December 30, 2018  


As the current year ends, you are likely promising yourself that next year is going to be the best year of your life. Now I don’t want to burst your bubble but the chances are that you will find yourself living the same life as always and according to Business Insider 80% OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS WILL GET BROKEN BE FEBRUARY. In this episode, though I’m going to discuss HOW TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS AND PLAN FOR YOUR BEST YEAR YET.
Jinny Ditzler, the author who I will be talking about a little later says, when talking of the year that has passed, that “The principal value of our mistakes and failures is our ability to learn from them”.
And it’s with that idea in mind that I present this episode as it’s in alignment with the higher level of thinking that I encouraged you to adopt in episode 1.
American author of self-help books, Melody Beattie, says that “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. “ And that “We can help write that story by setting goals.
In the last episode I talked about setting goals and to some extent, this show will expand upon that topic. I’ll add here that although this episode is launching at New Year, I REALISE THAT YOU MAY BE LISTENING TO IT PERHAPS HALFWAY THROUGH THE YEAR and if that’s the case just remember that You don’t need to set new goals at the break of a new year. Let your new year be tomorrow or a week from now if you feel you need a run up to it.
You don’t need to passively sail through your life. You must learn from the mistakes of the past and strategize your journey through the year ahead.
So the next chapter of your life is yet to be written and I need you now to take control and engage your higher level thinking self in helping you to shape it.
This year, on a number of levels, especially professionally, has been my best year yet. I directed fights on 6 or 7 high-level UK television shows, which amounted to 65 episodes in all, on a couple of short films and on 3 features and by utilising the Pareto Principle I made more money with less effort than I had put in on previous years. In addition to that, the short film which we’d made in Hong Kong a year or so ago has at latest count I think won 32 or 33 awards and been nominated for a further 20. I also, through the use of a 12 week year (listen to episode 11 for more on that) launched this podcast with its first 15 episodes, 16 including this one which goes out just before New Year and successfully created and launched the associated social media accounts and official website. I topped the year off by co-producing, co-directing and arranging fights on another film in Hong Kong which if the footage is anything to go by, will be quite a spectacular action piece.
With all that said and done I must admit that I veered away - last minute - from the episode which I’d been planning for New Year, which was about dealing with and recovering from burnout – GIVEN MY PREVIOUS LIST THERE I THINK YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHERE I WAS COMING FROM ON THAT ONE – but I redirected my efforts into what you are listening to now partly because I felt my own burnt out feeling would have dragged this episode down somewhat and partly as, let’s face it, looking forward to a new and even better year is a far more appropriate and positive topic for a special episode.
So all that I achieved last year came about before I’d even heard of a book entitled Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler, but I’ve discovered that it aligns nicely with my own philosophy and it’s something I am using to plan my own year ahead. Jinny Ditzler presents simple and straightforward strategies based on a structure of self-questioning and if you do her exercises, you will be one step closer to changing your life with a strategic action plan based on the data you collect from your own self-analysis.
BTW I must thank my friend Gillian Dick of the Goto agency who introduced me to Jinny’s book at this point. Gillian takes great pride in telling me that she has fallen asleep listening to this show on occasion so hopefully, she’s not nodded off listening to this one yet! Thanks, Gillian, just give yourself a shake, it’s halfway through already.
Jinny Ditzler’s now fairly famous book, which I’ll link to in the show notes of course, is titled Your Best Year Yet! But it’s more fully titled as Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever - And it’s these ten questions I’m going to discuss today.
Please buy the book via AMAZON my affiliate links.
The book says that if you take 3 hours out of your life to answer these 10 questions you will DISCOVER THE LIFE YOU COULD BE LIVING.
It goes on to say that answering the 10 key questions about your expectations, accomplishments and dreams for the future, will aid you in creating an effective plan for realizing your most important goals for the next 12 months.
I’m not going to pretend that in this short podcast like this I can cover the depth of detail of the book but I’d like to introduce the questions to you here and encourage you to think about them.
1. The first question the book asks is What did I accomplish over the past 12 months? What do you feel good about? Often we are so busy in our lives that we don’t take a moment to congratulate ourselves on our successes – so it asks what have you done that you can be proud of, in life, in work, in learning, in your relationships, or charitable work, or earnings, fitness or whatever? Jinny starts with a leading question about your accomplishments as this leads us in a positive direction AND POINTS OUT THAT WE RARELY THINK ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN A DAY LET ALONE A YEAR. She uses a diagram called the CYCLE OF PRODUCTIVITY, which as a productivity junkie I was immediately attracted to. In this diagram she points out that missing out the acknowledgement or praise section of the cycle is a dangerous shortcut as without it, IT DEGRADES OUR MOMENTUM IN THE CYCLE OF PRODUCTIVITY AND MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO START AGAIN. To take new action and start future work. Especially after a difficult year, it’s really important that you take time to RECOGNISE OUR SUCCESSES.
