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2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley

2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley

    2×4: One series that examines two topics, creativity and productivity, by asking those who make things on the web the same four questions on both subjects.

    Myke Hurley is your worst nightmare. Living, breathing, walking, talking proof that you can create something meaningful in your spare time. He’s done what most of us convince ourselves we can’t: build something amazing in the hours in between his full-time job. In just over 18 months Myke took what started as his podcast, “The Bro Show” and has grown it into a full-fledged geek and tech-oriented podcasting network that now includes seven shows. The 70 Decibels network is home to several of my favorite podcasts including the aforementioned Bro Show, The App Orchard and Enough. It gets quite a bit of love, not only from us geeks around the web, but from the folks over at iTunes. Several shows on the network are hosted by well-known members of the Read and Trust network including Stephen Hackett, Brett Kelly and Patrick Rhone.

    Oh yeah, and he’s British, which isn’t only inherently awesome; it makes things even more impressive as many of his podcasts span both timezones and continents. In fact, a recent episode of Enough with Lifehack’s own Mike Vardy simultaneously spanned three countries at once. Clearly I’m in awe of what the man has built, but rather than continuing to gush, I’m going to be quiet and let Myke do the talking. Or in this case, the writing.

    Without further ado, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the up-and-comer of tech podcasting, Myke Hurley.

    Creativity

    Have you always considered yourself a creative person?

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    I have. Throughout my life and especially over the last few years I have tried and failed to launch many creative endeavors. I have started and given up on many books and blogs. I never found that sweet spot until I began podcasting in April 2010, when we started The Bro Show.

    Since then we have launched many shows and created the 70Decibels network that encapsulates them. The shows allow me to be very creative and I try to ensure we have a range of different shows to fit all tastes. This also allows me and my co-hosts to dip in to many different areas.

    However, I have now caught the bug for podcasting. If I could, I would launch a new show every week and publish as many as I could. The only thing that stops me doing this is time and one day I hope to be able to remove most limitations and focus on the network full-time.

    What mediums and inspirations do you gravitate toward to realize your creative goals?

    Obviously my chosen medium is audio. I find it so much easier to speak rather than write. I enjoy writing and think I’m okay at it, but I’m far too critical. I agonize over every sentence and constantly go back over things to make sure they read well before publishing. With audio you cannot do that. Once something is said, it’s said and your immediate memory is the only record you have during the conversation. If I don’t remember the point I made five minutes ago then I cannot change it, so whatever is said, is said. Additionally I have a unwritten rule with the shows not to edit for content. I don’t cut parts of the shows out because somebody may have said something incorrect or not overly interesting. I feel that his damages the integrity of the overall product and harms the flow of the conversation. I discussed this more in a recent episode of my show Cooking With Brett And Myke.

    I am heavily inspired by the pioneers of podcasting that came before me, Leo Laporte and Dan Benjamin. These men have created Empires, not just podcast networks. They are where I aspire to be one day, with a whole host of excellent shows that are produced full-time and broadcasted live to the masses. I also see Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht as an inspiration. Diggnation was the first podcast I had ever heard of and it was through their show that I became interested in the medium.

    If you had to point to one thing, what specific posts or creations are you most proud of and why?

    This is a really tough question for me. I love all of the shows and find it difficult to pick out specific episodes as I am always happy with what’s been recorded; I always feel good about what we commit to AAC.

    However, some people have remarked to me some of their favourite episodes of some shows. Episode 6 – Money of 11 Minutes is a fan favourite, as is Episode 14 – Don’t Worry Do of Enough. I have a love for Episode 52 – Happy Birthday of The Bro Show. I feel that of our most recent shows, Ungeniused, Cooking With… and The App Orchard, I have not had enough time to really consider favourites. But they are all like children to me and I love recording every episode!

    Any suggestions for those who feel they may not be creative enough to unlock their inner artist?

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    Just keep trying. It took me a long time to realize the thing I enjoyed the most. I tried so many different projects before I came to podcasting and now I don’t want to do anything else. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things out; you just don’t know what you might find.

    Productivity

    Can you describe your current personal and professional responsibilities?

