Let’s Solve This Burnout Issue: Part One – Address It Now

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You’re taking on too much. You’ve got the job, the family, the second job, the hobby job, the hobby that isn’t yet a job, and then the several hours of computer, iPhone, and iPad “work” you do too. You have conflict in each of these areas, physical and mental stress hits and it accumulates. I’m going to share three ideas that will help you avoid burnout and have the energy to be present both at home and at the office. Please keep listening through point number three, it’s been a life changer for me, personally!

I’m Rex Barrett and this is The Maven Show. I want you to learn new things so you can enjoy your whole life.

Friends, it’s time to address the mess

Let’s get something straight, you weren’t designed to take on as much as you’re taking on across your whole life. You weren’t created to carry the unresolved conflict sitting on your shoulders. The tension at work, the arguments at home, the Facebook comments that turn into fights… It is all too much.

Let’s figure out some ways to dial down that stress. It’s time to learn some new things and maybe just change your whole life.

  • One – It might be time to pause Facebook for a while. Address what could be a bad habit that takes away from your life. You might just need to stop for a while. Maybe it’s Snapchat or Anchor, maybe it’s Instagram. Whatever. Feel free to let that daily posting streak DIE. For most people, it’s not your job. I promise you have the freedom to not keep tabs on the people you went to high school with 20 years ago.
  • Two – Address your soul’s depleted gas tank. Take a vacation. Not the stressful trip to Disney World, the one where you lay out at the pool and read, rest, relax. These don’t have to cost too much. Just take off. Head to a place you’d enjoy. My wife and I have taken off to Colorado Springs. Popped up a tent and watched movies in the mountains. It wasn’t about packing the trip full, it was about resting. Couple tanks of gas, a cooler and a trunk full of food, and under $20 a day to sit at the base of Pike’s Peak. You can do this, people!
  • Three – And please keep listening, because this is one of the most important steps and it really could change your work and home life. Address that co-worker or family member you’re feuding with. Take the high road, apologize for the problem, give a chance for forgiveness to happen. It will for sure trigger some upfront tension. Resolving it now will relieve a lot of stress… Don’t let it fester too long. Allowing a five-minute conversation to take over your next week, your next month, a full year, or the rest of your life. Have that conversation. Bring some peace back into your life. Additionally, how terrible is it that we allow tension in relationships at work keep us from fully enjoying our families while we’re home. That nagging feeling in the back of our minds, it’s time to make that go away!

Wrap up and how to connect

  • Well, there we go, my friends. We have another episode in the books! Three steps I use frequently and now you can use them to dial down stress in your lives too.
  • I’m posting a transcript of this podcast onto my website at http://Maven.Show. There you’ll find the links to every little thing I mentioned today.
  • If this is the first Maven Podcast you’ve listened to, please look up past episodes. We’ve covered how to make cold brew, productivity apps, comic books, several that cover the best in fast food, and one of my recent favorites, top ways to get your caffeine fix.
  • Do you have any thoughts, questions, or comments on what we talked about today? It’s easy to reach out…
  • Download the Anchor App in the App Store and call in to tell me about it. I might just publish your thoughts.
  • What to chat on Twitter? Find me @RexBOKC. Head to the Facebook page for the Maven Show at http://rex.click/fb, and coming soon, The Maven Show on YouTube. Yes, the camera gear has arrived and the batteries are charging as I speak.
  • If you like what you’re hearing, share, share share! I’d love to keep climbing those charts baby!
  • I’m Rex Barrett and you can find me at Maven.Show or where all fine podcasts are distributed.
  • SEE YA

Top Recent Reads

  • We’re about to make a big shift in how this podcast is created. Those of you on Anchor have probably noticed that I’ve been posting less, that’s because I’ve been ramping up more. Putting a pencil to paper to keep making this little podcast even better. You know what’s better than just audio? Well, obviously, it’s being able to watch on Facebook and YouTube or just listen to the podcast. Really, we, at the Maven Show are trying to give you the great content you want, NO NEED, in the format you’d like to gobble it up in. We’re not there yet, but we’re dang close.
  • Today we’re chatting three recent reads and in an effort to actually help a brother and sister out, I’m going to do more than give you three book titles and their affiliate links to the Amazon store. I’m going to break down some of the things I learned from reading this book. No, I won’t do a summary for you, but I will give you some takeaways that I hope will be helpful and that you, the gentle listener will be able to apply.
  • Remember, the goal here is for us to learn something. You know why?
  • Because I’m Rex Barrett with The Maven Show and I do the hard work of gathering what’s best in media, tech, and productivity and try to deliver a little fun all along the way, sometimes in the form of Top Three Lists and sometimes we’ll attend classes at Maven’s Leadership School in an effort to better ourselves and better this world.
  • Let’s jump in to a few books I’m recommending you read.