2. The second question is What were your biggest disappointments? James Joyce said that “Mistakes are the portals or discovery”, and I believe we have to embrace our mistakes and forgive them so that we can move on. So what dreams did you miss out on in the year past, what expectations weren’t fulfilled? Did you miss out in love? Put on weight, or even just fail to lose any? Whatever your disappointments you must list them here. Again I’ll batter on about the fact that if you put things in writing you are 80% more likely to do them SO DON’T MISS OUT THE WRITING PART IN ALL THIS. By writing these disappointments down you will clear them from your mind. Jinny describes this as pulling the weeds of disappointment and failure from your mind. Again writing them down helps you to recognise and deal with them. Letting them go puts you in a place where your self-assessment, which is the point of these ten questions, is NO LONGER PRIMARILY BASED ON FAILURE. By listing them she wants you to forgive, forget and learn from them. To bin, that excess baggage, dissipate resentment and FINALLY JUST LET GO.
3. The third question effectively asks of the previous two questions What did you learn? The book encourages us to ask, what was the secret of my success? What worked? What did I achieve? And, What didn’t work and why? What would have worked better? What’s the lesson? Taking that further Jinny asks What do I need to change in the way I operate? How can I do things differently? What advice can I give myself? Have I been honest? Etc and from that she asks us to turn the answers into personal guidelines. She lists some of her own guidelines as PUT MY FAMILY FIRST, ASK FOR HELP WHEN I NEED IT, RELAX, DO WHAT I KNOW WHAT TO DO, FACE THE MUSIC etc. ---- Even three questions in I’m hoping that you guys have started considering buying the book. This simple approach could change everything for you.
4. With Question 4 Jinny asks How do you limit yourself, and how can you stop? This is a powerful question and it’s not something I think that I’ve ever considered. It’s simple but if you’re honest in answering it then the answer will be very enlightening. She further asks here - What has it cost me to limit myself? In what ways have I benefited from it? And - Am I willing to stop limiting myself? This is quite an involved chapter so I’m not going to say much more here. Getting through these questions and assessing the answers will perhaps be the key to unlocking your special powers in the year ahead. BY NO LONGER LIMITING YOURSELF, or recognising it when we do, YOU CAN SHAPE YOUR FUTURE FAR MORE PRECISELY AND REFRAME YOUR MIND INTO A NEWER LESS LIMITED ONE. We must recognise our limiting actions and re-write them with a new paradigm that cancels out the limiting factor and allows us to move on. A simple example of this could be that your limiting paradigm is to believe that only you know what is best and the empowering paradigm may be that you succeed more quickly and achieve more with the support of others.
5. The next of the ten questions is What are my personal values? WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU, WHAT VALUES REPRESENT WHO YOU ARE? What values do you want to demonstrate, and what effect do you want to have on others? Now, this is a topic which I’m going to delve into even deeper in another episode as I think that as time goes on and as we have our ups and downs in life our values can become a little lost. If you feel that way too, then hang on in there and I’ll get an episode about that and about how we can utilise affirmations to help reshape out values somewhere down the line. SO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME. For now, though that was question 5 of the Best Year Yet, but…
6. Question 6 asks What roles do I play in my life? (Father, wife, teacher, student, writer, consultant and so on) This question is asked so as to get an overall view of all the aspects and responsibilities of your life. If you find yourself chasing your tail on your to-do list then redefining your role may help you to gain focus there. KNOWING YOUR ROLES IN LIFE PROVIDES DIRECTION, it places who you are, your values etc – at the centre of your life. This self-awareness of role and values puts you in that driving seat that I keep battering on about.
7. Following on from this question 7 asks Which of your roles is going to be your major focus for the next 12 months? Ahhhh you were wondering the point of question 6 perhaps? Well, here it is. You are being asked to narrow down those roles and that’s not perhaps as easy as you thought. This chapter, however, presents you with various means of narrowing down the options and focusing on the one that matters. Intuition is perhaps the strongest part of this but if you have trouble deciding the book will help you out. It poses questions such as - IN WHICH ROLE DO I WANT TO HAVE A BREAKTHROUGH? If I could put one problem behind me, once and for all, what would it be? And the answers to these questions, amongst others listed there, can inform your decision process. DECIDING WHAT TO FOCUS ON INSTEAD OF TRYING TO BE ALL THINGS WILL ALLOW THAT AREA OF YOUR LIFE TO FLOURISH.
