013: Gain the Life You Love with Alex Mandossian | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
April 11, 2017   |   Episode #:

013: Gain the Life You Love with Alex Mandossian

In This Episode:

While Alex Mandossian is a man known by many titles – productivity expert, entrepreneur, business coach and, in his opinion, his most important role of being a dad. In today’s show, we’re talking about why you need to focus on your priorities over your productivity. Alex gives some of his best productivity secrets including a rundown of his daily ritual, tips for controlling your inbox and more.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

Life is not about the hustle.

Questions I Answer

  • How can I feel more in control of my calendar?
  • What are the best email tips to help me be more productive?
  • How can I be more productive when I travel?
  • What daily habits will help me live with intention?

Actions to Take

Key Topics in the Show

  • Learn how productivity has helped Alex build a multi-million dollar empire.

  • Find out how to take back control of your agenda without being controlling.

  • Simple but effective email tips and strategies for the office to help make communication easier.

  • How to alleviate travel stress so you can come back actually feeling refreshed and not frazzled.

  • Discover how to set your weekly goals so that they are attainable.

  • Learn about what daily rituals Alex attributes to his success.

Resources and Links

  • Go to Alex’s website and enter code WINNER to gain access to his best productivity tips and strategies.
Show Transcript

Tanya Dalton: Hello, hello everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your  host, Tanya Dalton, and this is Episode 13. Today is a really special  day because Episode 13 marks the end of Season 1. Season 2 will  be starting next week. This is also the first time I’m going to be  

having a guest expert on the show and I’m really excited to  

introduce you to Alex Mandossian, a man who’s known by many  

titles, productivity expert, entrepreneur, business coach. In his  

opinion, his most important role is being a dad. In today’s show,  

we’re going to be talking about why you need to focus on  

priorities over productivity. Alex will be giving some of his best  

productivity tips and secrets, including a rundown of his daily  

ritual, tips for controlling your inbox and more. I’m really excited  

about it and to be honest with you this show is a little bit longer  

than we normally do. It’s a doubling length episode, but there was  just too much goodness not to share so let’s go ahead and get  

started. Alex, thanks so much for joining me on the show today.  

Alex Mandossian: Tanya, thank you. It’s a role reversal, usually I’m interviewing you  on my show so I’m happy to be here. I hope I live up your  


Tanya Dalton: I’m sure you will. I’m really excited for my listeners to get to hear  your story and to learn some of your productivity secrets. For  

those of you who are new to you, can you tell us a little bit about  your story? How did you become so passionate about  


Alex Mandossian: Productivity, I can defined in five words, maximum results in  minimum time. Maximum results in minimum time. I first came  

online in 1995. I wrote my first email in 1997 and most people who  are listening right now probably didn’t have an email address  

unless they were on America Online and getting these CDs giving  them 5000 free hours of America Online, if you remember those.  They probably have a different email than they did maybe 5 even  

a 10 years ago. I came in from what most people would regard is  near the beginning of e-commerce. I found that as every year  

went on … Every Internet marketing year is like seven years of  

brick-and-mortar years it just moves so fast, one year online  

seems like seven years, like dog years. I found it to be more and  

more important to be more and more productive and because I’m  a dedicated dad, now divorced unfortunately, but it makes life  

even more complicated if you’re not productive. I run my own  

company. We’ve made millions of dollars over the years,  


©Productivity Paradox Page 1 of 14

 I have all these different roles, son, brother, father, former  husband, boyfriend, leader, teacher and sometimes one role takes  priority over the next. In prioritizing my roles with each type of  

person in my life, whether it’s personal or professional, I figured  

out long ago that being productive, getting maximum results in  

minimum time, gives me more freedom to take back my agenda  

and not live in to other people’s agenda. Because I don’t want to  have this regret at the end of my life and my final breath that I  

wished I had done that, or even worse I wished I hadn’t wasted  

time doing that. That’s where productivity comes in.  