Segment One – Dangerously Sleepy

  • For those of you who know me or have been listening lately, I’ve been dang tired. Late nights and early mornings don’t do anything to help me be a better man. Ask my wife and kids.
  • Dangerously Sleepy: Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness by Alan Derickson is a book that addresses the fact that workers in the USofA are losing sleep.
  • The concept at play here is that sleep is cast as an enemy or a weakness while constant productivity and flexibility are glorified at the expense of health and safety.
  • This book tracks the association of overwork and sleep deprivation from the nineteenth century to the present. Looking at the overvaluation and the masculinization of wakefulness. Because, as everyone knows, only sissies go to bed early, or so some people are told.
  • I come in to work and the phrase or a variation of the phrase I hear over and over again is, “let me be until I have my first cup of coffee”. I know this isn’t just limited to my office, I’m sure it’s taking place in offices and universities the world over. We guzzle the good stuff and some even pep it up with some sugar, making it even tastier and bringing about that energy more quickly.
  • What a sad thing that sleep is considered a weakness. I know I’ve been tempted to tell someone I got a nine or ten hour night, but thought twice because I worried someone would think I was a lazy, family neglecting, bum.
  • This book walks you through how the invention of electricity is connected to Edison’s feeling that you need less sleep. Helps us see that sleep is oddly connected to masculinity and achievement. Then wraps up talking about the dangers of our lousy sleep patterns. Yeah, I’m talking about us being prone to disease and the likelihood of death. All because of a few missed winks.
  • This isn’t a joke and a Red Bull isn’t a good solution.
  • Read this book if you’d like to get motivated to sleep more and be more healthy because of it, ditching the stupid cultural ties of sleep to being a productive person.
  • Pick it up on Amazon, all the links are on the show notes at Maven.show or in the show notes in this episode.
  • http://amzn.to/2f6p4aq

Segment Two – Deep Work

  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. This is a book I’ve mentioned a few times around here on The Maven Show. It’s been one of those transformational books in how I live my life. I read a heck of a lot, but I don’t know if I read even three deeply transformational books in a year. This one is coming with all the stars of recommendation I can muster.
  • Deep Work is the ability to focus without distraction when you’re working on a task that’s requiring you to really kick that brain into gear. This is a skill that allows you to master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Doing deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. We’ve lost the ability to go deep, instead, we’re in a frantic blur of emails and social media. Bogged down in a really terrible way to get real work done.
  • Think about it for a minute, in the time it takes you to listen to or watch this podcast or a few podcasts, how many notifications, emails, or texts will you get. You’ll probably get a few. As you get these distractions, do you notice that what you’re listening to, learning, working on, fades into the background as these notifications rise to the top. Have you ever been speaking to your spouse, your phone buzzes, and now the person you love the most in the world is tuned down to zero and whatever else, literally WHATEVER ELSE becomes more important. I’m ashamed to say, this is a lot of my life.
  • We miss important details because we allow distractions to have easy access to us while we’re doing important things. Technology is growing, changing, improving at an amazingly fast pace. Now, we have to develop new skills and abilities to focus on one task at a time without being torn out of our productive times by the very tech that’s trying to make our lives easier!
  • What’s a great first step? Turn off those notifications!
  • This book will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that multitasking is a dang myth and that there are practical steps you can do to move you from doing something pretty good to getting you into life changing work.
  • Again, check the show notes or head to Maven.show to find links to all the books I’m talking about today.
  • http://amzn.to/2wqBAEb

