entire year.” I kind of look at this from a vantage point of being at a cocktail party. If you’re talking to someone that’s really close to you, that’s something you can hear it. It’s closer and resonates with you. So that’s something that you might want to do on a daily basis. But when you think about somebody who is going to do this for a whole year, you’ve got to keep track of them throughout the entire party. They could go somewhere else. You lose sight of them. So the idea is, for me, I want to do “themeing” of my time period. Daily themes, monthly themes, even weekly sprints. So rather than me saying I’m going to resolve to lose weight, to be fit, I tend to break my year down like I would break a project down. I’ll say, “You know what? This month I’m going to focus on nutrition. This month, I’m going to focus on finance. This month, I’m going to focus on relationships.” In the professional realm, I do the same thing, “This month I’m going to focus on developing my coaching program. This month I’m going to focus on speaking.” That way I’m giving 29 to 20 days of deliberate, intentional focus to those things as opposed to trying to saying, “Okay, for this whole year I’m going to do this…” I think that’s a better strategy because we can give intense, deliberate, deep focus to things in shorter time periods than to try to stretch it out over the course of the year. If anything, I would rather have a slogan for my year, a model like a sports team has. Like the New England Patriots whose slogan says, “Do your job.” I think the Winnipeg Blue Bombers use a CFL reference like, “I keep fighting.” Things like that. Like some kind of motto, incantation, an axiom. Mine for this New Year is, “Whatever it takes, no matter what.” So I’m going to do whatever it takes (no matter what) to do it. That means I have to be really committed as opposed to saying, “This is my resolution.” And by the way, if you’re going to do a resolution, maybe that’s the only resolution you should have. You shouldn’t have 16 or 20. I had a lot of thoughts on that and that’s the way I look at it. For those listening or watching who are thinking you’re going to make some New Year’s resolutions and I’ve just burst your bubble on that, don’t worry. It’s not for everybody. I’m saying to keep these things in mind.

Tom: The other problem I find with the resolutions is the deadline. If you’re going a full year, it’s really easy to put off to December until you start to worry about that. And on the other side, if it’s November and you have an idea, why would you wait till January to get started?

Mike: Right. And the other thing is there’s a reason why more than 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the middle of February. Think about it. Fitness is a great example because people say they’re going to go to the gym every day. And, everybody’s at the gym starting January 2nd. From there they start saying, “I’ll go later. Or I’ll go tomorrow.” But that never happens. For me, I’d rather start in November. Go in November. Get a November start. When I theme my months I don’t sit back and say, “Okay, I’m going to randomly pick something.” I deliberately look at it and say, “Okay, in February I’m going to focus on finance.” Why? Well, the bills have come due for Christmas for sure at that point. Also, it’s tax season and at this point in Canada, we’re getting T4 slips and all that stuff. Things are starting to wrap up and I have a couple of months, so that way by the time April rolls around, I can say, “You know what? I don’t have to rush it in April.” I’ve already got everything ready so by the time the end of February rolls around, I’m just doing maintenance to kind of tighten things up because the fiscal year is pretty much already over. I think being open-minded about it, is the key as opposed to following what the crowd does. If you follow the crowd, they may lead you astray. So figure out what’s going to work for you. And attribute the same thing to time management too. I think following traditional time management may not be the best thing for you. But I don’t recommend you try to do all the stuff at once either. When I talk about time crafting and all that stuff, people say, “Oh my God, Mike, that’s so overwhelming.” Just do it bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece. It will all compound. It’s pretty overwhelming when you get a large sum of money all at once and you don’t know quite what to do with it. But if you get a little bit at a time and you can invest it where you need to, it’s the same thing with time. Just figure out how to theme your months so you’re not worrying about theming your days or looking at your to-do list and working by mode. Just focus on theming your months and that’s time crafting. I think that we tend to get caught up and try to do too much at once instead of building things bit-by-bit over time because when you do that they become habitual and those kinds of things last.

Tom: I see lots of ways that money and productivity connect. What are your thoughts on that? Where is the match in improving productivity and how that can help your finances?