 My origin story is 1995 and each year I seemed to get more and  more distracted by email, by other online access where people  

would have access to me. I got my first mobile phone I think in  

  1. Then now with email and the Internet connected to every  

device you can think of, from tablet to desktop computer to  

mobile phone, you name it, now watches. It’s really important to  

be more and more productive. As a result, if you go online and  

just type in productivity guide, there’s over 30 million results, but  I’ll show up in the top five because that’s how important it is to  

  1. I’m known as a marketing guy, but without productivity,  

which is really the root cause of all my success, I would not be as  good a dad as I think I am or maybe entrepreneur teacher. Even  

former husband, there is certain former husbands that are very  

good former husbands. I try to be a good one and show up for  

my then wife. I don’t even call her my ex-wife and so being  

productive does make a difference not only for your life but for  

other people’s lives as well.  

Tanya Dalton: Absolutely, I love what you said there about not giving into other  people’s agendas and that something we have definitely touched  on in this podcast, in several of the episodes, talking about  

aligning yourself with your own priorities and not letting yourself  get distracted by what other people want to push on you. I love  

what you said there. I loved what you said about the definition of  productivity. You could you expand on that a little bit?  

Alex Mandossian: The definition what is productivity, I like definitions that are brief  and to the point, sasync. Brevity is heavenly. The definition is  

maximum results in minimum time. Now that is a booby-trap of a  definition. I’ll tell you why because there is a diminishing return  

with productivity. You can only get so many results in so much  

time. After a while, you have to have more priority in your life to  

figure out what is going to take precedence, that’s another P, over  another task. You can be overly productive, go into adrenal  

fatigue. Your adrenal glands just get fatigued, like mine have over  the years because I got so much maximum results in minimum  

time that I became exhausted, overstressed, overworked, and  

then I had to do a reset in my case so reboot over five years ago.  ©Productivity Paradox Page 2 of 14

 The definition of productivity is not complete. You need also the  definition of priority. For me, priority is knowing the difference  

between what’s important and what’s urgent and then doing  

what’s important first. That’s taking your agenda back. Living into  other people’s agenda is doing what’s urgent usually for  

somebody else, but like the Buddhists, especially the Tibetan  

Buddhist, Mahayana Buddhist, that tradition, what they teach.  

One of my mentors is a Tibetan Buddhist and so he taught me  

what if you had one day to live, what would you do? The things  

that are important or things that are urgent? My response was,  

“Of course, I’d do the things that are important.” He said, “Why  

don’t you live your life that way? Pretend like you got three days  to live.” If you had three days to live, you’d probably call up the  

people you can’t stand, your enemies, relatives you’ve never  

spoken to in a while, and say, “I’m sorry,” or “Forgive me,” and just  be really productive and you get some kind of connection there  

because that what’s important when there’s a few days to live this  lifetime.  

 Then you want to do what’s important in your life which has a lot  less to do what’s urgent and so priority is just as important as  

productivity. Priority is knowing the difference. Many people don’t  even know the difference, but what’s the difference between  

what’s urgent in your life and what is important, and then do  

what’s important first. Now if you do not that immediately, you’re  going to offend a lot of people. Because chances are you’re doing  things that are urgent for other people, you’re living into their  

agendas, you’re living to what they are asking of you. Maybe  

you’re a people pleaser of sorts, everyone is, but maybe you are  

more than others.  

 If that’s the case, it may take time to purge yourself away from  what’s urgent. Maybe it takes you three months, but man I can  

almost guaranteed, practically guarantee, that you’ll be a lot  

happier three months from now if you start living a life of not only  productivity but a life of priority, which is some of the work you  

and I’ve been doing as one of my clients.  

Tanya Dalton: Absolutely. I think my listeners are already starting to understand  why we get along so well. Am I right? Because you and I talk a lot  about these things, finding your priorities and focusing in on your  productivity. Part of that is figuring out what is important and not  just putting out the fires of what’s urgent at the time. I think that  a lot of … Oh sorry, go ahead.  

Alex Mandossian: The other thing is our avatars, our target audiences, are similar.  My target audience, my primary audience, my bull’s-eye client, if  

you will, or student, is a woman. She’s in her 30s or 40s. She’s  

married. She has kids and she is proud of being a multitasker. We  can call her a multitasking Melanie maybe. Whatever we call her,  

©Productivity Paradox Page 3 of 14

she’s proud of multitasking as if that’s a good thing, but doing  

too much of that, I don’t care man, woman, old, young, it is going  to get to you because multitasking is switch tasking. Ladies, if  

you are listening, I don’t mean to be offensive at all. I’m a guy. You  guys have it a lot harder than I do. I’m just a CEO of my company.  Women are CEOs of their family. The extra child they have, also  

known as the husband or ex-husband, and of their company.  

