Category Archives: Motivation

Issues 2 of Productive Magazine Out Now

The latest issue of Productive Magazine has just been released over at

I am happy to report that I have an article on page 16 of this latest issue. My article is about New Years Resolutions and what is wrong with them.

CLICK HERE to directly download the latest issue of this free magazine.

Productive Magazine

Here is a list of the articles in this new edition.

  • Interview with Guy Kawasaki
    by Michael Sliwinski
  • How to Set Goals That Lead to Success
    Dustin Wax
  • The Single Secret to Making 2009 Your Best Year Ever
    by Leo Babauta
  • How to Shave Ten Hours Off Your Work Week
    by Michael Hyatt
  • Why You Shouldn’t Do New Year’s Resolutions
    by James Mallinson
  • Say No to make Yes Sound better
    by Kris Rowlands
  • What’s Wrong With New Years Resolutions?
    by Andrew Mason
  • Making it all work with Mindmanager
    by Michael Deutch
  • Productivity For Groups – Because You’re Not Really In Control
    by Andrew Yang
  • Simply Get Things Done Course – Introduction
    by Michael Sliwinski

Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 12th April 2009

Happy Easter to all!

I hope you are not all sick and bloated after consuming your fair share of Easter chocolate! It is nice to be writing this from home as I have done the last two weekly link round ups on the train from Leeds to London.

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a link to an Interview with David Allen from the Effing the dog blog. The interview is in two parts with a link to the second part being found via the link I provided. I would love to Interview David Allen myself and this is something I may try to make happen as I have some great questions I would ask him.
  • My second link is a great post from Zen Habits titled Seven Productivity Tips for People who Hate GTD. Now I love GTD but the article still makes a good read.
  • My third link is a link from Rob Corddry via Lifehacker about Getting Things Done as an Actor. Great read and great exposure for GTD!
  • My fourth link is a link to a great review and comparison of the three top Mac GTD apps, namely OmniFocus, Things, and The Hit List. I have seen a lot of traffic on this blog from people searching about the Hit List and I am sure that the inclusion of it into the latest MacHeist Bundle has driven productivity and GTD!. OmniFocus is my current ap of choice, but that may change…
  • My fifth and last link is another Things v Hit List comparison. May as well read both of them at the same time to get two peoples takes on these cool apps.

Well I am now off to watch the final round of the US Masters. It is shaping up nicely with Phil Mickelson making a charge!

Share your Spotify Playlists at

A few weeks ago I blogged about Spotify and I released a Motivational Songs Spotify playlist.

Well, Kieron from UK Offer Media has taken a collection of Spotify Playlists and created a site where users can share them.

My Motivational Songs Spotify playlist is on the site and has been receiving great rankings.

So, if you use Spotify take a look at the site and if you are note yet a Spotify user, now is the time to check it out!

3000 RSS Readers wanting to Get Things Done

Just a quick note to thank all my readers and subscribers as I have just hit my last goal which was to get to 3000 RSS readers.

If you do not already subscribed to my blog, I would love you to do so. This way you receive all the latest productivity and motivational posts in the RSS News Reader of your choice.

Click on the rather cool and very large to grab your attention RSS Icon below if you are not already subscribed.

Subscribe to my blog

Next target is 4000, let’s see how long this takes me!

Motivational Songs – Spotify Playlist

Motivational Songs
I have been using Spotify for the last couple of weeks and I am very impressed with the service it offers. I have created a playlist of 20 Motivational Songs for you to listen to for free

I received the free invite from Kieron Donoghue who has incidentally just published a great blog post titled Ten Reasons why Spotify Rocks. Read this blog post as a great intro to Spotify.

So, what is Spotify?

Spotify is a new way to enjoy music. Simply download and install, before you know it you’ll be singing along to the genre, artist or song of your choice. With Spotify you are never far away from the song you want.

There are no restrictions in terms of what you can listen to or when. Forget about the hassle of waiting for files to download and fill up your hard drive before you get round to organising them. Spotify is instant, fun and simple.

One of the cool things you can do with Spotify is to create and share playlists. So, in the spirit of my site I have put together a playlist of 20 Motivational Songs for you to listen to, free of charge courtest of Spotify.

