Mountain Shores mini podcast: is it a good idea to give your all?

Now and again I record a podcast with my pals Fabian and Michael (with various special guests) called Mountain Shores.

Well, we hadn’t recorded in a while despite the fact we meet most weeks over Skype for a chat. So we decided to try something different and record a “mini” version of about ten minutes length.

Fabian provided us with an interesting bite-sized topic to discuss – whether giving our all is a good idea. After all, if Michael Phelps wasn’t giving his all when he won all those gold metals as he’s recently claimed, then what hope is there for the rest of us?

Listen below and read the show notes over at mountainshores.net

The Mountain Shores Podcast Returns!

Resurfacing after a few months in his offline hideout, Fabian discusses with Milo the beauty of creating in the real world, the importance of goals, what he has in common with David Hasselhoff and the improbabilities of ever becoming a professional kite-surfer (despite his involvement with Westend Surfing).

After a short interruption from a potential psychokiller, we touch on the issues of overworking for clients (perhaps leaving us with a boatload of money, but less time for our own work), public expectations, and the right balance between reflecting, reporting and actual, well, doing.

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Honesty, Hibernation and a bit of Bah Humbug

One year after Fabian Kruse and I first began our ‘podcast with no name’, we’ve arrived at, in our usual leisurely fashion, the 10th episode of what came to be known as ‘Mountain Shores: The (Un)Productivity Podcast’.

This bumper festive episode also features our regular guest/co-host Michael Nobbs from Sustainably Creative.

You can hear it below if you’re reading this in your web browser, or you can find it (and all of the previous episodes) at iTunes, Stitcher, or mountainshores.net. I recommend the latter, as you can also read the full details including show notes and feast your eyes on the brilliant ‘Morrissey ruins Christmas’ picture by Jim’ll Paint It in its full glory!

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p.s. this might be a good time to check out my ‘bah humbug’ post from last year: 5 Ways to Stay Sane During the Festive Season

Get Yourself Some C.A.K.E. (and watch our live Google Hangout)

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 Last night I was honoured to be joined by my friends Michael Nobbs and Fabian Kruse live on Google Hangouts  (as well as a number of other friends and family from around the world who tuned in) for the momentous occasion of me drinking my first beer for a year (and celebrating my birthday).

We talked about what I’ve learnt from a year of being sober, which I also wrote about in an article for Medium called ‘A Year Without Booze‘ (in case you missed it!).

Given the relevance of tasty baked goods to birthdays, Fabian and I also took the opportunity to reveal all about our new course, The C.A.K.E. Method.

C.A.K.E: The Final Frontier (a Bite-Sized Course for Bloggers)

In ‘Getting Geeky’ (episode 8 of the Mountain Shores Podcast), Fabian Kruse, Michael Nobbs and myself talk about the advantages and disadvantages of getting lost in creative flow, how to delight customers with high quality ice-cream, and whether our mindsets can make a difference to our earning potential.

You can also hear a bit more about The C.A.K.E. method, a bite-sized course that Fabian and I are offering to bloggers who want to have (more) fun and get more done.

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Blog Lovin’, Better Habits & Making Space for Your Creative Work

A casual discussion about the freedom of writing and being a blogging warrior turned into a fully-blown podcast about the advantages of multiple offices, the positive domino effect of introducing more positive habits one at a time, including how cutting down on caffeine can help you get up earlier. (But can admittedly be tough if you rely on it to get your work done!)

Yes, I’m talking about the latest Mountain Shores Podcast (episode 7) with Fabian Kruse and myself. You can listen over at the MoSho website or listen/subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher.

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I’ve gone into more detail on the topic of making space for your creative work over at medium.com – this is a sneak peek of the long-delayed but ‘definitely coming eventually’ Produce the Goods Micro-Guide (part 4 of the Career Masterplan for Mad Geniuses).

It was also great to see Arran Arctic’s take on the previous MoSho episode including illustrations of Dave Ursillo’s anecdotes re: leaving his job to become a writer, which follows on nicely from the Graphic Recorder’s sketchnotes of episode 5.

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Arran’s posting some great stuff on his ‘Do Give Up the Day Job’ blog so do check it out. Also, does anyone want to take up the baton and do an illustration for the newest episode? We’d love to see how you interpret our meandering discussion!

Must Read Round Up – Tiny Office Edition

Here’s a quick round up of content I’ve published in the last couple of weeks which I haven’t mentioned on this blog yet, some recommended reading, plus how to say goodbye to Google Reader before it closes down on 1st July.

Mountain Shores Episode 5

Mountain-Shores-Summer-UnProductivity-Podcast-Sketchnotes-21-1024x774The latest Mountain Shores Podcast went live this week. Fabian and I are joined by Michael Nobbs for a freewheeling discussion about summer (un)productivity, social media sabbaticals, schedules, sleep patterns and self-depletion.

The episode has even been the subject of a wonderful sketchnote by Doug Neill, aka The Graphic Recorder.

Tech Tips & Tiny Houses

I also recorded a conversation between myself and Ethan Waldman of Cloud Coach who shared technology tips and talked about his exciting tiny house project.