Family and company, that’s two CEOs. I’m only CEO of one so I  

think it is tougher on you guys. I’m just not trying to kiss it. Kiss  

up to you guys. I should say gals.  

 Also, one thing that you are guilty of based on my research and  the feedback I get from my own tribe of ladies who are, they  

make up about 68% of my list, of online list, and students, and  

clients, is that they’re proud of multitasking. I would say that  

maybe you were at one time proud as well. Tanya, I’m not sure if  

you were or weren’t, but that’s the first thing we wanted to nip  

and take out of the roots. Let’s not be proud of multitasking. Let’s  do one thing at a time, have no distractions. Don’t stir the pot and  talk on the phone and use your toes to rock the cradle with your  baby there in the kitchen. That’s a sight that I’m used to seeing,  

but it’s not something to be proud of. If you’re multitasking  

Melanie, do want you can to purge yourself out of that, as well.  

That’s the final word on that. I want to get in trouble instead of  

have you get in trouble because I know you feel the same way.  

Tanya Dalton: I’m definitely a recovered multitasker. That is for sure. It’s  something that I’ve had to work on myself to try to break those  

habit. We’ve talked a lot about that in several of the episodes her.  I think that you really touched on a lot of important topics about  how we have so many things going on in our lives. Why is it that  

you think that productivity is such an important and relevant  

topic right now?  

Alex Mandossian: I think it’s important now more than before is because we you  have so much energy coming our way. Whether it’s news or  

people or email or text. We are in a disruptive, interruptive digital  economy. The tools and the elements in our life that was  

supposed make life easier have made it more overwhelming, like  email, like travel. I mean when people are traveling … I fly first  

class. I’m very blessed. Whether it’s first class or coach or  

wherever you’re sitting, business class, or maybe you’re in the  

bathroom and you’re hitching a ride and you haven’t paid for a  

ticket. I have no idea, but I do know when the plane lands, the  

first thing people do is start checking their inbox or their text  

messages. Can’t you wait until you leave the plane just to  

decompress. Nothing’s going to happen while you’re still on the  

plane. The world is not going to come to an end, so taking back  

your agenda means don’t let things happen to you, which means  be more productive. Take control of the agenda. You don’t have  

©Productivity Paradox Page 4 of 14

to be controlling but take control. You got to be more conscious  

of it now because you don’t have as much energy coming your  

way. People didn’t have access to you as they do now than they  

did maybe 10 years ago when people couldn’t get a hold of you in  the palm of your hand, now they can.  

Tanya Dalton: That’s so true. It’s almost like you cannot escape and you can’t  ever be away and be alone or be still and be quiet. I think that’s  

definitely a challenge that many of us experience today.  

Alex Mandossian: The greater challenge is people want to feel love, so they read  their messages. When they get a message, they somehow  

confuse that with being liked or loved or appreciated. When in  

fact, there may be some complaints or flames which are the  

colloquial term of paying clients and students. Just keep the time  to check email or text quarantine, within a certain timeframe so  

you just prepare emotionally, mentally, even spiritually, for what  

may be on the other side which you can’t always control.  

Tanya Dalton: I think that’s a great idea and I love that tip. I know that you have  about … I think it’s 21 different productivity strategies that you  

talk about. What I’d love for you to do is maybe highlight a  

couple of your favorites or some your juicier bits that you liked  

that to share?  

Alex Mandossian: Here’s a productivity tip if you are a marketer, teacher, trainer,  give someone an ethical bribe before you share your tips so they  keep listening or watching, in this case listening, so they can get  

something at the end of the show. I’m going to give you a $1000  course called Productivity Secrets and it’s online at  

productivitysecrets.com. I’m a very good receiver if you want to  

pay me the $997. Why is it that price? Because it sounds better  

than $1000, but you can get there or you can wait until I’m done  with a few of these tips and I’ll give it to you for free. Just keep it  to yourselves, if that’s cool, so that the whole world doesn’t get  

access to it and I still can make some money. Is that fair enough,  


Tanya Dalton: I think that’s totally fair. I’m really excited about this because I  really think that these productivity secrets are going to really help  a lot of the people listening today. I’m really excited about that. I  love that you are being so generous.  