8. Question 7 is very much tied to Question 8 which asks, What are your goals for each role? Now my last episode was all about setting and achieving goals so you should be all over this one, but I’ll talk a little bit about Jinny’s angle here. She starts by pointing out that which we have discussed already –that PEOPLE WHO HAVE GOALS, ACHIEVE MORE RESULTS IN THEIR LIVES. Jinny’s system of goal setting, however, is quite rightly tied together with the values she asked about earlier. She points out that “People whose goals are aligned with their values achieve more satisfaction and fulfilment.” And that lesson is of great value here.
I’ll say it again - “People whose goals are aligned with their values achieve more satisfaction and fulfilment.”
That’s something that can certainly be lost as we drive our way through life or through a career. She goes on to say that “When you change from wishing and whinging to setting powerful value-driven goals, you move to a more positive and productive life” and goes on to talk about being specific in your goal setting as I suggested last week. She further pins these goals down to a time-specific deadline with not just annual goal deadlines, but monthly, bi-monthly & quarterly ones too. Jinny splits these time-specific power goals into Result goals and Process Goals. Something which I’m going to try and do myself. An example might be Result Goal: Make a feature film by this time next year. Process goal: Write a page a day for the next 90 days to get the first draft by three months from today. Check out my episode on creating Habits (I think its episode 13) to find out about more about that one. This chapter is huge so I have to move on but as I’ve said before this is a book I encourage you to buy to find out more – So without further ado, the book next asks…
9. Number 9 - What are my top 10 goals for the next year? You probably have a ton of goals and subgoals on your to-do list and Chapter 9 helps you to further narrow them down and to limit them to a top ten. A shortlist of ten you see gives you a map with which to plan your year. You can begin to reduce these goals by reviewing again the first 7 questions and reminding yourself of your new paradigm, your re-written plan to circumvent the limitations you have previously placed upon yourself. With your values and primary role or roles in mind, you will, THROUGH A PROCESS OF PRIORITIZING AND ELIMINATION, form your list and it's with that top ten that you can start to plan YOUR BEST YEAR YET! This plan will take the form of a simple page which includes guidelines derived from your earlier answers, a new paradigm to rewrite an existing limiting one, a major focus or breakthrough you are going for and your top ten goals for the year.
10. Finally, question 10 asks How can I make sure that I achieve those goals? Well, you’ve written it all down and that’s a great place to start but the book offers what it calls THE FOOLPROOF SOLUTION, and presents 3 questions to ask yourself at any time you are uncertain. Firstly you must ask yourself What’s the next step? And simply identify what actions are required and just take those steps – and the advice on moving forward once this is done is to JUST DO IT. It next asks Who can give you the support you need to achieve your goals and shift to your new empowering paradigm? There may well be someone you know that can advise you. And lastly Does the way I see the problem limit my achieving it? Removing the internal limiting factors and focusing on your new paradigm, should receive as much attention as the goals themselves. This chapter also covers pitfalls such as negative thoughts which disempower us and the negativity of others, and urges us to be aware of end goal thinking – something I’ve suffered from myself and instead reminds us to try and enjoy the process. It goes on to cover prioritizing and other topics which if you are a regular listener to the show you will already have some awareness of.
The book ends with a workshop chapter which lists the ten questions in a format in which you can easily follow and answer in the blank spaces provided. In short, this is a simple guide with powerful results and for the sake of a few quid and a few hours of your time, you will find that it can pay back quite considerably.
Jinny’s ten questions are ones that I encourage you to answer and even if you think you are doing well and don’t need the help.
She says that “The coming year is just your best year so far - they can get better and better as the years go by.”
Her point, of course, is that EVERY YEAR THAT COMES CAN STILL BE YOUR BEST YEAR YET. You thought last year was good? WELL WAIT TILL YOU SEE WHAT’S COMING!
Get yourself a copy of the book via the links on the show notes for this episode on and I’ll get a bump back from the sale, which in turn will help to support the podcast. Well, I say that but to be honest it’s not happened yet – but I live in hope. Jinny is also active on some social networks so I’ll add links to those too. The book is a real keeper and you will find yourself using it again and again and if you are anything like me, buying copies of it for others too.
– Michael Josephson said “Approach the New Year with the resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day. ”
and I hope that the lessons of Your Best Year Yet will enable you to find that resolve. Everything is easier with a plan, and Jinny Ditzler’s book is one of the quickest ways of creating one.
H Jackson Brown said “DON’T LET WEEDS GROW ABOUT YOUR DREAMS” so keep that in mind as you move forward into the new year.
I didn’t recap on episode 15 today as this topic wasn’t far off from that one, but I will do when I launch season 2.