Segment Three – Seinfeldia

  • Let’s wrap up with a really fun read. Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong.
  • Seinfeld is my favorite show ever. I remember being in high school and faithfully recording every single episode as it came out. I had STACKS of video tapes with only a few on each because I wanted to record with the highest possible quality. Fast forward to the time my house burnt to the ground. I met up with one of my best friends and he asked me with all seriousness after I told him of the fire, “Rex, did all the Seinfeld tapes burn too.” Yes. Yes, my friend, all the tapes burned. It was a very sad day. In 1996 we had no hope for anything resembling Netflix, so the loss was huge!
  • Of course, Seinfeld asked his pal Larry David if he wanted to create a sitcom. I don’t think that I’m lying if I were to say that this is one of the best shows of all time and millions of people would probably agree with that, even in 2017.
  • This little show that NBC didn’t even think anyone would watch just blew up and kept on for nine years and peaking at nearly forty million Americans watching each week.
  • Read this book to get a behind the scenes view of the show. Hear about “No soup for you!”, Jerry’s puffy shirt, and learn to dance like Elaine.
  • I really liked learning about how the internet helped make this show big, as chatrooms were blossoming in the mid 90’s and it gave a place for people across the US to chat it up and get excited about past and upcoming episodes. If you like to travel, all the locations of the show are plotted out for you too.
  • Really, really, fun stuff.
  • http://amzn.to/2wqVH4U

028 Wrap up and how to connect

  • Well, there we go, my friends. We have another episode in the books!
  • I’m posting a transcript of this podcast onto my website at http://Maven.Show. There you’ll find the links to every little thing I mentioned today.
  • If this is the first Maven Podcast you’ve listened to, please look up past episodes. We’ve covered how to make cold brew, productivity apps, comic books, several that cover the best in fast food, and one of my recent favorites, top ways to get your caffeine fix.
  • Do you have any thoughts, questions, or comments on what we talked about today? It’s easy to reach out…
  • Download the Anchor App in the App Store and call in to tell me about it. I might just publish your thoughts.
  • What to chat on Twitter? Find me @RexBOKC. Head to the Facebook page for the Maven Show at https://www.facebook.com/MavensTopThree/ and coming soon, The Maven Show on YouTube. Yes, the camera gear has arrived and the batteries are charging as I speak.
  • If you like what you’re hearing, share, share share! I’d love to keep climbing those charts baby!
  • I’m Rex Barrett and you can find me at Maven.Show or where all fine podcasts are distributed.
  • SEE YA

Show Notes: Lav Mic Recommendations

On this episode, I’m responding to a call-in from Jazz Wealth Podcast.

I went down the rabbit hole and spent way too many hours figuring out what lavalier microphone to buy. The top three inexpensive recommendations were always the same, though the three were in different orders. Here’s my top three in the order I recommend.

#1 BOYA by M1 – This is the one I bought. The sound is crisp and clear, build seems okay, and it can be used with your phone or an SLR. The only drawback is the exceedingly long cable, but I think I can mitigate that with some clever winding. $19.95 on Amazon with four stars.

#2 IK Multimedia iRig – I was super tempted to buy this one. The cable was the perfect length, it has a second input for adding another lav mic. Alas, I just couldn’t get past the bass the mic threw out. Sure I could fix it in post, but I don’t want to have to do anything. I want to get it right the first time. $49.99 on Amazon with 4.5 stars.

#3 Rode smartLav+ – This one sounds good, but the cable is too short for some distance work and it’s priced above the other two options. I don’t think the extra cost is worth it. $66.70 on Amazon with four stars.

Please note, these are affiliate links.

Make Time for Silence – A Tech Sabbath

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A post on taking a tech Sabbath over on The Art of Manliness has been challenging me all week. It’s 100% worth the read.

Here are my top three takeaways from this article and some final thoughts…

One – We are consuming a lot of media

  • In 2012 the average American consumed 13.6 hours of media each day. Those numbers are expected to rise. Now, this includes multitasking, so reading email and listing to music allows more than one hour to happen at a time in this report. I’m going to blow your mind though, the 13.6 hours don’t include media consumed AT WORK. This means that every waking hour is pretty much consumed with media. The TV is streaming, we’re on our phones, we’re listening to podcasts, there’s really never a quiet time.
  • While tech has made our lives better, there is a dark side. It can kill productivity, create stress as we’re always reachable by our bosses and coworkers, and it contributes to the fear of missing out. “There’s always something better going on somewhere.” Which leads us to not be present in the place we are.

Two – We are addicted to our content consumption devices

  • A study was done with college students asking them to abstain from media for 24 hours then write about the experience. Many came back admitting that they were, in fact, addicted to their phones and computers. They said they felt restless, bored, anxious, lonely, and isolated. Many, without music, said they were unable to focus without it and that the quiet was deafening.

