Mike Rucker, Ph.D. is a self-described fun expert who helps people have more fun and be more productive as a result. But he certainly didn’t start his career going down that path.
Mike’s first job, so to speak, was creating a fanzine for skateboarders in the seventh grade. And his willingness to put himself out there, coupled with a bit of ingenuity, got him the opportunity to interview some big musicians.
He went on to study Communications and Filmmaking at college, and his first professional job was at Universal Studios. While he loved the work, watching his colleagues get in at 7 am, not leave till 8 am, and miss out on having significant relationships outside of work didn’t appeal to him.
He pivoted into creating advertisements and websites, making a name for himself in the technology sector. Here’s where things went too good for Mike, or so he believes. Because Mike thinks entrepreneurs that get too many wins too early can get too cocky for their own good.
So, full of confidence, Mike decided to do something he knew nothing about — open a taco stand at Manhattan Beach near LAX. He spent all of the money that he made from his last tech exit, and then he lost it all.
So he pivoted, again, going back to university to get a Ph.D. in Psychology. His research centered on the importance of fun and play, and that’s what Mike continues to focus on today.
Mike’s top tips for fun and productivity are:
- Stop using social media to wind down
- Create a time log for your week and be honest about the activities that aren’t moving you forward
- Replace unproductive time with opportunities for fun, delight, wonder, and play
- Use lunch hours and weekends as actual breaks from work
- Dedicate big chunks of time to particular tasks rather than trying to grab a few minutes here and there
- Avoid multitasking, especially when you’re with your children and other loved ones
He says, “If you’re multitasking while you’re also supposed to be spending time with the ones that you love, they feel that, and there’s just no way to skirt around that.”
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
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