Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Whenever someone says that they had the best of intentions, it is often said after they weren’t able to accomplish what they set out to do.

Here’s the thing about the best of intentions: They tend to come up short unless you give them the best of your attention.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

This is a question I’ve been asked more than any other question in my years of studying time management and personal productivity.

My answer is always the same.

The best to-do list app is the one that you trust.

That means the best to-do list app is the one that you use consistently to the point of gaining trust with it. It could be a desktop app, a mobile app, or a web-based app. It’s whatever app you use so much that you trust it to keep you on task. You trust it to hold everything you need and want…

Photo by Bannon Morrissy on Unsplash

I sign off nearly every email with these three words: See you later. It’s an odd choice for sure, but it is a sentimental one for me.

Those three words are the last pieces of dialogue in the film About Time. I adore this film, watching it every year on August 31st as I close out my year and prepare to welcome in a new one.

And I’m using these same three words to sign off of this daily blog here today.

I started writing daily here on September 1st, 2020. It was an experiment of sorts. I wanted to…

Photo by Nick Windsor on Unsplash

A few years ago, I had to cut back all but one of the flowers on our dahlia plant.

Because… aphids.

I figured that it would be better to cut back than try to treat at this juncture. I can work on treating now that I’ve got less to treat. No pesticides, just water to dislodge them.

If I’d left the plant as-is, it’d be doomed.

I’ve learned a bit during this season about gardening. But one lesson I took before learning about gardening was from Dr. Henry Cloud’s book Necessary Endings. He says that in order for a rosebush…

Photo by Mikołaj on Unsplash

If my intention is to read a book then I need to make sure I have a way to give it my attention. That means, for me, to make it a recurring task on my to-do list. For you, it might be something else that works better.

Regardless, in order for your intention to be realized to its fullest… it needs attention.

I know how I’m going to make sure I get any book I choose read – and read well. Do you know how you’re going to do the same with your intentions?

If not, that’s the first thing you need to figure out to actually be productive.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I love the ambiguity of one particular quote from George Carlin. (Leave it to Mr. Carlin to put it out there.)

“Always do whatever’s next.”

The thing is that you have agency to decide what is next. How you get there is up to you.

That’s what I try to teach people – different ways to look at what their “next” can/could be.

Just remember that whatever is next is not always obvious and it isn’t always put in an order that makes sense. It’s up to you to make that decision and hopefully you have a framework in place that makes that decision simpler and better.

If you don’t have a framework in place that does that, then this might just be what you need to forge one.

Photo by Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash

“No amount of money ever bought a second of time.” — Howard Stark

When I first heard this quote at the first screening of Avengers: Endgame, it stood out. Probably because it was about time. But also possibly because it was what I needed to hear as I sat next to my two kids in the movie theatre.

You see, sometimes I put them aside for the work that I’m trying to do. I forget that they are a big reason why I do the work that I do.

My son will come home after a day at school and…

I don’t ever remember seeing the moon in the sky while the sun was still out when I was a kid. Yet every time there are sunny skies here in Victoria, I will be able to see both as the daylight is only beginning to dwindle.

It’s just fascinating to me. The fact that when I took this photo of the moon in the sky that the sun was beaming behind me.

Maybe I just never paid attention to it as a kid. I don’t know. But I’m glad I’m paying attention to it now.

I find that it’s an…

Photo by Tony Hand on Unsplash

I recently wrote about how 22 seconds of gold happened to be found in one hour of time.

Today — as I share this post — I have just been part of a three-hour long conversation with Danny Hatcher on his YouTube channel. It certainly didn’t feel like three hours.

This is an example of how sometimes you do need to take more time to really establish a connection — either with a person or with something else — but the impact of doing so will be something that reverberates and extends for far longer than the time you initially…

Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

The math says that there are 3600 seconds in an hour. But today I experienced just 22 seconds in one.

My son and I decided to tackle a project over spring break that he’s wanted to do for a while. We mapped it out over the past few days and at 7:20 PM tonight we really got things going.

We wrapped things up an hour later, knowing we still had plenty to do. But we accomplished a lot in that hour. 22 seconds of footage, to be exact.

I’m making a stop motion LEGO film with my son.

And to…

Mike Vardy

Family man, productivity strategist, creator of TimeCrafting, founder of Productivityist. Here's what I'm doing now:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store