Three – We need a tech Sabbath

  • A sabbath is something that Jews and some Christians have done. It’s simply observing the seventh day of the week as a day of rest and worship. In this case, the Sabbath isn’t a religious thing, it’s a time of rest, a break from our devices. It’s a chance to be in line at your favorite coffee shop and have good ideas blossom in a mind that’s willing to wander and think. This could be why we get good ideas in the shower, it’s the only place the noise is off.

Here’s a quote from the Art of Manliness article:

How seldom in our day-to-day lives do we make time just to daydream or think? Even if our mind-wandering sessions venture into painful territory (as they are wont to do) that’s quite alright. Spend time sorting through the tangles of your mind, wherever they lead. As Louis CK so astutely puts it, “You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person.” If you never let yourself feel completely sad because you’re always pushing that empty feeling away by looking at your phone, says CK, you’ll never feel completely happy either. The Tech Sabbath is your chance to exit this limbo state, where we’re constantly distracting ourselves from our feelings by endlessly surfing from one page to another. It’s a chance to just be present in the moment.

How often do we just experience our day without a podcast playing, music blaring, Twitter rolling by, consuming, consuming, consuming information. Again, going back to when I’m in line at my favorite coffee shop, it’s easy to just pull out the phone and miss out on what is actually happening around us. To miss the song playing, or the interesting interactions happening around us, to hear the good ideas bubbling inside our souls, or to avoid feeling the feelings we’re having. I’m ready to feel life again… Without the little screens that separate us from time with ourselves, time with our friends, and time with our families.

Put that phone away for one day. Your soul needs it.

Top Three iOS Email Apps

Best iOS Email Apps

  • Today we’re going to host a three way battle of epic proportions. There’s a fight going on for your time. You have text messages. Push notifications. To-do items getting thrown onto our screens and email coming in all day long on top of all of that.
  • What can we do to help streamline one of the greatest time sucks known to man, or at least to this man? Yeah, it’s email and it’s time to find a tool to help us manage this garbage in a way that leaves us time to catch a beer with friends after work and not have a knot in our stomachs as we worry that we’re missing something. That’s the worst!
  • Sure, you can use the built in Mail App on your phones. But, if you’re like me, you have multiple email addresses, ways you’d like to manage the mail like snooze, bulk archive, favorite, unsubscribe from marketing email, tag, and have a robust search function that finds the one solitary email matching the criteria to prove that you’re right. You did email that update, though no one remembers.
  • I’m Rex Barrett with The Maven’s Top Three and I’m going to introduce you to the three email apps I’ve used and recommend to people looking to up their email game.
  • Why should you trust me? I’ve been studying, researching, and using third party email apps for years. I’ve committed countless hours to learning the ins and outs of dozens of apps like these. Again, I’ve used these apps daily for months at a time and feel confident in telling you which of these you should buy, explore, and use daily. Yes, I said buy. As a general rule, it’s a best practice to pay for apps. Why? Because apps that make money are apps that innovate and pay developers to continue to develop. Sure we all have free apps, but those are investor driven or ad driven. If you’re not paying, you’re the product. Facebook and Twitter aren’t catering to you, it’s catering to advertisers at the expense to your privacy. When you pay for a product, you help drive where the product is heading. The person paying is the person driving.
  • Now, some of these apps might be on Android, but I’ve been iOS since day one, so I can’t vouch for them. So, let’s jump in and explore my Top Three iOS Email Apps!

Segment One – Airmail

  • Airmail is beautiful and it lives on my iPhone though it’s not my daily driver. It comes in as third place for email, but it’s dang good.
  • Airmail boasts a unified email inbox, meaning all my email get sent into one box that is color coded right in the app. You can use any email provider imaginable.
  • The way it handles the multiple accounts is special. Each account gets an icon you customize so that you can get in the mood to handle personal email and at a glance know which messages you want to deal with.
  • The actions you can do right inside the app are powerful. Archive, trash, add or remove a star as a way to categorize your email, snooze email for later, apply a label, mark senders as VIPs who will show up in a special inbox, mark email as spam, and tons and tons of other actions right from the sheet that pulls out from the right side of the screen.
  • I love how you can create groups in your contacts and then simply email that entire group by typing that group name into the send to field.
  • Sure other apps can do the above-mentioned ideas, but this app handles it with grace and ease.
  • It goes for $4.99 and is three stars for the current version, but it’s pushing four stars on all versions as the Apple Watch is poorly implemented and the search function can be lacking, though I believe that to be a current bug.
  • https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/airmail-your-mail-with-you/id993160329?mt=8

