Season 3 – Episode 02

The Art of Finishing Our Best Work

with Charlie Gilkey

Photography by Gregory Berg

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Do you have an abundance of ideas for potential projects? But never enough time to reach the finish line?

What holds you back? Is it really that there aren’t enough hours in the day? And what’s the cost of not finishing the projects that matter?

What if you could take steps today to act on your most essential ideas—and get closer to your vision for an excellent life?

Today, Jeffrey explores the idea of finishing our most important work with Charlie Gilkey, the Business Growth Strategist behind Productive Flourishing and author of Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done. Charlie shares his strategies for deciding what projects really matter, explaining how finishing important work bridges the gap between where we are and where we want to be. He also weighs in on the pursuit of self-mastery to embolden our courage, discussing actionable practices for expanding our comfort zone and making meaningful progress in the age of distraction. Listen in to understand how Charlie navigates unbidden surprises without abandoning his most important work and learn how to excel at finishing what matters.

Our Guest

Charlie Gilkey

Charlie Gilkey is the founder of Productive Flourishing, a website that helps creatives, changemakers, and entrepreneurs decide what projects really matter, and finish their most important work to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be. Charlie’s years of experience working with hundreds of business owner-executives has given him a keen understanding of what makes individuals, organizations, and the marketplace tick. He believes that the bedrock of our success is a combination of self-mastery and personal effectiveness, so Productive Flourishing focuses on teaching people to channel their time, energy, and attention into their deep work in order to make meaningful progress in the age of distraction.

Charlie’s latest book, Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done, teaches us how to decide what projects really matter and finish our most important work to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be.

» Charlie’s Website
» Purchase Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done

Key Takeaways

[4:16] How Charlie’s young genius informs his work as a writer

  • Use what’s available to get things done
  • Joy in building and creating in community

[11:00] What pushed Charlie’s personal limits in writing Start Finishing

  • Comparison to others (something valuable to say)
  • Expand productivity to tie purpose with action

[17:16] Charlie’s take on living a life of excellence

  • Start with self-mastery, channel resources in best way
  • Inspire others to become best version of themselves

[22:45] Charlie’s advice for deciding what projects to pursue

  • Heart-space to push forward (painful if left undone)
  • Someone you know will benefit from undertaking

[30:08] Why courage is crucial in achieving our vision of an excellent life

  • Allows us to claim space and bet on ourselves
  • Expand comfort zone by working through fear

[45:03] Charlie’s top practices for self-mastery

  • Move body to achieve calm
  • Learn to ‘go back in’

[53:45] Charlie’s insight on technology and distractions

  • Anchor device to specific task
  • Limit entry points (no door, no distraction)

[59:38] How Charlie navigates unbidden surprises

  • Treat situation as emergent project
  • Reallocate in alignment with values

[1:12:28] How Charlie is celebrating the launch of his book

  • Share success with friends and enjoy seat at table
  • Finishing important work detangles ‘faulty wiring’

Season 3: Gregory Berg

Gregory Berg is a veteran photographer, multimedia storyteller, and the host & producer of Life on Purpose, a podcast that explores how to lead a more intentional life. Since he began his career as a professional photographer in 2004, Gregory has traveled the world seeking to capture the light and beauty that connects us all.

Gregory’s quest has led him to visit breathtaking destinations and photograph amazing humans, including world champion skateboarder Tony Hawk and distinguished entrepreneurs at Camp GoodLifeProject, a summer camp for adults where he has served as a photographer for the past five years.

After realizing the power of mindfulness and intention to infuse creative expression with transformational power, Gregory has developed projects (coming soon) to share this revelation with others. In the meantime, he posts stunning iPhone photography with his reflections on the world around him each day on Instagram.

For a brief primer on mindful photography, see his post written for Digital Photo Mentor. To see more of Greg’s photography, visit his website:

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Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists – all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and – yes – wonder.