Tag Archives for " productivity "

18 Travel Apps and Tools I use Daily on the Road


Traveling used to be a lot harder.

I remember trying to write a blog post in Buenos Aires in 2008. Wifi as we know it was not widely available, but internet cafes were everywhere, and they worked pretty well if you could get around the non-US keyboards and the impossibility of finding the ‘@’ symbol.

The ease of modern travel with a local SIM card powered smart-phone with broadband internet access is borderline ridiculous. Nothing is impossible when you can get on the internet, and wandering around looking for accommodation has been replaced by some quick tactical research. Continue reading >>

7 Key Lessons From Business Building in 2015


Or, what happened to SpartanTraveler last year.

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to all those who encouraged me to get back to writing. 2015 was a bit of a grind, but the good news is I’ve got plenty to share from the experience.

Fear not, trusty readers, SpartanTraveler is alive and well.

But getting somewhere in life is about making hard choices, and the reality in 2015 was simple: focus or die.

Because when you do everything you do nothing.

‘Like the sculptor, who does not add clay, but strips away the inessentials until the truth is revealed.’
Bruce Lee character from Dragon

I’ve always thrived at the breaking point of manageable activity. That place where positive stress forces focus and serious action. Where the goals and the necessity for completing them are immediately clear.

As a result, I always assumed as life went I’d continue to be doing more. More traveling, more and different types of adventures, and more varieties of work. Continue reading >>

How to Work at a Computer without Destroying your Body

ikea_bekant_standup-desk [Photo: Jordan Fried]

Standup desks are all the rage right now, and for good reason: we’re finally realizing that sitting all day is one of the worst things you can do for your health.

If you’ve somehow missed the trend, here’s some background:

Human performance guru Kelly Starrett has gone so far as to write a book on the topic. He’s mentioned the single biggest thing we could do for public health is to eliminate sitting from schools by replacing school desks with stand-up tables.

And even during the short conversation we had in January at San Francisco CrossFit he threw in the suggestion: “dude, you have to stop sitting.” (more: How I broke my body and then fixed it.)Continue reading >>

Morning Scripts: Wake up, Kick Ass Every Single Day


Summary: Below you’ll find an explanation of how priming myself with a scripted morning routine has been a major positive change this year. I’ve also included the exact morning routine I’m using now.

Is it possible to make yourself location-agnostic, bulletproof to circumstance, resilient in a way that ensures marching down the road to high-level outcomes every damn day until they happen?

I consider myself extremely motivated, but plenty of mornings I wake up and don’t want to move. It’s not that the obstacles are too big or that I don’t enjoy what I do, but some kind of meta-level inertia has clogged the gears. Writers would call it writer’s block. Motivational speakers would call it “needing a state change.”

It can be caused by almost anything: lack of sleep, overtraining, burning out on work. No matter how motivated I was yesterday, sometimes the muse just left the building over night.

But what if you could reboot your brain–in 10-30 minutes–and get into a state of focus and effortless output regardless of your current mental/physical/emotional crisis?  Continue reading >>

The Best Books I Read in 2014

I’ve always tried to read as much as possible.

While making time for it doesn’t always happen, I know that I’m only limited by the information in front of me.

As I’ve heard human performance expert Kelly Starrett quip (paraphrased): ‘In the past we didn’t know. Now we know: the best way to eat, the best way to train–all the information is available. If you’re not awesome now, it’s your own damn fault.’

So inhaling large amounts of information and integrating it always has to be part of the schedule. The only problem is that with limited time we have to make sure we’re focusing on the right information. That’s why I rely so heavily on recommendations, and why I thought this list might be useful.

A caveat: “best” is totally subjective and ignores the importance of timing and experience. The right message at the right time can change your life, and while most of the “best” books are important just for getting the same message in a slightly different way, they won’t blow the doors off your imagination if it isn’t new stuff.

That being said, here are the books that made a big impression on me last year (I’ve also included a few favorites from 2013 at the bottom.)Continue reading >>

The Myth of the 4-Hour Workweek


This year I re-read the The 4-Hour Workweek. For the 8th time.

“Freedom is like a new sport.”
-Tim Ferris in the 4-hour Workweek

Back in mid-2007 a co-worker told me to read Tim Ferriss‘ book.

“You will love it” she said.

A week later I requested all remaining vacation hours and took a 3-week surf trip to Costa Rica.

I returned home sunburnt and happy, and the next day I promptly quit my job, started work as a professional blogger, and left on an indefinite sojourn to S. America that started with an expedition over the Chilean Andes.

Such is the power of the book to inspire action.


Over 7 years later I find myself waking up in Budapest, Hungary, pursuing wilder goals than I could have imagined at the time.

If you’ve read the 4-hour Workweek (4HWW) you might expect me to say all this was easy–all I had to do was start a website, hire a virtual assistant, and get on a plane to Europe–where I would occasionally check to make sure money kept flowing into my bank account.

For those of you who haven’t read Tim’s palm-tree studded Bible of lifestyle-design, or for those who didn’t really get it, here’s the punchline: it’s not really about working 4 hours a week.Continue reading >>

22 Things I’ve Learned as a Digital Nomad


Digital Nomad: individuals that leverage digital technologies to perform their work duties and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner….

Over 2 years have passed since I quit my job.

Despite the image of me sipping Mai-tais on the beach somewhere (which can happen), there’s a big discrepancy between what my friends think I’m doing and what I’m actually doing. I write this overlooking the stunning crystal-blue water of the bay in Kuta, Lombok, but there’s a difference between me and every other traveler here:

I’ve been working on my laptop for 5 straight hours.Continue reading >>

4 Gmail Hacks to Dominate your Inbox and Cure Email Addiction

Gmail-Cure Email Addiction

Update: Revised on 2/7/15 from 3 hacks to 4 hacks!

If you check your email every 5 minutes, I’ve got news for you: this not the best way to get things done, and it may be adding a lot of needless working hours to your day.

Unless your primary responsibility is “respond to any and all email,” or there’s a mission critical contract out that needs to get signed, or your project management solution has completely failed and there is absolutely no other way to get a hold of you, I would suggest another approach.

Email is, after all, asynchronous communication. It’s not a chatroom, it’s not a project management tool, and it won’t substitute for talking to someone on the phone or in person. It can also wreak havoc on brain-intensive tasks (28% of your time could be wasted by interruption).

Like any tool, there are efficient and not so efficient ways to use email. Here are a few game-changing productivity hacks, some I’ve been doing for years and a couple game-changers I’ve implemented just recently:

Continue reading >>