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

(Un)Productivity Summit: podcast, video & photos

At the beginning of this month I attended the first ever World (Un)Productivity Summit at Gladstone’s Library in North Wales.

In attendance were:

The summit consisted of a gentle curriculum of talks, walks, chi kung, meditation, crocheting, research and writing in the beautiful library, accompanied by plenty of good food, wine and quality rum.

Hear Three Successful Freelancers Tell Their Stories

Mountain-Shores-Logo-FINAL-1400On our rather infrequent podcast about (un)productivity, Fabian and I recently talked to three successful freelancers who all generously shared their stories with us.

Our good friend and regular guest Michael Nobbs even joined us on one occasion from Wales, of all places.

As if to prove how inadequate the word ‘freelancer’ is as a noun, our recent guests make a diverse trio:

  • A journalist/fiction writer who read 80 books in 3 months (as well as making a living writing for prestigious publications)
  • A comedian and magazine publisher who has successfully crowdfunded his new book
  • A web designer and illustrator who has launched two successful crowdfunding campaigns

I think these are some of the best episodes of the Mountain Shores podcast so far, so just in case you’re not subscribed yet, I wanted to share them here – hope you find them useful and maybe even a little bit entertaining!

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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morrissey ruins christmas

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.

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).