Mike: Well, one of the things that you can do in terms of the relationship to finances and productivity is one parallel you always hear; time is money. But it’s not because you can’t get time back. You can earn money back though. If you make a bad investment with money, the money might be gone but you can earn it back… and then some. But with time, once it’s spent, it’s gone. You cannot get that back. I don’t think spending time is what we want to talk about with investing. Think about it in those terms. Words matter, right? If you say, “I’m going to spend my time on this,” if you think about the way you spend money, that sounds like you’re not getting it back. Whereas if you invest your money saying, “Hey, I’m putting it into a place I know is going to bring something back to me, my family or my business.” Investing your time is the same principle. Free time is the enemy of progress, right? Free time is something you should invest. You can invest it in whatever you want. If you want to play video games, learn a new skill, go on vacation, and watch YouTube videos… That free time can be spent however you choose. There’s a difference between spending and investing it. When you start to think about it in those terms, then you get intentional about it. I believe productivity is not only about efficiency and effectiveness. Those are byproducts. I think productivity is about intention; what do I intend to do? And attention; how am I going to pay attention to that? And often, we have one without the other. We might say, “I intend on writing a book,” but you don’t have something that reminds you to write that book. Whether it’s breaking it down, having an app, having a planner, having a Post-It note… Therefore your intention is powerless. It doesn’t matter. But conversely, you pay attention to something that is not your intention. You get sucked into things that really aren’t your intention and end up having all this attention you fritter away. To me, that means attention without intention is aimless. If you think about it in terms of money which you can see, feel, touch and you can count it because it’s right in front of you… With time, you can’t. If you did that with your money, people would say you were wasteful. If you intend on buying that new house but you don’t have a way of paying attention to it, you’re not going to get that house. You want to save this money you’re spending it on junk food or eating out all the time instead of being intentional by saying, “Hey, I want to save money so I’m going to plan my meals for an entire week instead of going to the restaurant every night because we’ve got busy lives.” If you’re paying attention to the wrong things then you’re going to be spending money in the wrong places. You’re not going to be investing it. So there are some real concrete parallels. And if you start to think about time in that respect, you should start to invest it wisely and better. Then you can have what I call a personal productivity portfolio. Speaking for some people who’ve retired, they wonder what to do with all the time they have now because they’ve been so used to working. Now you can do all these things. I talk about your clocks, your cadence, your communications and your chronicles. These are the key components of a personal productivity portfolio that if you invest in any of these things, they’re going to pay back two, three, five, or 10-fold.

Tom: One of the things I found personally with my time is over a decade ago when I first started Maple Money, I made two decisions. One was that I wasn’t going to spend more than 40 hours a week at my day job because that didn’t seem like the best use of my time in the long-run. And also, that I was going to work on this side-hustle (which is what it was at the time) instead of sitting around watching TV like you mentioned. I made those decisions. But on the other side of that, I can still get distracted. It’s kind of this busy, not productive…