As you may be aware, the previous 15 episodes were batch recorded, and I did that to ensure that when I said in episode 1 that 15 episodes would make up the preseason and season 1 that what I promised to release would absolutely happen. I like to think that I have a reputation for reliability and so if I say I am going to do something I really try to guarantee that it happens. Batching btw is an excellent tool for any similar tasks that you may want to do yourself. But what it meant though is that this is the first episode where I’ve had the opportunity to respond to the feedback of the first 15 episodes and I have to say that the response to the show has been outstanding. This is still only a fledgeling podcast but I’ve got a good strong core group of subscribers and have had in the region of 30-40 messages of support since launch. From experienced screenwriters and filmmakers to just people who love the content, the response has been excellent, which is good because if it wasn’t I probably would have thrown in the towel. Creating these shows is a hell of an undertaking as it’s expensive to maintain in both cash and time terms.
I’ve been especially pleased to hear that the show has pushed several filmmakers on to shoot and complete their own films too with 3 films completed from what I hear due to inspiration is drawn from Film Pro Productivity. That’s not something I ever thought would happen so I’m really pleased to hear about that sort of thing. Please continue to interact with me on the social networking pages or through the official website as hearing from you really does, as Clint Eastwood is fond of saying, make my day.
On that note I have a plan for the next season with topics such as Dealing with Stress, why you shouldn’t collaborate, manipulators and other toxic people and drive but if you have a particular subject that you’d like me to cover, if you are struggling again and again with the same problem and don’t know how to solve it please do get in touch and tell me all about it. I will do my best to cover the topic in a future episode. I’ve only had two speak pipe messages since launch but why not give it a try and leave me an up to 90-second audio message on Film Pro Productivity dot com’s Contact page.
Finally, I want to plug the podcast of fellow filmmaker Ian O’Neill which is called How They Did It Filmmaking. In his show, Ian interviews awesome filmmaker guests in a casual and engaging format which I just love. Ian launched his show perhaps two or three weeks before I did and I see him as a kindred spirit in this creative podcasting world. He even interviews me along the way so obviously, that’s a particularly gripping episode! You can subscribe to his show on all the usual podcasting apps or catch him on twitter @Hfilmmaking or @ianwrites and you can also track him down on Facebook @howtheydiditpodcast and Instagram @howtheydiditfilmmaking if you prefer those platforms.
You may have noticed that I’m letting episodes sit now at round about the 20-minute mark. That’s a deliberate change which I’ve made to the original format. I found ten minutes just too tight to get the lessons across, and unlike in film where we so often tighten up the edit, I have come to the conclusion that when editing a podcast, just a few beats more silence after points have been made ALLOWS THE LISTENER TO FULLY UNDERSTAND AND PROCESS THE INFORMATION. So I speak a little slower, ramble a little more and pause on occasion, but it all adds to a more engaging format and that’s what really matters in the end.
I’ll finish today’s special episode with a quote from the great poet Alfred Tennyson who said “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
Thanks once again for giving me your time and Please - Take control of your own destiny, Enjoy planning your own BEST YEAR YET, keep on shootin’ and join me once again for season two, sometime in late February, on Film Pro Productivity.
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December 9, 2018  


In this, the final episode of season 1, I’ll be talking about one of the most powerful weapons in the productivity-ists arsenal GOAL SETTING.
Before I go into that though, last week’s episode introduced 5 free productivity apps which I do encourage you to try. I chose to highlight 5 but I could probably have found 25 if I’d put my mind to it. For every great productivity app though there are 100 more that will steal your time and slow you down and distract you, and even with productivity apps you can get too much of a good thing. One of the very best productivity tips I can offer is to switch your phone off every now and again. Try and form the habit (listen to episode 13 for advice on that one) of restricting your phone use for an hour before you go to bed and an hour after you wake up. This will allow you to focus on all the things you should be doing instead of checking Facebook, or twitter, or getting lost in clickbait, watching YouTube vidoes or opening up your work email.

The American motivational speaker Daymond John believes that “the last thing I read at night will likely manifest when I'm sleeping. You become what you think about the most.” Unquote…

So take a bit of time out to relax and enjoy life while you can, avoid the phone at night. If you banish the phone form your bedroom in fact you’ll sleep better as a result. Oh and if you use your phone as an alarm, as I often do myself, putting it in another room will give you very good reason to get out of bed sharpish the next morning.
Now with Season 2 coming up soon, I’m very interested in including your thoughts and comments within it. I’d love to hear what productivity techniques you are adopting or what matters that you are struggling with out there. You can send me your thoughts via the contact page at or by catching me on Twitter @filmproprodpod.
Book Recommendation: Your Best Year Yet! A Proven Method for Making the Next 12 Months Your Most Successful Ever.
This book has come very highly recommended. If you'd like to support the copy please purchase through one of my Amazon affiliate links :-)
Mark Twain wrote that: “To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the "what is next", of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.” Unquote.
When I first set out to create this podcast and I know I’ve referred to it before here - but I FAILED. I would say I failed because I was unspecific and uncertain in what I wanted to do. More recently though I dusted myself down and I tried again, and I did a few things differently.