Yessir Clip

Segment Two – Microsoft Outlook

  • Outlook for iOS and Android lets you manage Outlook.com and other email accounts, calendars, contacts, and files without switching between different apps.
  • I’ve connected Gmail, Google Calendar, Dropbox, and my OneDrive in one beautiful place. When I think Microsoft I think anything but clean design choices. This app shocks me, though. It’s so clean and easy to use.
  • Outlook uses swipe gestures. Meaning you can customize swiping left and right to be exactly what you want it to be. Want to archive, do it right from the inbox screen. Want to favorite something. Again, do it right from the inbox screen. Want to schedule an email to be seen at a later date. Maybe you need to deal with a specific message on Friday. Swipe and you have the email showing up right when you need it. Scheduling is powerful because it allows you to trust that an email is there and ready for action on the day you need it, removing clutter from the inbox which in turn eliminates the mental strain of seeing it every time you open the app.
  • This app is powerful when you’re tying your calendar to it. You can send specific availability for meetings right in the email without going to your calendar. Draft an email and simply offer open times on Wednesday for the person to choose from. When they pick, it’s automatically added to your calendar!
  • While I’m not a fan of focused email inboxes, this does have it and it has a good one. Your new and important emails are in one unified email inbox prioritized by magic. And yes, the magic works.
  • Attaching files is so easy. I use Dropbox personally, Google Drive for one of my teams, and Microsoft OneDrive with another team. It allows me to bend to what MY CLIENTS want, not forcing them to use my file system. Need to attach a PDF, grab it from Dropbox RIGHT THERE IN THE APP.
  • This is a great app and is a solid number two in my book. Though it is good enough to be number one for many.
  • It’s currently rated 4.6 on the Apple App Store with nearly 25,000 reviews and is free, but funded by their many customers who use Microsoft services.
  • Get Outlook.com email on your mobile device

Segment Three – Spark by Readdle (Highrise)

  • Spark bills itself as a beautiful and intelligent email app. This app lives up to its billing. Lives up to it so much, in fact, that it was voted by apple as being the “Best of 2016”. Heck yeah, it’s that good and it’s my number one go-to app for processing my email inbox.
  • This app lets you go through your inbox amazingly fast. It’s smart, in that its internal robot gets the important messages to you right at the top, it’s unified in that all your accounts are in one place, and it magically categorizes the emails as they come in. For example, you have all your new messages up top, newsletters under that, and you can even pin important messages to deal with at a later time.
  • Spark lets you work with all of your email addresses from any email client, including Google, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, and any IMAP account you might have.
  • The snooze feature is great. You can customize it to get to later in the day, tomorrow, or push it to the weekend. It’s great for travel as you can have all those important emails show up on that important day.
  • The notifications are great. I have email notifications turned off for most of my apps. Typically, you are all or nothing. Get every notification of every email message coming in, or no notifications at all. With this app, you can choose to have smart notifications. Turn this on for an email you’re waiting for. Turn it on for your boss’ email address and reply quickly. It’ll shoot you just the notifications you want.
  • Don’t let me forget to tell you that this app is beautiful. The cruft gets out of the way and you get clean text that’s a joy to read and process. There’s a lot about working in something created beautifully. If you don’t like the look of the app, it’s hard to want to use the app. This app streams to be used.
  • Attachments are a breeze, you have multiple places to pull files from, which is important. You don’t want to have to exit an app to grab a link to a file, you want to do it right there in the app, saving valuable time. Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, Evernote, it’s all tied into this app. So cool.
  • Composing email is a breeze. Email signatures can be customized and saved, then all you have to do is swipe between them to make sure you’re representing yourself exactly how you’d like.
  • Search is a cinch and is easily the most powerful search I’ve ever used in an email app. You can search in plain English, looking for “attachments from Josh in the last week” and boom, there they are.
  • The customization is next level. We all work slightly differently, so your email client should reflect that. You can have it look and behave in a very granular way so that you see exactly what you want to see when that app is opened.
  • Spark is free but is supported by the company that is selling a suite of apps for creating PDFs, scanning documents, calendaring, and using your iPhone to print. This is a great app that’s the gateway drug to you possibly buying their other offerings.
  • This app has 15,687 reviews and sits at 4.7 stars. It’s a must download in my book. Try it out, I think you’ll love it!
  • The best email app for iPhone iPad and Mac | Spark

026 Wrap up and how to connect (Compton)

  • And this, my friends, is how you bust out a podcast in about ten minutes that contains an amount of information that will blow your mind and make you better at handling your email inbox.
  • I’m posting a transcript of this podcast onto my website at http://Maven.Show. There you’ll find the links to every little thing I mentioned today.
  • If this is the first Maven Podcast you’ve listened to, please look up past episodes. We’ve covered how to make cold brew, productivity apps, comic books, several that cover the best in fast food, and one of my recent favorites, top ways to get your caffeine fix.
  • Do you have any thoughts, questions, or comments on what we talked about today? It’s easy to reach out…
  • Download the Anchor App in the App Store and call in to tell me about it. I might just publish your thoughts.
  • What to chat on Twitter? Find me @RexBOKC.
  • If you like what you’re hearing, share, share share! I’d love to keep climbing those charts baby!
  • I’m Rex Barrett and you can Find The Maven’s Top Three at Maven.Show or where all fine podcasts are distributed.
  • SEE YA

Show Notes: Top Three Phone Battery Packs

Having a conversation over on Anchor.fm about what the top battery packs for our phones are. Wanted to post links to my recommendations.

The Jackery Bolt has over 600 reviews on Amazon and sits at 4.5 stars. It’ll charge your  phone a couple times through the day. It’s super legit because it can fuel your iPhone or Android phone as it comes with both Lightening and Micro USB cables built in! At only $27.99 it’s a dang steal. Fits in my hand like one of those fun colored iPods we used to all own.

When I go to conferences or on trips I like to whip out this bigger battery. This is the Anker Powercore 20100. People, it’s amazing. It charges my big phone about five or six times from zero percent to 100%. It can charge my iPad Pro, then charge my phone, each a couple of times. Fantastic deal at only $40. It has nearly 11,000 reviews on Amazon and sits at 4.5 stars.

Reclaim Time – Just Say No

Listen to the audio from this post, or read the transcript below.

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Today we’re going to look at three ways to reclaim some time and have the ability to do the things you really want to do.

You are busy. Probably busier than the people around you realize. I think you’re busier than you even realize. Between email, coffee meetings, email, work schedules, email, kids’ schedules, email, and trying to find time for yourself, email, it’s all just too much.

The trouble is, people have direct access to you. It used to be that they had to wait until you were near a phone (the kind that was attached to the wall with a cord) or until they could see you face-to-face to gain your attention. Now, all it takes is a tweet, an email, Anchor notification, or a Facebook message and your attention is taken off task. Yeah, being unreachable is a thing of the past. It’s difficult to go dark.

Admit it. It is too much.

And now that you’ve admitted it, you just have to decide what you’re going to do about it. My suggestion? Learn to say “no.”

I know, I know, it’s really hard to say no. So many people have said “yes” to you, and you feel like you have to do the same. Stop it. Every time you say yes, you’re saying no to something else (like a life), whether you like it or not. You have to draw a line, not in the sand, but in something more concrete than sand… Like concrete.

How can you say “no” more often?

  • In text or email, make it easier by pre-thinking through what your response would be to requests you need to say no to. How about something like, “Hey, thank you for wanting to meet; I appreciate it so much. Could we continue this conversation via email? I may be able to address your concerns more quickly.” That’s one of my most used and if you want to be next level, do what I do. Have that bit of text ready to copy and paste right into an email. Do you want to NEXT next level, use an app called TextExpander and use a shortcut to drop that text in. We’ll cover that another day.
  • Say no to meetings you know you’re just going to hand off anyway. Make the connection without doing the transitional meeting. It’s okay to do this because you’re saving time for everyone involved. Saying, “I may not be the best person to ask. Let me connect you with someone who can help with this,” shows that you’ve given the situation some thought and are expediting the solution. I’ve sat through too many meetings where I’m the third wheel the second I introduce to two people to one another.
  • Have a plan in place that allows you to say yes when you really want to say yes. This includes a plan for saying no when you need to say no. If your schedule is full of the no crowd, you’ve filled up the space that would be better used by helping the people you’d like to help. Put time blocks in your calendar that are just blocked out for those special occasions we want to say yes to. We all know this, but time is limited. You only have a finite amount of it. I love my family too much to fill my nights and weekends by saying “yes” to more unnecessary work and “no” to having fun with my wife and kids.