Alex Mandossian: My pleasure. It’s for you because you’ve done so much for me in  teaching me how to become more productive by teaching and  

training clients. I’m going to take four tips from the 21. Now these  21 came from over 200. I did some surveys years ago and in order  these are the tips that I was told to teach on and so I did. I did  

some videos. They’re about five to six minutes. I transcribed them  so they are written form and then I even have audio. When you  

©Productivity Paradox Page 5 of 14

go and get your gift, instead of paying the $997, you’ll get an  

access code, you’ll get it for free. Listen to one tip per day. In 21  

days, go back to tip number one again just keep doing this  

revolution and evolution of 21 tips. I just find it to be very useful. I  do it myself and I actually deliver the tips.  

 The first one is about email, email overwhelm. Email was suppose  to make life easier, it made life harder. Here are my tips to have  

less overwhelming feelings when you see email or send email and  it starts with you. The first thing is don’t have people send you  

long or verbose, very wordy, emails. The easiest way to do that is  for you to be an example. The experience is not the best teacher. I  believe experience is the only teacher so let them experience very  brief emails. To me, email should be less than 50 words. I hate  

going up or lowercase. If you could do all lowercase to look like  

you’re busy or rushed, I like doing that. You know that because  

you get emails from me. Unless my Outlook has auto correct,  

you’d always get lowercase because I’m just typing really fast. I  

like to keep them to 50 words or less. That’s tip a.  

 Tip B is with email overwhelm, make it one idea per email. If you  need to file it, it’s a lot easier to file an email that has one idea or  one request in it versus trying to parse it or separate it. It’s so  

annoying when I get five or six requests in one email, which is  

supposed to be a memo. Pretend like each email cost you money  to send and receive, it’ll change your behavior. One idea per  


 The third is, especially in business life, in professional life, refrain,  prevent yourself from having other people CC you or BCC you,  

carbon copy or blind carbon copy. Sometimes it’s necessary. If  

one of my suppliers or vendors are not responding to my team  

members, my team member will CC me just so they get a faster  

response because I got the checkbook and they respond very  

quickly when they see my name is on the email. That’s really the  

only exception, but if you want a record of emails, you don’t have  to CC somebody. Just use your sent file, whatever email client or  application you use, professionally you have evidence right there.  50 words or less, one idea per email and refrain from all the CC’s  and BCC’s. It gets on my nerves. Any new member that comes on  

my team, the ladies on my team whisper, they go, “Don’t CC Alex.  He really gets irritated.” That’s enough for me to get your emails. I  get about 25 to 30 unique emails a day. I know people who get  

20, 30, even a 100 times that per day, so I’m very proud of that.  

Tanya Dalton: That’s a great idea. I love that.  

Alex Mandossian: Next one out of the 21, we’ll jump to secret number four. These  are strategies, once you know what they are, they no longer are  

secrets. Secret number four is called travel stress. Now what’s  

©Productivity Paradox Page 6 of 14

that? If you’re going to travel, and I know your husband traveled a  lot until you decided to start Inkwell Press and that’s part of your  story, if people listen to your podcast, they know that to be true.  

In episode 000, they can hear that. How do I know? Because  

we’ve coached you through that process and I’m really proud of  

that story because I think it’s a good one. Travel is a part of any  

family if you are a professional.  

 Travel causes more stress. Why? Because you’ve got more work  when you come home and you worrying about the work you can’t  get done when you’re traveling. That’s why people who are on  

the plane when they land, they’re like tick, tick, tick, just texting  

and checking. If there’s no Wi-Fi on the plane, people get  

stressed out. Like international flights, people are stressed, there’s  no Wi-Fi in some cases. It’s just mind-boggling to me. Not that I  

don’t do email on a plane, but we can take a break for a few  

hours. Travel stress to me means stockpiled work or the stress of  not getting stuff done because you are traveling.  

 When I travel, tip A is I have an autoresponder message saying,  “I’m going to delete this email that just came in. I’m traveling.  