Mike: Yes, it’s called the busy trap. The idea of busy doing these things that feel like you’re making progress. Email is a classic example of that. Most email you get is other people’s things. They’re not your things. You end up being pulled in because you’re being told what to do. And it’s easier—it’s easier to do something that someone else tells you to do, than it is for you to do something that you’re telling yourself. That’s why I journal. Journaling is one of the best things you can do because it’s like writing a letter. I look at a day is like it’s a lifetime. For example, at the end of today, I will be ready to shuffle off this mortal coil and tomorrow, a brand new baby Mike Vardy shows up. But he has no idea what to do. He’s looking at the shiny objects. Like right now while we’re recording this, oh my goodness, there are so many things that could distract him especially with so many shiny objects since it’s around that holiday shopping season. My goal with my journal entry—you can do this on a piece of paper, on an app or whatever. Just say, “Here is how today went…” I celebrate the successes and acknowledge the challenges. I look at what was on my calendar and say, “Hey, Tom and I had a great conversation. It was great to connect with a fellow Canadian. He lives in the same place…” I can do all that but I can also say, “You know what? I can create some kind of story behind the productivity of the day.” Then at the end, I’ll say, “And by the way, tomorrow is your listening day, Mike. You know it’s your theme day so you’ve got to focus on the podcast. You got three podcast interviews. So this is what you’re going to do…” Then I go to bed. Then the next morning when I wake up, one of the first things I do after I make my cup of coffee and all that stuff is look at the journal entry from the day before. Because my brain is going to say, “Oh, it’s nice out. The sun’s shining…” No! This is what you said you were going to do. What I do by doing that is I create another person telling me what to do. It’s me (and that person matters) as opposed to checking email first thing, which is a whole bunch of other people telling me what to do. It doesn’t mean I do all of those things I listed first but it means I do one. It means I say, “Hey, you know what? I’m going to produce that episode and then I’m going to do that other stuff” because that other stuff is still going to be there. We will never get it all done. I hate to break it to you. We’ll never get it all done. Just like no matter how much money you earn, when you are done, you can’t take it with you. You can decide where it will go, hopefully, if you’ve done proper planning, but you can’t take it with you. When you die, there will be things you will not have done. It’s just a fact. But the good news is, you do have more choice over what you need and want to do than you actually think. You have these biases in your head that tell you that you can’t theme your days because you have a day job. Well, what about outside your day job? It must be nice for Mike to be able to do all this traveling but I have this job. Well, quit your job. You could. I’m not saying you should. I did. I quit Costco. I worked for a great company. If I was at Costco right now, I could be a warehouse manager in Grand Prairie, Alberta, managing a warehouse. That’s not for me. It’s for somebody because somebody is doing it. But we are all a product of the choices we make. And we do have more agency over our time than we like to give ourselves credit for, just like we have more agency over our money than we sometimes give ourselves credit. You sometimes have to make tough choices. Peter Drucker said; everything’s a trade off. That goes for time, money, decisions, all that stuff. The point is, the more you connect emotionally and bring reason to the game where you know those are the things you really need and want to do, how do you make sure that I do them more consistently? By journaling; chronicling like I was just talking about. It’s such an undervalued, underappreciated thing you can do for yourself that takes 5 minutes to do. There’s an app called The 5 Minute Journal (made in Toronto) you can use. Remember when you used to go through your checkbook at the end of the day and actually manually fill it in and update your stuff? Well, no one likes to do that necessarily, but it gives you a really clear picture of where you’re at. A journal does the exact same thing.

Tom: I haven’t tried the journaling but the idea of being told what to do, I’ve tried various systems and one thing that I’m finally starting to get on board with is Asana. Just having all my tasks in there and the idea of it telling me what to do is exactly it. I can sit down in the morning and it tells me the five things I need to do. Some of them are long-term tasks and some of them are recurring tasks. They might be daily, weekly, or monthly. It’s been mentally clearing to be able to see that this is what Asana is telling me to do this day instead of what’s really behind the scenes in Asana which is 100 things.

Mike: Do you use tags inside of Asana?

Tom: I don’t think so.

Mike: Okay, because a lot of people use apps. I have Asana too. I love it. I have a team and we use it together. Due dates are great, but due dates often can be arbitrary. It’s the same with prioritization. Asana doesn’t do prioritization as well as some of the other ones like To-Do-List, Trello and others. What Asana does do well (as do some others) is tagging. Tagging allows you to kind of put the personal in productivity. For example, I talked about theming your days and stuff like that. If I’m going to produce a podcast episode, anything related to the podcast, I tag with the tag listening. I’m listening to the book, The Prosperous Coach, right now so that’s a listening task. With every task there is some form of modality like, “I’m going to go by milk.” Well, guess what? You need to go into shopping mode or errand-running mode. Or if you hate shopping, you need to have high energy to do it. I talk about the five categories of mode-based work on my website and in my upcoming book. I’ll have a link at the end (of this podcast) we can talk about that people can go and get some of this stuff. But the point is, instead of you looking at the day and wondering what the due dates are, you could say to yourself, “What do I have to do today?” which is an open-ended question. Instead, I see what day it is. If today is Tuesday, what is the daily theme for Tuesday? You don’t have to do this by day. You can do it by a period of time. So if Tuesday is my looking day, I look in Asana at the “looking tag.” I look at all the tasks that have been tagged, looking, and then I sort it from there. Which ones should I do first? Which ones have I said I wanted to do more? And the interesting thing is when you work by modality, you can move multiple projects forward. It’s the closest you can get to multitasking. Because if you’ve got several projects that require “looking” or “admin” or “writing” you can move those forward because you get into that state of flow where you’re going to be writing or doing audio. I will get three podcast episodes produced more because I’m going to be in listening mode. I’m also going to get that book probably finished. I’m also probably going to listen to a couple of links. I’m also probably and have a great conversation with a client because I’ll call them because phoning someone is listening. It gives your tasks direction as opposed to arbitrary dates. In the TED talk I did called, How to Stop Time, I said not to worry about due dates. Due dates make every day a “do” date because due dates can whiz by. And if you end up seeing a whole bunch of overdue tasks—I do this with clients all the time. I say, “Dates don’t matter to you?” They say they don’t, but they wouldn’t have as many overdue tasks if that was so. They’re arbitrary then. They’re really arbitrary. That will help you unlock even more power in Asana, by using tags. And they don’t have to be based on daily themes. You could say it’s a writing task, a low-energy task. If you’re a morning person, you could say, “I’m tired but my day is not done yet. Let me look at all my low-energy tasks. Oh, look… I have a meeting and then I have another meeting 30 minutes after that meeting. How many 5-minute tasks do I have?” Label them all 5-minute tasks and there they all are—they’re all 5-minute tasks. Because what else would you do between meetings? Normally you’d check e-mail or Facebook. Our brains want to go do the easy stuff. They don’t want to do the hard stuff. It’s the resistance that’s always there. So try that. If you have a to-do-list app or project management app that has tagging in it, use the tags. They’re the only thing you can really personalize inside the structure of any of these apps. And really, truly own them.