Secondly - I GAVE MYSELF A DEADLINE, and I have to say that date that you know is looming ever closer, really puts a rocket up your backside when it comes to drive.
Next - When I assessed the goal I was trying to achieve I created a tactical action plan to achieve it, and I stuck to it.
And this endeavour has not been easy at all. It’s been far more costly than I’d thought possible, the learning curve has been sharper than I’d imagined and, and it’s taken far more time too. Researching and recording a single episode doesn’t take just a few hours – it takes days… but I did it anyway.
YES - This is a vastly time-consuming thing for me, but the last main reason that I think that I have succeeded is because – well - I WANT TO - because I absolutely believe that it WILL HELP creatives, filmmakers, and other film professionals to move toward a BETTER, HAPPIER LIFE, and that in turn gives me great satisfaction.
Have you thought about what you want to be doing in five years' time?
Are you clear about what your main objective at work is at the moment?
Do you know what you want to have achieved by the end of today?
The world renowned motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins says that “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” –
I’ve left the topic of goal setting till now as it is such an important part of the productivity landscape that it deserves its place in the final episode of the series. Goals are essential, and whether they are large or small, daily, weekly, hourly or for life - without them we tend to meander along and settle for where we are.
With New Year just around the corner, and a whole load of productivity lessons behind us, I figured this would be the ideal time to delve into the topic.
I covered it to some extent in episode 11, THE TWELVE WEEK YEAR, but let’s look a little bit closer.
The SMART acronym which is also known as the 5 GOLDEN RULES OF GOAL SETTING is where we will begin. SMART translates to:
By SPECIFIC we of course mean that your goals must be clear and well defined. Without a precise direction to travel in, you will get lost trying to pin down your vague, unspecific and ever changing goals - and that will simply mislead you and short circuit your endeavour. By defining precisely where you want to end up, you have much more realistic chance of getting there. An example of a specific goal might be, to write a first draft of your new film by a date exactly 6 weeks from today. That goal in turn could be part of a larger specific life goal.
And your goals MUST also be MEASURABLE. Unless you are precise about each element of the goal, and include dates, potential costs etc then you will find it difficult to measure the degree of your success. If your goal is simply defined as "To lose weight" how will you know when you have been successful? Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the opportunity to celebrate your win.
The SMART acronym says that you MUST also set ATTAINABLE Goals. In Episode 13 I talked about Stephen Guises MINI HABITS. In that system he aims to ensure that the habits you set out to create are achievable as the damage caused by failure, can be very destructive to your will power – your willingness to try again. But Stephen Guise was talking about HABITS and that’s NOT what this episode is about. We are talking about GOALS – And although you can certainly aim small and achieve the little wins, the goals I encourage you to consider should make you want to "raise the bar" and aim for greatness.
I think I have probably use this Peter Drucker quote before but it’s a very important point - He said that “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
I mention this as these goals MUST be RELEVANT to the direction YOU WANT YOUR LIFE AND CAREER TO TAKE. You simply cannot allow yourself to get distracted by the unimportant. You must engage your Higher Level Thinking and narrow down your focus. If you don’t you will waste your time and mental energy on the unimportant.
As Bruce Lee once said - “‎The SUCCESSFUL WARRIOR is the AVERAGE MAN, with LASER-LIKE FOCUS.”
Finally your goals must be TIME ORIENTED. So set a deadline for the specific goal: for next week, in three months, or six months. Setting an end point for the goal gives you a clear target to achieve. Remember Parkinson’s Law though - "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". – Make your time frames realistic but don’t let them be too flabby. Push yourself a little. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and that gives you drive.
Put it in WRITING
I’ll follow up the SMART system by urging you to write your goals down. makes this point a follows.
“The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it.”
As you write, Mindtools tells you to use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." For example, "I will produce the pilot episode of my next series by the 1st of February next year” not "I would like to produce the pilot episode of my next series by the 1st of February next year " The first goal statement has power and you can "see" yourself shooting that episode, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.”
They also suggest that you write yourself a TO-DO LIST that has your goals written at the top of it. You can do that in the TO-DOIST app I mentioned last week btw. You can create titles for each list, and they can be your goals.
I’d add to this that when you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you, that they are important to you, and that there is some value to you in achieving them. If you have no interest in the outcome then the chances of you putting in the work to achieve these goals are very low.
As Elon Musk said though, “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
Can I suggest too that you build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular check-ins to review your goals – put them in your diary – I have them in my Google calendar app and they pop up every 6 months. Sometimes perhaps through changes in circumstance you may even alter your long term goals along the way – that’s perfectly fine – just be sure to re-define the new goals and keep on moving. Your GREATER GOAL may remain similar over the long term, but your strategic action plan to achieve it might change significantly. That’s just life. It’s OK.