Write me back after I’m back,” so I did not have more stuff to do.  Stuff can be another word too, getting stuff done, getting you  

what done.”  

Tanya Dalton: Yes.  

Alex Mandossian: I don’t like having more manure to do. I like to have as much as I  need to do after I’m back. If it’s important, they will email me  

afterwards in my autoresponder message. My auto message will  

tell them that. They say, “Do you really delete your messages?” I  

go, “I do. I do delete my messages.” “Aren’t you afraid that you’re  going to miss something that’s important?” I say, “No,” because 15  years ago I had a lot of important things, people would call me. I  use the creative avoidance tactic of email. I don’t understand why  email has to be the end-all thing, but auto responders in your text  and email is very important.  

 Tip B is don’t respond to email or voicemail or text when you are  traveling.  

Tanya Dalton: That’s so [crosstalk 00:20:30].  

Alex Mandossian: Unless it is a professionally related thing dealing with travel, like  you’re going to a seminar or workshop. Don’t give yourself more  work and multitasking, having to dart out of the room and do all  

the stuff that causes stress. Your mind is not on the task at hand.  If you’re at an appointment or you’re at an event where you’re  

learning, it’s just not fair to you, your event and your host.  

©Productivity Paradox Page 7 of 14

 Then the tip C in strategy number four, which is travel stress, is  take the day off the day before, take the day off the day after you  get back. Why? So you are not stressed leaving. Sometimes I feel  like I’m about to break out in hives on my skin because I gave  

myself so much stuff to do before I’d left. Now yes, I’m super  

productive but I don’t want to jump on a plane or a train or even  in my car thinking about all the stuff I just did and why did I do  

that to myself. I tell my general manager, Sandra, don’t book me  

the day before I leave and don’t book me the day after I come  

back. Let me decompress when I come back, let me pre 

compress before I leave. Those are buffer days. It’s a buffer. Their  bookends to the travel and that seems to be very, very useful.  

 Autoresponder message when I’m away saying, “I’m going to  delete all these email so send me an email afterwards. If it’s an  

absolute dire emergency, call me,” and people won’t. Don’t  

respond to the email or voicemail that’s not related to travel,  

which I don’t, otherwise I’m giving people permission to have a  

conversation with me. You laugh, probably because you do it, and  hopefully we’ll cut that out of the habit of doing that. Then taking  the day off before you go, having a buffer date. That’s what one  

of my coaches, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach calls it, and  

having a buffer day or even a free day the day after you come  

back. It will change your life. You can unpack completely, put all  

the stuff in the laundry and put your suitcase away the day you  

come back so you have no reminder of your travel. That’s the  

travel stress secrets. What do you think?  

Tanya Dalton: I love that because I completely agree. I feel like we work all the  way up until that last minute, almost til we’re running for the  

plane, trying to get as much done. Then we get on the plane or  

we go on our trip and we’re exhausted. You spend the first couple  days of your trip recovering, trying to get over it what you’ve just  done. Then if you really traveling, whether it’s for vacation or  

business, and you come back, there is that whole feeling of,  

“Okay, now I have to jump right in.” Dip your toes in and get use  

to the water and get yourself back in. I love that idea of giving  

yourself that room, that space, to breathe and to think because I  think so much can happen in those spaces in between that really  can be life-changing.  

Alex Mandossian: I will say that people don’t have their agenda taken away from  them. People simply give away their agenda. They give up their  

power. If you are off the clock, then don’t put yourself back on  

the clock when you’re traveling by responding to a text or an  

email when your autoresponder says just the opposite. Because  

you’ll feel a little guilty, even shameful, which they’re worthless  

emotions, but you’ll feel that way, if you’re not with integrity,  

integrated with what your message said. It’ll take time and I’m  

©Productivity Paradox Page 8 of 14

sure you’ll fall from grace like I have so many times, I still do, but  

it’s an important habit to live into.  

 Which brings me to the next productivity tip is number nine of  my 21, it’s called weekly goals, I know you’re very big on goals. I  

know you believe that there’s no such thing as a useful New  

Year’s resolution, which we’ve talked about.  

Tanya Dalton: Absolutely. Yes.  