Tom: I like this idea of tagging. I’ve thought about this concept before but just considered it batching. If I could do a bunch of similar things in the same—

Mike: It’s the same thing. I think that’s what happens; we get caught up in the concept of batching but wonder how to do it. Start with one thing. Tom, what’s the most important type of activity you should be doing on a regular basis?

Tom: Either writing posts or search engine work.

Mike: So research or writing, correct? Just do those. There are clues all the time. Look up, means research so you should tag that research. Begin writing… that’s writing. That’s the other thing too, you can get really specific. Maybe writing isn’t what you want to have. Maybe it’s blogging. Writing a book and writing a blog post are different types of writing. If you’ve ever written a book, they’re different. So I challenge you to start with one of those, if not both, as a tag in Asana. I’m going to have a writing tag and a research tag. Go in and in the search field just type in research and you’ll see some tasks you’ve already put into Asana. Highlight them all and create a tag called research. I guarantee, if you follow that and just start off your day doing two or three research tasks, you’re going to feel more productive. You’re going to be doing the things that you really know are going to have a greater impact. It doesn’t mean you’re going to ignore the other stuff because the other stuff is listed by date anyway, right? Once you see that works like anything else, you’re going to add something else. You’ll say, “Hey that works. Let me try some of my 5-minute tasks, my low-energy tasks. Or maybe some of high-energy ones…” I would challenge you to give it a try. Make no mistake; dates are important because they are objective. We all know that today you and I were to meet at this time. That’s how we were able to do it. If you said, “Mike, can we have a podcast interview?” and you just waited for me to show up, you’d be waiting a really long time. That’s what the calendar is for. But it doesn’t need to be the primary way for you to look at what you need to do. It can be a secondary one. Or a third one if you’ve got tagging, priority level and then date. There are so many things on my to-do-list done that don’t have a date. They have a label or tag and a priority level. And the priority level is normally the urgent or important matrix. Whether you’re in your business or not, they’re often arbitrary. It’s like Christmas lights. When do you put Christmas lights up? Most people put up Christmas lights when they see other people putting up Christmas lights. I have a tag item on my to-do-list for mundane things like putting up the holiday lights which I normally have listed for December 1st. It doesn’t mean to put them up right then. It’s for me to decide. It’s on my day to do household stuff because December 1st was a Sunday this year so that’s the day I do household stuff. That’s the other thing about theming your days. It also gives you clues as to where to put certain tasks. That way you don’t have to put dates on them either. Again, I’m throwing a lot at you but you don’t do it all once. Do it bit-by-bit.

Tom: I assume most listeners of this show have their regular career. How does all this apply there? How can they become more productive in their career? I can see doing one of two things; it could help lead them to a raise or promotion or it could also just help free up their time. If they’re doing a job that’s taking them 50 hours a week on salary, if you can get that down to a normal 40 hours and then look at what you’re going to do with your spare time, I see there’s a lot of benefit from improving a career to help your finances.