I hope that this episode has been helpful because without goals you will undoubtedly lack focus and direction.
I’d now like you to consider your GREATER LIFE GOALS. These are the larger outcomes you will achieve when you dedicate YOUR TIME and YOUR THOUGHTS and YOUR PASSION to reach them.
Tony Robbins sets out three steps to setting these larger goals. You may want to re-listen to this section when you aren’t busy, and have a pen in hand.
· In Step 1 he says: Take 6 minutes and brainstorm a list of anything you’d like to achieve, create, do, have, give and/or experience in the next 20 years. Write as many things down as fast as you can in this time.
· In Step 2 he asks you to go back through your list and write 1, 3, 5, 10 or 20 years next to each goal to indicate how long it will take to achieve them. You have a minute and a half to get this done, so be quick and go with your gut.
· In Step 3 he asks you to then review your list. Choose your top four 1-year goals. These are goals that make you really excited. Write a paragraph for each goal explaining why you will absolutely achieve this goal within the next 12 months. This should take you about 15-20 minutes total.
Now, if you have the chance to share what you’ve written down with a friend, family member or other person you trust, do so. If not, just say them out loud to yourself.
Tony Robbins is at the top of his game in this field and it’s for good reason - I’ll put some links to him in the show notes.
Now achieving these goals won’t always be easy -
Booker T. Washington said that “You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you have to overcome to reach your goals.”
So things will get tough - but goal setting will allow you to navigate the correct path and provide you with a benchmark for determining whether you are actually getting there.
I’ll finish up now with the words of CS LEWIS “You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” Having goals is for everyone, it’s not just a game for the young.
In whatever path you take and whatever goal you set out to conquer I wish you well.
So that is now the end of series 1. I encourage you to look back over the previous episodes and see if there’s anything that you missed. This season has been kinda structured to help those that are feeling overwhelmed in their life and work, and much of it has been aimed at stemming the flow of lost time and energy. In episode 1, I introduced the concept of HIGH LEVEL THINKING, and the principle of working ON your life and career at the same time that you find yourself living and working IN it.
By now, I hope that this concept has had a bit of an impact on you and that you have been able to, at least in part, take back control of your life.
In season 2, I’ll continue to introduce even more productivity topics. I’ve got a good idea of where I’m heading with it, but I’d love to include YOUR thoughts and comments within it. If you want to help, please let me know what you are struggling with by leaving short voicemail message on the speakpipe recorder on the contact page. You can always send a written message but if you leave a voicemail I may include it in future episodes.
I feel that before I go I should explain perhaps why I’ve chosen the seasonal format. That fact is that in order for me to avoid my own OVERWHELM, and to allow me to go and SHOOT my OWN new CREATIVE PROJECTS, I just can’t commit to delivering an episode of this show every week of the year.
And it’s a choice I made before I started. My SPARE time, my days off between paid fight contracts or the stolen hours on shoot days when I find myself hanging about waiting to be called to set, when I’ not writing risk assessments, is currently dedicated to researching and writing these episodes. I now HAVE to commit these lumps of spare time to a DIFFERENT creative project.
As if I did say yes to releasing a new episode EVERY week, I’d be saying NO many other opportunities.
But don’t worry – I will be back. I will return in just a few months with a new 12 episode season.
If YOU would like to SUPPORT this podcast, then please buy from one of my AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS listed in the film pro show notes. I think the way it works is that you don’t have to actually buy what I suggest, but if you go to Amazon through my links and buy anything at all, I get a supportive bump for directing you there.
You can even hit me up using the DONATE button on the website too. It’s at the bottom of each page.
Just as important though, I’d like you to keep telling people that the podcast exists, keep leaving awesome reviews and generally spread the word. Knowing that this podcast is helping people is perhaps the greatest reward of all.
For now though - take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next season on Film Pro Productivity.
· The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A Himitsu
· You can view the show notes for this episode at
· Please follow me on Twitter @fight_director or follow the show @filmproprodpod
· Finally I’d like to thank fellow podcaster Stephen Rowan, of THE STEPHEN ROWAN SHOW who produced the 1st two episodes for his knowledge and advice in guiding me to a better podcast. I’d also like to thank The DAVE BULLIS PODCAST, PODCRAFT, SCHOOL OF PODCASTING, The NO FILM SCHOOL PODCAST, The FILMMAKERS PODCAST, and INDIE FILM HUSTLE for the inspiration.
· Thanks for supporting the show by subscribing, spreading the word and leaving an AWESOME review.
December 2, 2018  


In this episode I will present 5 awesome apps that you should download to boost your productivity.