Alex Mandossian: Weekly goals for me are more powerful than monthly goals or  annual goals because I believe in the power of 52. If I have a goal  and I have only have one, let’s say, “I want to make an extra  

million dollar next year.” Great, so now I have one shot at doing  

that. If I fail, I failed. It’s binary. But if I take a million bucks and I  

divide it by 12, then I have monthly goals. Now I have 12 chances  

to celebrate versus one, but that doesn’t even hold a candle to  

chunking it down to 52. If I have to make $19,230 and I do that in  a specific week and I do it again and I do it again, my I do it six  

times in the year, I’ve celebrated six times at sending this magic  

shoulder tap from the universe to my nervous systems saying,  

“You’re a success.” Versus having a binary yes or no or an almost  binary 12 shot attempt, if with the monthly goal.  

 I love 52. Just by chunking things down into 52 by definition the  part A of that tip of productivity secret number nine is take  

advantage of the value of 52. It’s a human made concept. The  

weak is man-made and woman-made so let’s take advantage of it  because it really does work. I love planning my weeks the week  

before. Monthly plans, quarterly plans, even yearly plans, don’t  

work as well because things are shifting so quickly these days.  

 Next MBO, manage by objective, I love doing my weekly goals by  objective. Not by thing that are urgent but what’s my objective as  it’s related to my mission. “Alex, I don’t have a mission.” Get one,  find one, but have an objective and then managed by that  

objective and know the difference between something that is  

objectively based on your future and something that’s unrelated.  Along those lines, I like to have what’s called a rule of five, which  is what Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup of  the Soul thing taught me, do five things every single day. I put  

them on an index card. I mean I’m old-school. I just carry it  

around with me. Those are five goals. As soon as I get it done, I  

cross it out and hold onto it. If I don’t do any of those five or if I  

don’t do two of the five, I’d pour it onto the next day and on the  

next card so I only have five things to do each day. Now do I get  

more than five things done? Of course. Do I always do all five  

things? No. Sometimes my days have been derailed and I don’t  

any of them, but I don’t add more. I do five for sure, so I feel really  good about that. That’s the MBO rule of five.  

©Productivity Paradox Page 9 of 14

 Then the final tip, the C step of productivity secret number nine  of the 21 weekly goals, is prime time. I like to have some prime 

time hours. For me, it’s 8:30 till 11:30 AM Pacific time. No one can  get a hold of me unless I reach out to them. Most of the time I  

don’t because I’m doing stuff for my business. I’m in creation  

mode. I’m not on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. I’m actually  

doing stuff and I have a countdown timer. When the countdown  

timer reaches 50 minutes, it goes off, it buzzes. I do some push 

ups, have a glass of water, walk around and I come back for  

another 50-minute segment. Then when it goes off again, I go for  another 50-minute segment. I have three 50-minute prime time  

segments with a countdown timer and no one can get a hold of  

me during that time. I own my morning. I’m a morning glory, so I  

love my mornings. Have at least one to three hours a day where  

just it’s prime time, that will help you get more done faster, better  and on your own terms for weekly goals. That is tip number nine  

in three parts.  

Tanya Dalton: I love that because I agree with the setting your weekly goals and  setting your weekly agenda to really maximize your success and  

to not look too much at these giant, giant overarching goals  

because it becomes overwhelming. As someone really smart told  me, I believe it might’ve been you, who told me, “Overwhelm is  

not having too much to do, it’s not knowing where to start.”  

Alex Mandossian: That’s exactly right. Not knowing the next thing to do is where  overwhelm is because you have just too many things, too many  

spinning dishes. You don’t get overwhelmed walking into an old 

style library where there’s a million books around you, people  

don’t do that anymore, but you don’t go, “Oh my gosh, they’re a  

million books here.” No, you know what to do next and you know  what book to find hopefully. Or if you walk into a Walmart where  there’s two million pieces of merchandise, you know what to look  for. Now it may be overwhelming as you walk by the other aisles,  but you’re causing that in yourself, the store is not doing that to  


Tanya Dalton: In listening to you and what you’re talking about with your prime  time, which I love how you stop and you give yourself breaks and  you really have that dedicated time for yourself, it sounds like you  have some really good daily rituals. Can you tell me a little bit  

about your daily rituals or how those work?  

Alex Mandossian: The first thing is they are identified. My morning ritual when I  wake up is I will not get out of bed right away. I won’t even go to  the toilet. I won’t go to the bathroom. Whatever you call it, water  closet, toilet, bathroom. I like to stay in bed and maybe just hold it  in for 10 minutes and just hang out in bed and just ease into  

waking up. Then I do what I need to do and then I drink typically  somewhere between the 12 to 24 ounces of water just to get my  

©Productivity Paradox Page 10 of 14

brain lubricated. Then I’ll have a cup of coffee. I have a good  

friend, Dave Asper, who has Bulletproof, the company. I have  

Bulletproof coffee in the morning. You may be a fan of that if  

you’re listening, but I don’t coffee first, I drink water first to  

hydrate my brain.  

 Then I’m a morning person so I work out for 50 minutes and I  have a countdown timer. I go up to my gym, I live in a great little  complex and I work for 50 minutes all out. I come back, shower  

and then I look at my day. Really my day in dealing with other  

people doesn’t start until 11:30 AM most days because I own my  

mornings. You don’t have to be a morning person to own your  

mornings, you can just be someone who’s more productive. I go  through that whole process and then because I’m divorce, I have  my kids half the time. On days that I have them, my ritual is to  

pick my kids up and play daddy taxi driver, as I’m sure you’re  

aware of. You and John probably do the same thing.  

Tanya Dalton: Yes.  

Alex Mandossian: It’s fun. I cook dinner and then I totally stress out on what I’m  going to prepare my daughter for lunch because she’s not a big  

eater and that stresses me out at night. If I don’t prepare lunch at  night, I am totally stressed in the morning. I’ve to get them out  

and I drive them to school at 7:45 AM, but if I don’t prepare their  lunch at night, I’m a mess during the day. Go figure. That’s my  

ritual. I love the workouts in the morning. I love hanging out in  

bed for about 10 minutes. I do have a half-hour meditation  

practice that I do most days. Then on the weekends when I do  

give myself time off, guess what I do? I just watch TV. Mindless,  

meaningless, but it is so much fun for me because I don’t have to  think.  

Tanya Dalton: There’s something nice about taking the thinking out of it, letting  your brain have a little bit of a break really.  

Alex Mandossian: Right. What’s important is not what the ritual is but to have a  ritual so that you are in unconscious competence mode. It’s just  

natural, you’re in flow, a flow state.  

Tanya Dalton: You’re obviously a big proponent of having rituals and being  mindful, which is one of my keywords as you know. Tell me, what  do you think could happen if listeners who are listening today,  

start implementing some of these practices that you’re talking  

about? What could happen for them?  

Alex Mandossian: The first thing that happens is you feel better about yourself.  You’ll be more hopeful about your future. You’ll find that the light  at the end of the tunnel is not a light, it’s a mirror. I wish that was  my quote but it’s not. One my mentors taught me that but it’s  

©Productivity Paradox Page 11 of 14

true that the man or woman in the mirror that you see will feel  

better about themselves, even if you haven’t reach your goals. If  

you are much more mindful about your rituals and the paradox of  productivity, which is the name your podcast, is that when you’re  more mindful of your rituals, then they become mindlessly  

automatic and you don’t have to think of them anymore. That’s  

where you want to be. You want to be in that flow state. Yes,  

you’ll feel better about yourself.  

 Paradoxically, other people will feel better about you. They go,  “Hey, that person’s got their stuff together. I want to be like that  

person.” You’ll get more positive attention. All the energy  

vampires will slowly leave your life. In folklore, vampires can only  be allowed in your home if you allow them in. I doubt anyone  

believes in vampires but the concept is really cool because you’re  only inviting people into your life to suck the energy and marrow  out of your life away because you let them in. Find a doorman or  

a woman to mind the door and don’t let those vampires in. Most  of my energy vampires I don’t have a choice with, they’re family  

members, so I have to see them at Christmas dinner and I have to  see them on Thanksgiving dinner. But two times is better than 52  times a year so I’m very happy about that. You’ll never get rid of  them altogether if they’re family, but it’s nice not to be around  

them because they don’t support what your life could look like if  you became more productive.  

Tanya Dalton: I like what you said there, that you have to invite the vampires in.  It’s really a matter of maintaining whether you want that door  

open or closed and really keeping that door closed when you’re  

wanting to be as productive as possible.  