    In the day I have a real job at a real, big company. I manage a team of people in a retail/finance environment. Then at home I run a podcasting network called 70Decibels. We have seven shows that make up the network and we are looking to expand these next year. I am a host, producer and editor of these shows

    How do you go about balancing the personal, professional and digital?

    The balance can be difficult. I leave my day job around 5pm and travel home to start work on the network around 7pm. I record Monday-Wednesday and do general work for the shows throughout the week. My Friday-Sunday is time spent strictly with my better half, with no commitments from the network. I do occasionally have to work Saturdays for my day job.

    Of course, sometimes emergencies or good ideas can creep up during my workday. I am more committed (long-term) to making a success out of the network, so I tend to deal with or capture these things whenever they come up. Obviously, this is provided they do not take up too much time; it’s my day job that allows me to continue running the network, and it’s the only thing that puts food on the table.

    What tools and techniques do you find yourself counting on to get through your workload?

    I have tried so many different GTD apps but as of yet none have stuck for me. I tend to use Simplenote/nvALT as a way to capture things and I even use it as an inbox for to-do items that aren’t particularly urgent.

    I’m a big fan of pen and paper. I’m a Moleskine guy at heart, but think I could be converted to Field Notes in the future. I find paper to be the fastest, most efficient capture method. The only downside is that a notebook doesn’t sync to the cloud.

    The network is produced and run from my MacBook Air. I use some built-in tools like GarageBand to produce it and add some others like Skype to help me get it done. I have documented some of the tools I use on my blog and am currently planning a new and more effective way of sharing my experiences in podcasting. Watch this space.

    What is the best starting point for the unproductive amongst us, who are looking to get more organized?

    Find an easy capture method. GTD won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Just find something that works for you, something that you can have easy access to. Then build from there.

    More by this author

    2×4: An Interview with David Sparks 2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley 2×4: An Interview With CJ Chilvers 2X4 Interviews 2×4: An Interview With Gabe Weatherhead 2×4: An Interview With Brett Kelly

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    1 10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today 2 The Power of Tapping into Your Hidden Creativity 3 Why Your Perception Is Your Reality 4 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 5 How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

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    Published on July 15, 2019

    10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today

    10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today

    Habits are an important part of the direction you take your life, and — as I’ll share with you shortly — there are certain daily habits you can adopt right away that are guaranteed to improve your life.

    Think back to when you were just six or seven years old…

    At that age you probably didn’t have many habits. But, as the years went by, you picked up more and more good and bad habits.

    You may not have thought about it before, but habit forming never really stops.

    That’s why it’s never too late to change your habits and transform your life.

    So, if you feel burdened by your bad habits, start kicking them into shape by replacing them with these 10 positive, life-changing strategies:

    1. Go to Bed a Little Earlier and Wake up Earlier 

    Starting tonight, get yourself to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. And, then make sure you get up tomorrow morning 30 minutes earlier, too. This small change can have a BIG impact on your day. 

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    Instead of furiously rushing in the morning to get ready for work, the extra time will give you a golden opportunity to start your day off on the right note. You can drink a smoothie while sitting on your porch, spend 10 minutes exercising and stretching, and still have time to read a few pages of an inspiring book.

    2. Be Grateful for the Good Things in Your Life 

    Setbacks and obstacles are inevitable in life. But, with a positive mindset, you’ll be able to overcome most of these. And, when you do, you’ll boost your self-confidence. 

    This is something you can definitely be grateful for. 

    However, if worst-case scenarios are playing out in your life, then sometimes, to stay strong, you’ll need to keep your mind on the good things that are happening to you. For example, your relationship with your partner might be crumbling, but your career is continuously getting stronger. It’d be easy to feel downtrodden and miserable about your relationship problems —  but, it would be much healthier to keep your mind and gratitude on these things that are going well, such as your career.

    3. Drink Water All Day Every Day 

    I’m sure you’ve heard the advice of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, but are you following that advice? If not, you’re robbing your body and mind of essential hydration. 

    With the right amount of water intake a day, you’ll be amazed how good you feel — and how good you look!

    4. Take 15 Minutes to Set Goals for the Day, and Then Tackle Them One by One 

    This strategy will put your life into a new stratosphere! And, it’s very simple to do. 

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    Simply spend 15 minutes in the morning (either at home or at work) planning what you need and want to achieve during the rest of the day. Once you’ve listed your tasks, the next step is to put them into order of priority. 

    For instance, you have three things to do: catch up with your emails, write a project update, and prepare a briefing for your CEO. It’s best if you put these in order of importance. In this example, your emails can probably wait until you’ve created your CEO brief and updated your project documentation.

    5. Turn Off Your Cell Phone (or Put it on Airplane Mode) When You’re Focusing 

    A 2012 study found that even looking at a cell phone or feeling it vibrate in your pocket can significantly distract focus and reduce your ability to complete complex tasks.[1]

    It’s no surprise really, as our thoughts are subconsciously drawn towards checking our phones when they’re switched on. It’s a bad habit — but one that most of us have. However, when you need 100% focus (like I do when writing my articles), then switching your phone off, or at least putting it into airplane mode, will free your mind and supercharge your focus. Try it and see!

    6. Walk as Much as You Can 

    Have you noticed that most people’s lives are sedentary? They drive to work, sit in front of a screen all day, then drive home and binge on the latest Netflix series. It’s no wonder there’s a growing epidemic of obesity and mental health issues. 

    Our bodies are made to move — so we should move them! This can be as simple as walking up the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator, and going out for a walk around the block at lunchtime. In the evening, instead of arriving home and crashing on the sofa; spend 20 to 30 minutes walking around your block.

    When you make these things a habit, you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel. You’ll have less stress — and more energy.

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    7. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

    How often do you stop, think and appreciate the “here and now”? I’m guessing not very often. But, I understand why. Modern life is demanding and fast-paced. There’s precious little time to appreciate the small things. 

    But, if you want to live a healthy and happy life, you must break out of this trap. You can do this by allocating 15 to 30 minutes each day for mindful meditation. This could be in a park, in your garden, or even in your lounge. The trick is to focus 100% on your surroundings. 

    For example, if you’re outside, watch how the leaves on the trees blow around in the wind. By keeping your focus on this movement, you’ll clear your mind from your usual stresses and strains. This will give you brain a much-needed break. And, as well as improving your mental health; you’ll find your creativity gets a boost, too.

    8. Ask for Help When You Need It 

    No one can know or do everything. Which is why you shouldn’t be embarrassed to delegate tasks to others when needed, ask questions when you don’t have the answers, and work with partners and colleagues to clarify intentions. 

    When I first set up Lifehack, I tried to do everything myself: blog writing, website creation, marketing, financial planning, etc. However, I quickly learned that it was much better to hire some help. Not only did this inject some fresh ideas and inspiration into Lifehack — it also made the whole operation way more enjoyable!

    9. Practice Self Care 

    Are you looking after yourself as well as you should? If not, then take steps to improve your diet, exercise more, and to speak to yourself with encouraging words and thoughts. 

    The latter suggestion is often overlooked. But how you speak to yourself determines how you feel, what you believe, and what you achieve.

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    10. Embrace Learning 

    You cannot transform your life without learning something new. That’s because the process of change forces you to adapt. But, many people stop learning as they get older, as they find the learning process boring and bothersome. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It can be fun and rewarding. 

    Whether you decide to learn to play guitar or study the basics of accounting — embrace learning, and begin changing your world for the better.

    I’m sure you’ll agree that these 10 strategies are simple enough for you to start putting them into action in your life. (I suggest you begin today!) 

    Nevertheless, you’ll probably need to use some extra willpower for the first 30 days or so, as this is the typical length of time it takes to create a new habit. After that, these strategies will be part of your day-to-day life, and you won’t need to think about having to do them. In other words, they’ll have become habitual actions.

    If you need any further encouragement to get started with the 10 strategies, then consider this:

    Even just adopting one of the strategies can turn the tide in your favor. But, when you implement all 10, you’ll create an unstoppable trend towards success, health and happiness.

    So start making your life better — today!

    Featured photo credit: Javier Garcia via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Deborah R. Tindell and Robert W. Bohlander, Wilkes University: The Use and Abuse of Cell Phones and Text Messaging in the Classroom: A Survey of College Students

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