This conversation inspired me to make some changes to my own domestic arrangements which has resulted in turning a former wardrobe and storage space into a ‘Tiny Office’ where I can write & work uninterrupted.

And it is tiny. Let’s just say that if I eat a big meal, it’s uncomfortable to sit in here. Hell, I need to lose my belly anyway.

In case you missed it, I wrote a little more about making life changes by shifting things around gradually in my post ‘Life is Like a Sliding Puzzle‘.

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My new ‘Tiny Office’

My First Post on Medium

I also wrote my first piece for Medium.com recently, ‘A Thousand Little Self-Deceptions‘, which discusses how easy it is to fall prey to the Planning Fallacy and Hofstadter’s Law.

I may not have achieved my goal of writing 1000 publishable words a day during June, but I am proud of this particular article – I hope you enjoy it too (if you do, and have a Twitter account, please hit the green ‘recommend’ button).

Speaking of failure, The Guardian asked seven writers to reflect on it, and meanwhile at the 99u, author AJ Jacobs talks about how self-delusion can actually be ‘healthy and productive’.

There’s also a lot of great writing over at Medium by some very smart people – you might also want to check out my Medium recommendations so far.

Goodbye to Google Reader

I’ve been in denial for a long time.

This is like that moment on TV when a man on death row gets a visit from the prison guards and they say “it’s time” and he nods softly in dignified acceptance of his fate. Yes, I’ve finally accepted that Google Reader’s imminent death (it will be closed down forever on Monday 1st July).

If you use Google Reader to read RSS, now’s the time to export your data. If you don’t, you can skip this (although I do recommend an RSS reader for keeping up with your favourite blogs).

There are a number of different services vying to replace it, of course, but no clear winner as yet. Feedly allows you to import via your Google account (before 1st July), but make sure you follow their guidelines and have the latest versions of their apps installed on all your devices.

I personally prefer Flipboard on the iPad for reading my RSS feeds, but whilst they will save your current Google Reader feeds, it won’t be possible to edit your folders or add and remove feeds, which means it won’t be a viable option for the long-term. I just hope they reconsider and add support for one of the newer RSS options.

Here’s a good round up of the other options, though as many of these are in their infancy, my main tip is to export your data using Google Takeout before Monday.

p.s. you can still subscribe to updates from this blog via RSS or you can choose to receive it by email (you’ll also get the newsletter which is currently sent approximately monthly and no more than fortnightly).

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Join The International League of Creative Minds!

A few weeks ago, during covert communications between the UK and Germany, The International League of Creative Minds was formed.

Up until now this information has been Classified and on a Need to Know Basis only. The mainstream media were not informed, nor were the Whitehouse.

Information will continue to be transmitted at irregular intervals via the iTunes and Stitcher frequency bandwave. The League highly recommends that you subscribe to one of these methods in order to receive audio transmissions via your mobile computing device.

All roads lead to our base of operations mountain shores (dot) net where you can begin your initiation into the League.

This is only the beginning.

Markus Friese - Liebeslied-2000/Love Song 2000

Markus Friese – Liebeslied-2000/Love Song 2000

Mountain Shores & Slow Travel in Oslo – a Podcast

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Mountain Shores – our view as we were recording the podcast.

The ‘podcast with no name’ now has a name. Here is the Mountain Shores Podcast episode 3, recorded in Oslo with my co-host Fabian Kruse and our regular guest Michael Nobbs.

We met up in Norway to attend Chris Guillebeau’s Party at the End of the World, to celebrate the fact he achieved his goal of visiting every country in the world by the age of 35 (it was also his birthday).

We talk about slow travel and taking time to make deeper connections (even at crazy parties), how we are each making April awesome in our own way (and feeling a little awkward about using that word) and of course, cakes!

Reflection, Planning & Tiny Steps – a Podcast

DrawingYourLife_300-200x300In our 2nd (as yet unnamed) podcast, Fabian Kruse and I chat to our guest Michael Nobbs about his new book Drawing Your Life.

We take some time to reflect on how 2013 is shaping up for each of us so far, following what Michael suggested could be a Month of Reflection and Planning in January and a Month of Tiny Steps in February.

We also delve deeper into the process of choosing a small manageable activity that allows you to get at least 20 minutes of creative work done each day – which isn’t quite as simple as it sounds!

Apocalyptic Accountability – A Conversation

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Photo by badjonni


If you’re reading this the likelihood is the world didn’t end on 21st December 2012 as the Mayans predicted. Although it’s still possible at the time of writing, just less than 30 minutes before the bells toll to midnight on the 20th. But assuming that it doesn’t happen, it’s still an inescapable fact that 2012 is almost over.

Time for some Friendly Accountability

My pal Fabian and I have been holding each other accountable in a friendly way most of the year so we thought it was a good time to discuss how things have gone, and look forward a little to how we can wrap things up and make improvements in 2013.

It’s a tester for a possible regular podcast where we would invite others to reveal their tips for people who want to be productive whilst still enjoying life, so it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on whether you would be interested in hearing more.

Hope you enjoy the conversation!

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p.s. I can still learn a thing or two about getting things done from Fabian, that’s for sure. His post went up much earlier today, and so I’ve copied the show notes from him: