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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 Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How To Tackle Them 2 The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness 3 20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity 4 A Review of the Book “The Art of Learning” 5 How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

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    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How To Tackle Them

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How To Tackle Them

    Procrastination is something many people can relate to and I, myself, have been there and done that. Yes, I write all about productivity now, but when I first started out on my career path, I would often put off work I didn’t want to do. And most of the time I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

    So what changed?

    I thought to myself, “why do I procrastinate?” And I started to read a lot of books on productivity, learning a great deal and shifting my mind to the reasons why people procrastinate.

    My understanding brought me a new perspective on how to put an end to the action of procrastination.

    Procrastination slows your goals and dreams way down. It can create stress and feelings of frustration. It rears its ugly head on a regular basis for a lot of people. This is particularly apparent at work with day-to-day projects and tasks.

    But, why do people self-sabotage in this way? Essentially, there are 5 reasons behind procrastination. See if you can identify with any of these in your own work life.

    1. The Perfectionist’s Fear

    Procrastination is sometimes a subconscious fear of failure.

    If you put off a task enough, then you can’t face up to the potential (and usually imagined) negative results. If you’re a stickler for minor details, the stress of getting things ‘just right’ may be too much and cause you to delay continuing the task.

    Either way, fear is at the root cause and can sabotage your desire to move forward.

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    How to Tackle It?

    Try visualizing the completion of your task in a positive way.

    For example, you have a presentation that your boss wants you to conduct for a potential client. Visualize yourself standing in the meeting room confident, meeting the eyes of the client and seeing them light up as you explain the concept simply and concisely.

    Imagine your boss telling you how great you did and you were the best person for the job. Think about how it would feel to you and focus on this as you move forward with the task.

    2. A Dreamer’s Lack of Action

    This is a person who is highly creative and has many brilliant ideas but can’t quite seem to bring them to fruition.

    The main reason for this is because there’s usually no structure or goal setting involved once the idea has been created. This aimless approach ends up manifesting as a lack of decision-making and significant delays on a project.

    How to Tackle It?

    Write down a timeline of what you want to achieve and by when. Ideally, do this daily to keep yourself on track and accountable for progression. Creative minds tend to jump from one idea to the next, so cultivating focus is essential.

    If you’re designing and creating a new product at work, set out a task list for the week ahead with the steps you want to focus on each day. Doing this ahead of time will stop your mind from wandering across to different ideas.

    Learn about how to plan your time and take actions from some of the successful people: 8 Ways Highly Successful People Plan Their Time

    3. An Overwhelmed Avoider

    This is one of the most common reasons for procrastination; the sheer overwhelm of a daunting task.

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    The complexity of a task can cause the brain to lose motivation and avoid doing it altogether choosing instead to stay in its comfort zone.

    The search then starts for a more enjoyable task and the harder tasks are put off. This can cause stress and dread when the task inevitably comes up to be completed.

    How to Tackle It?

    Break the challenge down into smaller tasks and tackle each one individually.

    For example, if you have a project that has technical elements to it that you know you’ll find challenging, list each step you need to take in order to complete these difficult elements. Think of ways you can resolve potential hurdles. Perhaps you have a coworker that may have time to help or even consider that the solution may be easier than you initially think. Put each task in order of most daunting to least daunting. Ideally, try to deal with the more challenging parts of each task in the morning so that momentum is created as the tasks get easier through the day.

    A reward system will also help you stay motivated so, once completed, you can enjoy your treat of choice.

    If you want to know how to better handle your feelings and stay motivated, take a look at my other article: Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It

    4. The Busy Bee Who Lacks Prioritization

    Either you have too many tasks or don’t truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task. The result? Getting nothing done.

    Time is spent switching constantly from one task to another or spending too much time deciding what to do.

    How to Tackle It?

    It’s all about priorities and choosing important tasks over urgent ones.

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    Make sure to question the value and purpose of each task and make a list in order of importance.

    For example, throughout your work day, you can waste a lot of time dealing with ‘urgent’ emails from colleagues but, you need to ask yourself if these are more important than working on a task that will affect, say, several office projects at once.

    Help yourself to prioritize and set a goal of working through your list over the next few hours reassessing the situation once the time is up.

    In my other article, I talk about an effective way to prioritze and achieve more in less time: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    5. The One with Shiny Object Syndrome (Distraction-Prone)

    This is another common cause for procrastination; just simple distraction.

    Our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods of time and it looks for something else. So throw in a bunch of colleagues equally looking for distractions or checking your phone mindlessly, and you’ve got a recipe for ultimate procrastination.

    However, this type of procrastination may not always be an unconscious decision to sabotage and put off work. It’s simply a result of your work setup or types of coworkers you have. Only you know the answer to that.

    How to Tackle It?

    Be mindful of your workspace and potential distractions. Schedule a specific time to converse with your coworkers, put headphones on to minimize listening to what’s going on around you, and switch your phone off.

    Aim to do this for 20-30 minutes at a time and then take a break. This will be a much more efficient way of working and getting what you need done. This is also why scheduling down time is so important for productivity.

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    Whether this type of procrastination is self-sabotage or being a victim of a distracting environment, either way you can take control.

    If you need a little more guidance on how to stay focus, this guide can help you: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    Bottom Line

    I’m going to be bold and assume you identified with at least one of these procrastination pitfalls.

    You could be trapped in the endless cycle of procrastination like I was, that is, until I decided to find out my why behind putting off tasks and projects. It was only then that I could implement strategies and move forward in a positive and productive way.

    I killed the procrastination monster and so can you. I now complete my tasks more efficiently and completely killed that feeling of stress and falling behind with work that procrastination brings.

    I know it’s not easy to stop procrastinating right away, so I also have this complete guide to help you stop it once and for all: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

    Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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