Alex Mandossian: That’s exactly right.  

Tanya Dalton: I think you’re really on to something there with the mindset and it  really can make a huge difference. I love what you said here.  

You’ve said so many amazing things and so many takeaways that  I feel like our listeners could really benefit from. If you could give  just one final thought on what is something that they could do  

today that would really just to help move the needle forward,  

what would that be?  

Alex Mandossian: I would say that you take an inventory of your day if you feel is  not productive enough, and look at what you do in half hour  

increments. Just like you do with a diet. Everything that goes in  

your mouth and take inventory, a lot of people lose weight  

because they don’t write down the stuff that’s going inside the  

mouth. Rather than taking a diet inventory, take a productivity  

diet inventory and see what you are doing every half hour and  

just write down, wasting time, going to the restroom, driving,  

commuting, or whatever, talking to a friend, going on Facebook.  ©Productivity Paradox Page 12 of 14

Then do that for a week and you will be shocked when you look  

at what you actually do versus what you thought you did, which  

is what brings me to the ethical bribe for those who are still  

listening right now and getting the productivity secrets codes.  

Tanya Dalton: I’m glad you mentioned that. I was going to remind you of your  promise there, which I knew you would remember, but …  

Alex Mandossian: It’s my privilege. In fact, I can’t believe you don’t have access to it  so this is just as much for you and John, Tanya, than everyone  

else because I don’t think you’ve seen the course. If go to  

marketingonline.com/beproductive, you need that forward slash,  marketingonline.com/beproductive. Inside the access code box,  

type in “winner,” because that’s what you are if you’re listening  

right now. Believe it or not you won the ovarian lottery against  

half a billion other competitors. You guys were swimming at the  

time and 40 weeks later you got out and you were born a winner.  We are only learned to be coming weak. I don’t can why. Let’s go  back to remembering when we were microscopic and we won  

and let’s go live the life of not only getting what we want but  

wanting what we have. That’s the definition of happiness. You can  check it out 21 days at a time. There’s a 5 to 7-minute tip there. It  doesn’t take a lot of time. Marketingonline.com/beproductive, the  access code is “winner,” and enjoy them. You can download them  on your iPhone or smartphone. It’s also in written format if you  

like to read, you can print them all out. I hope and I would say I  

pray that they are useful for you because they can change your  


Tanya Dalton: Absolutely, I will definitely have that link and the access code in  my show notes, so you can always find them in the show notes,  

which of course is inkwellpress.com/podcast. I’ll have the link to  

Alex’s offer, which I think is so generous, and I would really urge  

you to check out his productivity secrets because I cannot tell  

you the amount of tips and tricks and ideas that I have gotten just  from talking with Alex. It really is such a gift to me that we have  

the relationship that we have and I’m just so thankful. I’m grateful  that you are my first interviewee on the podcast. This was a real  

treat for me. I’m really excited to share you with all of my  

followers. Alex, thank you so for being on the show today. I can’t  tell you how much I appreciate it.  

Alex Mandossian: I’m very proud of the way you are doing this and there are going  to be some very, very high level thought leaders coming on this  

show because it’s a very timely topic and it’s becoming more and  more important and it is a paradox. Productivity is paradoxical  

and I hope that the listeners understand that as they go on to  

week to week.  

Tanya Dalton: Definitely. Thanks so much.  

 There you have it. Didn’t I tell you there were so many great tips  and ideas that Alex shared? I really couldn’t cut it down to make  

it fit my normal 20 minute, but I’m really glad you stepped  

through it because this is our last episode of season one. You may  not have realized it but all of season one was focused on laying  

our foundation, finding our priorities, focusing on our purpose.  

Season two is going to be all about streamlining and editing and  really figuring out the things that are important to you. I have a  

really, really exciting season lined up ahead and I cannot wait to  

start diving into that. We’ll start season two next week. In the  

meantime, if you’d like to connect with me, you can find me on  

Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, under the username  

inkwellpress. Have a great week. Happy planning. 

**This transcript is created by AI, so please excuse any typos, misspellings and grammar mistakes.

Tanya Dalton is a female productivity keynote speaker. As a woman she bring a unique perspective to time management, goal setting and purpose.