Last week’s episode was all about habits and habit forming. One of the reasons that I started this podcast was to get back into the HABIT of creating again. It took drive, it took focus and it took vision, but once I got into the swing of it, I just kept on going and here we are. You wouldn’t be listening to this now if it wasn’t for the power of habit, so if you have a NEW HABIT YOU WANT TO FORM or a BAD HABIT YOU WANT TO BREAK and you missed that show - do check it out.
Every episode of the show can be accessed directly via or you can find it on any number of podcasting apps out there.
Feel free to get in touch and let me know how you are getting on, or if you have a moment, go to the contact page and let me know what you are struggling with. I’m very interested in what productivity techniques you are adopting or what matters you are struggling with, whether industry wise or personally, so that I can tailor future episodes to tackle them.
The format this week is a little bit different as I want to offer you suggestions on productivity apps which you can use to make your day to day life and work just a little bit easier. I’m not sponsored by any of these apps, at least not yet – anyone want to sponsor me? These are just the ones that I genuinely find useful and that I actually use.
Sadly I’ve not discovered any app to research and create podcast episodes, which I still do it one word at a time, but luckily there are a few awesome and mostly FREE apps out there that will make our lives easier along the way.
I’ll put links to the apps that I talk about in the show notes on the website so don’t panic, you can always grab them there. I’ll give the exact address at the end of the episode.
Peter Drucker the American-Austrian educator said “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”
And one of the greatest apps out there for managing time, in my opinion, is GOOGLE CALENDAR. It’s free, it works cross platform on PC and apple desktop, and on android and apple devices. I use it every single day, probably 10 times a day or more.
I use Google Calendar for all of my work bookings, all of my travel arrangements for jobs and all of my important deadlines and meetings. I stay on top of it and if a date moves and as soon as I get that information and I login and make the change.
I have several calendars for several email addresses. And they all can come up on the app simultaneously or you can toggle through them. For example you could have a calendar for work, which I have for my fight directing work, a calendar for family, for picking up kids and getting them to swimming lessons, dentist appointments or whatever and a calendar perhaps for your own projects.
You can even donate different colours to each calendar so you can tell at a glance what is what.
Google calendar also sends you reminders. There are reminders on mine that tell me 24 hours before something is going to happen and again 30 minutes before.
In order to get the best from Google Calendar you have to keep it updated, but it’s kinda like my old Filofax, which I updated religiously, and if you do commit to using it, it will make your life easier. Not having to retain the details every single date and time and place you have to be makes this app invaluable.
Whatever you can say in a meeting, you can put in an email. If I have questions, I'll tell you via email. - Mark Cuban
Following on from that, my second free productivity resource is Gmail. Yes Gmail. I get swamped by emails on my address. Most things come through that, but when I set up a new project, like this podcast for example, before I do anything else, I set up a Gmail account.
And why is that good for productivity? Because everything I have set up for this podcast is in the same place. My podbean account, my itunes account, my spotify, stitcher, blubrry, envato, speakpipe, mailchimp, twitter – everything to do with THIS PODCAST goes through my filmproproductivity@gmail address. And anything that doesn’t, there’s a few that got tied to my fightdirector account as I had a pre-existing relationship with them like wix - I just forward those to the podcast Gmail account so they are there too.
So if I need anything to do with this podcast, I go to the gmail account, login and it’s there. I don’t have to hunt and hunt in my main address. It just makes everything easy.
I do it for films too, and when I finish that film and no longer need it and when emails to that account become few and far between, I set up a forwarder in the gmail settings and it send any new emails to another kinda catchall address that I’ve set up. And if anything comes to these email addresses I get a nod that it’s there through my phone - Yeh, Gmail is my second awesome productivity app, and if you are clever about how to use it, it will save a lot of headaches
Next on my list, and it’s another app I use every single day is DROPBOX. I have all of my important – oh hold on – that’s my calendar app telling me that my friend Alasdair is picking me up in 30 minutes – see I told you it was good – where was I yes, DROPBOX is where I have all of my current work folders, all of my recent documents and also a few shared folders.
You get your first 2.5gb for free when you sign up and for some of you that may be enough, but I’ve actually got my free allotment up to 21.2 Gb by recommending friends and taking on various free offers that came up along the way. You can of course pay for it but I’ve not had to yet. I actually also use the other free app GOOGLE DRIVE which is similar to dropbox but different for overspill items I might need. With it you get 15gb free at first so you may prefer it.
Dropbox though is my weapon of choice as its simple I’m used to it and I like it’s format. I mainly use it on desktop when writing fight risk assessments but I also at least once a day access it through my phone app.
If I go into it now, I have a few random images and PDF’s dotting about, but I organise it quite specifically and have folders for every film and show that I work on. For example I have a folder for BBC Scotland’s River City which contains all of my risk assessments for the previous season and the current one. Previous seasons I’ve moved to backup folders in he google drive as I don’t need instant access to them. Last season has 20 episodes which contained fights, and so far this season has 9 episodes - each with it’s own sub folder which contains PDF’s of the scenes and my risk assessments for them in word format. I can access these anywhere and make alterations if necessary.