Mike: And you don’t have to use an app to do that either. You can write it on a simple to-do-list. I actually just shot a video which will be up my YouTube channel by now which talks about how to be productive when you’re tired. If you just use a paper to-do-list, you could literally say, “Okay, this task is one I can do when I’m really, really tired.” Just put a down-arrow next to it. It’s all about filtration, right? What we often do is look at lists sequentially. Whether we work at an office job—and even in our daily lives, the list is in order. But that’s not the way our brain works. Our brain is not linear that way. Our brain says, “I’m in my office. What can I do in my office? Oh, look, there’s a long list. Oh-oh I don’t see what I could do in my office on this list. I guess I have to scan this list to try to decide.” Whereas, if you start to do that in advance and list all the tasks, it’s easier. This is the kind of stuff David Allen talked about in getting things done; the idea of working contextually. But with working by modality, I’m kind of defining it a little bit more because energy is one thing. I’m a big believer in energy level; what can you do? How do you feel? Let’s say you’re a morning person. You probably want to tackle those high-energy tasks early in the day. If you do that, if you pay attention to your body clock, no matter where you work or what you do, you’re going to get better outcomes if you do those tasks early. But you need to have a way to see that. You need to have a way to be able to quickly see that. You want to spend less time scanning and more time actually delivering. If you’re a high-energy person, then later in the day you’re going to low-energy stuff. You don’t have to be super transparent about it. You don’t have to say, “Hey boss, this is how I do this stuff now.” Because I’m a night owl and I’m on the West Coast, I could be more proactive because people on the East Coast are expecting results the next morning. By using just simple tools like looking at my long list quickly and ordering it not by one, two, three, four, five, or by date, but by seeing these are all the things I can do at home. Being able to filter is so important because that’s what our brain is doing. It’s filtering information. If you do that in advance, it’s going to make you more efficient, more effective. You are going to be able to pay attention to the right things at the right time and you going to be able to move things forward. To me, regardless of what you do, that is important. And it’ll help you break these biases of thinking you’re so overwhelmed. Everybody’s busy. We’re all busy. What are you busy about? Thoreau said that. What are you busy about? And if you are busy about all these minor things where you’re just checking off as many boxes as possible, that’s not productive. Checking off the wrong boxes is not productive. I’m sure your employers or the people you are trying to make an impact on would much rather have you do less of the little things and more of the big things, more often. And by the way, when you start doing this stuff, you’re going to find out if you’re in the right place anyway. Are you in the right relationship? Are you in the right work environment? Then you’ll have some tools that can help you make changes because you can’t change anybody’s behavior but your own. And you can’t manage time. Time moves on whether we wanted it to or not. But we can lead it. When people say, “I don’t have time. I’ve got to do this now!” Lao Tzu once said, “Saying I don’t not have time is like saying I don’t want to,” because time is a manmade construct. I think just simple things like chronicling your day, taking five minutes out of your day to do it. Sitting still for a minute, not doing anything for a minute to realize how long a minute actually is. Doing things like that, using simple strategies like a down-arrow. You don’t have to use fancy tools. The best golfers in the world can use terrible golf clubs and still get better results than the worst golfers in the world using the best golf clubs. That’s something you need take into account.

Tom: Thanks for coming on and giving us this jumping off point where we can get more productive. Can you let people know where they can find you online?

Mike: If you’ve listened to me on a podcast, then you get to go to this link called I’ll have a whole bunch of stuff there for you to check out and be able to kind of get a sense of how you can start time crafting by crafting your time today—just simple stuff like that. And again, don’t try to do it all at once. It’s like eating an elephant—one bite at a time. That’s where you can find me: I’m also on Instagram @productivityist. I have a YouTube channel too. Just Google productivityist. It’ll be in the show notes, anyway. Tom, this has been great. Thanks so much for allowing me to spend time with you and your audience today.

Thanks, Mike, for showing us ways to become more productive and explaining why relying on New Year’s resolutions may not be the best idea. You can find the show notes for this episode at I want to take a moment to thank you for listening to the Maple Money Show. I appreciate your support in helping us continue to grow. If you have the Apple Podcast app on your phone, pull up Maple Money and give it a quick rating. Even better, leave a review and let everyone know what you think of the show. Don’t forget to tune in next week as Rob Carrick joins us to discuss steps you should take in the New Year with your finances.

Most email that you get is other people’s things, they’re not your things. And you end up being pulled in, because you’re being told what to do. And it’s easier to do what people tell you to do, than it is for you to do something that you’re telling yourself. - Mike Vardy Click to Tweet