To use this list you need Spotify installed on your Mac or PC. Then, simply follow this link to listen to my 20 Motivational Songs. Cool!

Good news, I have ten Spotify invites to give out to readers of this blog. To get one, sign up to my newsletter (so I have your email address) and leave a comment here. The next ten people will get a free invite to what is the hottest free music system on the Internet right now!

So, here are my songs in no particular order!

  • Life – Haddaway
  • I Feel Good – James Brown
  • I’ve Got the Power – Snap!
  • Survivor – Desiny’s Child
  • The Final Countdown – Europe
  • What a Feeling – Irene Cara
  • Circle of Life – Elton John
  • Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
  • Lose Yourself – Eminem
  • Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf
  • Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
  • You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
  • Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
  • The Best – Tina Turner
  • Mony Mony – Billy Idol
  • Jump – Van Halen
  • Unbelievable – EMF
  • Killer – SEAL
  • My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
  • Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.

I am not sure what regions Spotify currently works in but it does work in the UK for a change!

Motivational Songs

Another great post on Motivational Songs is from Jamie Harrop. View his 58 Top Motivational Songs for a more comprehensive list.

Got any more good Motivational Songs? Let me know and I can add them to the list.

Tycoon – Peter Jones Book Review

Tycoon Peter JonesI do not know how well known Peter Jones is in the US but here in the UK Peter Jones is an Entrepreneur who is part of the Dragons Den TV series. Dragons Den is an investment business show shown on the BBC.

I love Dragons Den, although I must admit that the last series has been turning more into a media circus with more “just for TV” business ideas being aired.

I read and reviewed “Anyone Can Do It“, the book from fellow Dragon, Duncan Bannatyne back in the early days of this blog.

I have had Tycoon, the book by Peter Jones for quite a while and eventually got around to reading it.

For some reason, I never really took to Peter Jones when watching him on Dragons Den. He reminds me of somebody that I do not like so maybe this is the reason. I also sometimes disagree with his actions and opinions on Dragons Den but one thing you cannot argue with is the fact that he has amassed a great wealth on his own from his Mobile Phone companies.

Peter Jones has also endured the hard times when his first company went under. This makes me realize that Peter Jones has really earned the wealth that he now enjoys.

So, what about his book. Well, to be honest I was pleasantly surprised with the book and actually enjoyed it. It was one of those books which I thought I would not like so had pre-conceived ideas about it even before I had started it.

I do have a problem with the word “Tycoon“. It does not really strike me as a positive word when referring to wealth. The word drums up images of an overpaid sleazy businessman and the use of the word Tycoon in the book is in my opinion over the top. Each time I read about the “Tycoon Mindset” I cringed.

The book is split into eight chapters:

  1. The Ten Golden Rules
  2. Put Your Imagination to Work
  3. What’s the Big Idea?
  4. Planning and Pitching
  5. Ignition, Making it Happen
  6. Building Your Future
  7. My Time on TV
  8. Final Word

Now, being an entrepreneur myself, involved in a 2 year old start up business a lot of what this book promoted was what I was going through and it did offer some good advice.

The book started off quite weak and then greatly improved to the point where I really was getting benefit from the book. It is a book which I would recommend to anybody looking at starting a business.

I think this book will really only appeal to you if you are looking to make the jump into your own business or if you are already running your own small business and toying with the idea of looking for investment.

I would not rank this book in the same inspirational league as How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis but it is worth the read if you fall into the categories that I just mentioned.

Keeping on the theme of Dragons Den I am currently reading the book from James Caan. Review will follow and I am enjoying the book so far.

have you read this or other books from any of the Dragons Den investors? Would love to hear if you have.

5 Vacation Productivity Tips

Vacation Productivity
I am going away tomorrow to Centerparcs with my family. I am looking forward to a nice week in the forest spending quality time with my family.

Like many people, I work hard and taking time out is quite hard due to the pressures of running your own business. However, bonding and spending quality time with your family is also very important and getting that work life balance is always key. I have four children so spending time with them is one of my main priorities but luckily I am home a lot so get a lot of time to spend with them.

Luckily, I have always been able to utilize my vacations as great “think tanks”. I always seem to come out of a vacation more energized than when I went in. Some of my greatest ideas have come out of being away on vacation.