As I have set this up to view by date I have the podcast folder, with 15 sub folders containing notes and scripts etc for each episode, plus folders for music and show notes and marketing etc - all easily accessible and up to date. I have a folder for the TV show Shetland which I was shooting this week and last and a folder for Bannan which I shot this week and continue on next week, and folders for my feature films in development in Hong Kong with friend and colleague Bryan Larkin as well as in development for myself. It’s a very lively place for my very lively schedule. It’s not unusual for me to be shooting maybe 5 or 6 productions in any one month and dropbox in combination with the other free apps here keeps me on top of it all.
I have two shared folders here too. One is a family album created by my niece who is researching the family history and another which is created and updated by River City production as that is a very regular gig. In that folder my line manager updates a fight schedule and every time a date moves, or disappears or a script update is made that might affect me, rather than emailing me or calling me about it, I get an update via dropbox. It’s a very efficient system.
Dropbox, really is an essential productivity tool as far as I’m concerned.
Self help author ― Patti Digh says “Sometimes our STOP-DOING list needs to be bigger than our TO-DO list.” That’s another quote I can’t help but agree with.
Check out last week’s habit podcast for more advice on that or episode 2 which talks about the power of saying NO.
The quote does also have relevance to this list though as next up I suggest you try the free productivity app TO-DOIST – “To do – ist”
I discovered recently that you can tie this app, even the free version, into Google Calendar and that makes it all the more amazing. TODO-IST is a to do list organiser and reminder app.
If you have a list of things to do, grab this app and type them up. You can create separate lists within it based on your lists topics. What to do ist does though is not just hold onto your list, and allow you to cross things of fthat you complete, but it will remind you every day of what is still to be done. That daily reminder helps you to maintain the drive and will power required to complete them. For that reason and because I’ve been using it now for about 2 years, TODO-IST is number 4 on this list.
Mrs Beeton who wrote The Book Of Household Management famously said that there should be “A place for everything, and everything in its place”
So with that in mind the final App that I will recommend today is POCKET. It’s yet another free app which is available, like everything else on this list, across all platforms and its purpose, as Mrs Beeton says, is to give you a place for everything – everything on the web that you want to save and view later that is…
I use it every day when saving web pages, articles and YouTube vids that I’d like to read later or that might be useful for this podcast. I still do favourite and bookmark pages using browsers, but if it’s a quick read that I don’t want to lose, I drop it into pocket, where later on I can easily find it and view on any device without searching.
You can install Pocket on your mobile device or add it as an extension to Google chrome, which is my recommended browser incidentally – So - if there’s anything you see that you don’t have the time or the inclination to read then and there, you can simply save it to Pocket. If installed, it comes up in an option for you to save to in android and apple devices, and it’s a clickable button on the toolbar of Google chrome.
I know there are similar apps around but for me the standalone Pocket app which is fast and simple and free, tops the list.
Martha Stewart said that “Life is too complicated not to be orderly.” …and these 5 apps will definitely make your life more orderly and productive if you use them.
They are tried and tested and if you are willing to embrace them you are going to love them. That said, please remember that many apps are as bad for your productivity as these ones are good. As you try out some of these suggestions, perhaps you should think about losing some of the apps on your phone that really disrupt your productivity, or at the very least take them off your front page so that you have to hunt for them in the app menus instead. Make them a little less easy to access and perhaps you’ll eventually stop using them altogether.
I’ll have to do another one of these episodes as choosing the ones to talk about here has been really difficult. There are desktop extensions which are also awesome but I’ll leave all that for season 2.
I feel I should put a full stop on all this with a quote, and although the episode is a bit more factual than inspirational today I’ve got one that I rather like.
It’s another by Peter Drucker, who said “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
He also said that
“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
So I’ll leave you with that.
A link to every App that I’ve talk about here, and a full transcript of this episode is available at
Go there, try them out and see how they work for you. They’re all free but some have some in app purchases which can be used to expand their capabilities. I however only use the free versions.
Next week’s episode, episode 15, will be the final show of season 1, and I’ll be discussing the topic of setting and achieving goals.
Until then, take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on Film Pro Productivity.
· The podcast music is Adventures by A Himitsu.
· You can view the show notes for this episode at
· If you’re struggling with something you think I can help with or would like to tell me how you are getting on then please get in touch via the contact page on the website. Alternately you can get me on Twitter @fight_director or follow the show @filmproprodpod
· Please support this podcast by subscribing, leaving an AWESOME review and spreading the word. If you can get just one new person to tune in I’d really appreciate it.