In your life, where do you need to say no? And where do you need to say no more frequently? I know, for me, I need fewer coffee meetings where I’m sneaking glances at the clock and kicking myself for taking a meeting that should have been over email or the phone.

Have questions? Email me at rex@maven.show or tweet me @rexbokc and I’ll try to give you a few personalized tips for your specific problem. Just remember, I might tell you that I can’t help. You might just get proof that I say “no” a lot.

Top Three Wireless Speaker Setups

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Transcript of The Maven’s Top Three Podcast

  • Hello, howdy, how you doing? What a week, what a week. I’m proud to announce that our little podcast is gaining traction. This is because of you, the fine listeners to this little station that could. The last episode had the most downloads yet, and we’re going to keep on rolling out great information and even better quality podcasts.
  • We’re recording live from the RV of enlightenment, my tiny home on the acreage, and have a great episode lined out for you. What are we talking about? My top three wireless speaker recommendations for whole house listening.
  • Weekly, I put out episode requests for topics you’d like to see me research. Last week Ryan, over on Facebook, what the best way to get music through his house was. Today, we will cover just that. Getting that delicious ear juice though you halls, into your bedrooms, and into your kitchens.
  • I wish I could tell you that there are tons of quality reliable systems that broadcast various streaming sources to recommend for you, but house-wide speaker systems matching that criteria are difficult to find.
  • I’m Rex Barrett with Maven’s Top Three and I do the hard work of gathering what’s best in media, tech, and fun then pass my TOP THREE lists on to you.

Segment One – Sonos Play:1

  • Do you have a Bluetooth speaker? I do, and when I’m listening to music it is constantly being interrupted by the notifications from my phone, like texts, calls, and various bings and dings. See, that’s the issue with Bluetooth, it’s passing on any sound your phone is making to the connected speaker.
  • This is why I’m placing the Sonos Play:1 at the tip-top of today’s Top Three. The Sonos speaker connects to the internet instead of streaming from your phone. Think about what this means, your volume isn’t paired to your phone so each speaker in each room can be at a different level. Big living room, BOOM, cranked. Tiny bathroom, little boom, not cranked. All of this driven through an app on any of your devices.
  • The Sonos also does a unified search through each of the streaming services when you’re looking for music. So, in my case, I have Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, MLB, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp. I recently dropped Apple Music, but it does that too. Yeah, I have quite a few services. Guess what, Sonos streams every one of those and many more. You might not recognize the phrase “unified search” so let me explain it in an action you might use already. If you have a Roku or AppleTV, you’ve probably done a direct search for a movie, allowing the little black boxes to find which service the movie streams. Same with the Sonos and your music.
  • You won’t be able to add other speakers into the mix because Sonos keeps their little system locked down to just their speakers. This is not a bad thing, as they sound amazing and come in a handsome setup that will look good placed around your house. Oh, and these speakers won’t be obsolete anytime soon. Sonos keeps pumping out firmware upgrades to ensure that the speaker you buy will last a good long time.
  • The Sonos Play:1 goes for $199 per speaker, but if you’ve priced higher end Bluetooth speakers lately, you’ll immediately recognize that this price ain’t too shabby. I fully recommend you buy a house full of the Play:1.
  • Now, if you have richer tastes, you might want an even more powerful speaker. Let me introduce you to the Sonos Play:5. It’s literally four better. Well, actually it has six amplifiers with six dedicated speaker drivers, so it’s even better than that, actually. This guarantees a room full of rich sound. It’ll set you back $499.
  • You want a wireless soundbar for your home theater? Pick up the Playbase, it brags about giving you full theater sound and contains a 10 speaker array internally. Pair the with the Sonos Sub and a couple of Play:1s and you’ll have full surround sound. You’ll be rocking in under five minutes. Yeah, that’s all the time it takes to set these beauties up.
  • So, sure, these are a bit spendy, but come on, full wireless sound all over your house? Heck yeah.
  • Again, for those of you just looking to place a couple speakers around the house, you have the Play:1s at $199 each.
  • Head to http://Maven.Show to see the full transcript of this episode and I’ve put every link, affiliate, of course, for you to get your speakers on Amazon today.