I think it is the fact that I remove myself from my daily routine, so my brain is able to focus its thought patterns on other, more creative tasks.

I thought I would take the time to share what I consider to be five great tips for getting the most out of a vacation from a productivity point of view:

1 – Ensure You Leave With No Open Loops

Before you go on vacation, I feel that it is imperative that your Open Loops are closed.

What I mean here for those of you new to the term Open Loops is that you have to ensure your mind is free of niggling tasks that must be done before you leave. In the few days leading up to your vacation, it is very important to hone your productivity skills in order to complete the tasks that must be complete.

I like to prioritize the tasks that must be done before I go away and things that can wait. I do a pre-vacation review and get my task system in place with a clear defined list of actions that I must do in order to go away with a clear mind.

2 – Let People Know You Are Away

I always let people who may be needing me in the week I am away know that I am going to be away. This sets their expectations and removes the worry that you will get something to deal with that is urgent whilst you are away.

A very important thing to do is to set your Out Of Office Assistant letting people clearly know that you are away, when you will be back, who they can contact whilst you are away, and what they can do if they need to contact you.

Using a system like AwayFind is a fantastic resource for covering when you are on vacation. I have just changed my regular Out Of Office message to state that I am away on vacation with limited access to email, but they can still send me an urgent message through AwayFind if needed.

3 – Pack a Good Book

I love to read when I am away. I love biographies and anything which will improve my mind and motivate me. I have just finished reading Tycoon by Peter Jones and I am taking with me this time The Real Deal by James Caan. Book reviews will follow for both these books pretty soon.

Books ignite the spark in my brain and help me with my thinking. I normally pick up some little nuggets of inspiration from these books and it is always nice to see how other people made it. I like to read about success, motivation, and also people who are self made entrepreneur millionaires.

4 – Take a Notebook to help you Collect Your Thoughts

As I have wrote about before, when I am on vacation with an empty mind, I get my most creative thoughts. Because of this, and also the fact that I am not in front of my Mac all day it is very important to take a good notebook and pen with you.

I normally pack a couple of Moleskine’s and a few pens to ensure everything is collected. I always have my iPhone but seem to prefer paper based collection when I am away.

It is so important to collect and record these thoughts as soon as they enter your head. Once I return home, I enjoy recording all these into my GTD system to ensure that they are allocated and scheduled for completion when they need to get done.

5 – Enjoy Yourself!

Last but not least, Enjoy yourself!

You work hard, and you deserve a break! Too many times we are at work dreaming about being at home, and then when we are at home we are dreaming about being at work. It is important to utilize the time on vacation to recharge your batteries so you can return to the office energized!

Well, I will enjoy myself and I know I will have some great productive ideas that will be put to good use on my return.

Do you have any little tips and tricks for getting the most out of your vacations? I would love to hear!

Thanks, and have a productive week!

Seven Decisions for Success Mind Map

Travelers GiftWhilst going through some old posts from this blog, I pulled out a review of a great book that I read, and reviewed pretty much within the first month of launching this blog.

The book was the Travelers Gift, Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success, by Andy Andrews. As the blog has just launched, I think I had around 5 subscribers and I knew all of them!

The book talks about the Seven Decisions for Success. These are based around a story that the author takes you on. This is a motivational and self development book that is based on a fictional story, very similar to the great Og Mandino books.

These seven decisions are based upon stories from inspirational figures from history. The seven decisions are as follows:

  • The Buck Stops Here – Based on Harry Truman
  • I Will Seek Wisdom – Based on King Solomon
  • I am a Person of Action – Based on Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
  • I Have a Decided Heart – Based on Christopher Columbus
  • Today I will Choose to be Happy – Based on Anne Frank
  • I Will Greet This Day With a Forgiving Spirit – Based on Abraham Lincoln
  • I Will Persist Without Exception – Based on The Angel Gabriel

I created a free Mind Map for you all to download and read. The Mind Map contains the overview of each of the Seven Decisions For Success as told in the book.

Click on the thumbnail above to download the Mind Map or Follow this Link.

Be sure to also check out the Original Post Review of this Book.

I am thinking of doing some more Mind Maps like this so please let me know your thoughts and if you all like these or not.

Feel free to pass this post on and please share it, I would love as many people as possible to benefit from the Mind Map.