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Be a Master of Your Time with Mike Vardy

Be a Master of Your Time with Mike Vardy

When one describes oneself with a word ending with -ist, it means this person strongly believes in something. And Mike Vardy is not only a believer, but also an apostle spreading his message in the world. Personally, I wouldn't be here doing what I do - announcing the end of the DRM era, if I didn't believe in it, so I really like his attitude.

Mike Vardy is not one of those self-made prophets who killed a mosquito on their nose and announced to the world that they are going to rid humankind of malaria. Mike's brilliance and the value of his knowledge and skills were confirmed by the fact he was invited to present his ideas at a prestigious TED conference - a place for sharing really innovative ideas. The innovation Mike Vardy offers us is a new way of thinking about self-organizing, completing our tasks with less effort, giving us more time to enjoy our lives.

Sometimes we take too much time to think about the moves we want to make... and we don’t wind up moving at all. [Sometimes] we end up just “checking off boxes” as opposed to “checking off the right boxes”.


Well, all of us know the type of thinking when you say, "I would love to ... (read more books, socialize, go to the gym, play with the kids...) but I don’t have time". Have you ever noticed that nowadays we have more timesavers than ever in the history of humankind - online services, mobile devices, dishwashers, cheap airlines - but we lack time much more than people who lived 20, 30, 40 years ago? What happened to make us become chained to the solutions created to help us? “It’s not the technology,” says Mike, “it’s the people using the technology”. This is good news - that it’s not some dark Force from outside, but us, our way of thinking; because it means we hold the key to solving it.

Just as we can’t control Mother Nature, we can’t control Father Time. But we can deal with time better.  

Well, taking advice on such a matter does not mean that our self-consciousness and  thoughtfulness is the same level as an average potato. Even Neo, The One chosen to save humankind, needed Morpheus to present him with the blue and red pill. When I read in "The Productivityist Workbook" that I do not have to stay logged in to my email all day long, it was a shock similar to Monsieur Jourdain's discovery that he has "been speaking prose” all his life, and “didn't even know it!" It was two months ago and since that moment I’ve saved loads of time using this hint. Well, I still receive heaps of mail, but the time saving comes from not being distracted  reading it one hundred times a day.

"The Producitivityist Workbook" concentrates on four areas: tasks, emails, ideas, and time. By organizing them efficiently, we can make our lives a whole lot more productive. Of course, all of us who have problems with those issues have already tried, but it’s not only a matter of self-discipline or strong will. As quoted:

Insanity    is    doing    the    same    thing    over    and    over    again    and    expecting    different    results. (Albert    Einstein)

This is one more thought incepted in my mind by Productivityist and I find it very useful not only in the field of time management (or fighting with badly-written software).

Changing habits and breaking routines is also not only a matter of wonder-making methods. It is necessary to change our way of thinking about those things. Mike shows us the way, sometimes against common social defaults and stereotypes. The goal set in the title of this review is Mission Impossible (unless you’re Hermione Granger and are equipped with a Time-Turner - not to be mistaken with Timeless Tina Turner). “You can master a task, but you cannot master time.” You can master your thinking and it doesn’t mean hurting yourself with self discipline. Mike says that being a night-owl is okay. "The early bird gets the worm", but Jeremy Paxman adds, "but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Again we meet the truth - so simple that it’s difficult to see : it’s me who has all the potential to make my life the way I want it to be. To achieve this I must cooperate with, not fight against, myself.

Self-connection is key to progressive personal productivity

says Mike.

The longest journey starts not from the first step... it starts from the thought of setting off. Like Morpheus said to Neo: “I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

The handbook, really compact (35 pages) and written in understandable but pleasant language, gives us  not only a new theory but also a set of practical exercises and a wide selection of digital and analogue tools (apps or paper ones) to put them into life.

And here at OpenBooks.com you can download the eBook with one click (no registration). You’ll pay later, only if you decide that the book was worth something to you, and you’ll pay as much as you value it. And feel free to copy it and send it to your friends - especially those who for months had no time to go for a beer with you. It’s legal - they’ll also pay after reading if they decide to do so.

You are also welcome to visit Mike's website, where you can find great tips & tools as well as super smart & helpful podcasts!

- Monika, OpenBooks.com Team

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