Segment Two – Google Chromecast Audio Dongle

  • Want a cheaper solution? Well, it’s way less elegant and doesn’t stream the huge number of options that Sonos does, but it’ll get the dang job done.
  • The Chromecast dongle is a little puck that plugs into the minijack that the Bluetooth speakers you have all over your house probably sport on the back of them. At $35 from Walmart, you can pick up a few and use the speakers you probably already have. But, if you want to buy more speakers, just head to Amazon and pick up a few decently rated ones, place the setup around your house, and you’re playing tunes in no time.
  • There isn’t a slick app to do a unified search, instead, you open Spotify, for example, and send it to the Chromecast. Thus, the word “cast”. You’re broadcasting to the little wireless puck and the speakers you’ll connect. Now, remember, you’re casting it there, so you’re still not broadcasting from your phone, you’re streaming from the cloud. You’ll still get the cool benefit of not having your notifications ruining your music experience.
  • If you have an Android phone or use the Chrome browser on your computer, you can mirror your audio. Sorry, iOS.

Segment Three – Amazon Echo Dot

  • Now, this isn’t a house-wide solution, but it’s going to be one day. Hopefully. Maybe. String together five Echo Dots and music will play everywhere, this is the dream, but it is also the future. Echo synchronization is supposed to come sometime in 2017.
  • Until then, what’s a girl to do? Well, let’s connect some Bluetooth speakers TO THE ECHO DOT. Get one $50 Dot and a few JLab House Party Bluetooth speakers and you can add a room for $99, totally controlled by your voice.
  • I’m a huge Texas Rangers baseball fan, so I listen to sports radio out of Dallas, Tx.I just say, “Alexa, play The Ticket radio station” and I have instant sports radio. How about, “Alexa, play Motley Crue.” I’ll immediately hear Kickstart My Heart, much to the chagrin of my wife.

023 Wrap up and how to connect

  • Whew, that was a deep dive into wireless speakers for your whole house. There’s not $20 way out of this thing. If you’re looking for your house to be wonderfully saturated with sweet tunes, you’re going to have to pay a bit. But, this is why we work and earn money, right? We want to have nice things.
  • Again, I’m posting a transcript of this podcast onto my website at http://Maven.Show. There you’ll find the links to every little thing I mentioned today.
  • If this is the first Maven Podcast you’ve listened to, please look up past episodes. We’ve covered how to make cold brew, productivity apps, comic books, several that cover the best in fast food, and one of my recent favorites, top ways to get your caffeine fix.
  • Do you have any thoughts, questions, or comments? It’s easy to reach out…
  • Download the Anchor App in the App Store and call in to tell me about it. I might just publish your thoughts.
  • What to chat on Twitter? Find me @RexBOKC.
  • I’m Rex Barrett and you can Find Maven’s Top Three at Maven.Show or where all fine podcasts are distributed.
  • SEE YA

I Need to Sleep More – So Do You

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According to my friend’s many midnight (and after) Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Anchor posts, I’m not alone in my quest to have an actual restful night’s sleep. In a TED Talk by Arianna Huffington in 2010, she posits that sleep-deprivation is the culprit for many bad decisions by world leaders, and urged us all to create a better world by simply going to sleep. Seems right, we’ve all watched the news recently.

Here are a couple of sleep tips from psychcentral.com plus one from me.

  • Dim the lights and avoid electronic screens. Harvard Medical School’s Sleep Lab teaches us that looking at screens before bed keeps us from falling asleep. Put down the iPad, turn off the TV, and pick up a paperback or a Kindle. Surprisingly, the Kindle light doesn’t trigger alertness. 
  • Get that bedroom cold. Take a hot shower then crawl into that cool bed. Research shows that you’ll fall asleep quicker and sleep longer [1]. 
  • Use some homeopathic insomnia drops called Newton Insomnia Drops. I bought this hoping it would be helpful. So far, my wife and I have been very happy with the results. Even better, we wake up in the morning without any kind of hangover.

[1] Silberman, Stephanie A. The insomnia workbook: A comprehensive guide to getting the sleep you need. New Harbinger Publications, 2009.