Tony Wrighton: Finding Life Beyond the Monitor
At Freedom, we love our users – not just because they use our product, but because they’re cool – cool people working on cool stuff. Academy Award-nominated screenwriters, bestselling authors, editors, journalists, developers, illustrators, designers, academics, coaches, podcast hosts, explorers, and entrepreneurs – the Freedom community is packed with curious, creative, and passionate go-getters. We love to share their stories, advice, and process because how better to learn about productivity than from the productive?
Meet Tony Wrighton.
Tony is a Sky Sports presenter, author, and the host of his podcast, Zestology. He is a familiar face on British television and has hosted all kinds of sports including soccer, golf, basketball, hockey, squash, pool, table tennis, and even live ten-pin bowling. Tony is currently a regular presenter on Sky Sports News and also hosts Golfing World and Trans World Sports.
Tony has also trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. Since becoming a NLP Trainer, he has gone on to write three NLP-related books which have been translated into 12 languages worldwide.
Tony also hosts his own podcast, Zestology which has featured some of the biggest names in health, medicine, science, and wellness. Zestology aims to explore ways in which you can gain more energy, vitality, and motivation through health tips, biohacking gadgets, supplements, and advice and experiments from top experts.
With all of this experience under his belt, we sat down with Tony this week to learn a little more about how he finds the focus and time to do it all.
How did you know that you wanted to be a sports presenter, writer, and podcast host and what were your first steps in making this your career?
I’ve been presenting on Sky Sports for 13 years now. I’ve hosted lots of different sports on Sky Sports including football, golf, basketball, hockey, squash, pool, table tennis and even (the big one) live ten-pin bowling.
As for Zestology podcast, I went on an exotic holiday and I got ill in the jungle. Three months off work with post-viral fatigue was enough to scare the wits out of me. Basically I spent a few months in bed, not knowing if I’d ever get back to normal. So that’s how it started. I was really keen to start a podcast on energy and vitality, because I didn’t have any.
At what point did you realize that tech was taking a toll on your productivity, time, and relationships? When did you know that you had to do something about it?
It was New Year’s Day, and I was walking down the street in West London. In front of me there was a crisp, beautiful winter sunset, the sky aflame on the first day of the year. I fought the urge to reach for my phone. My hand hovered above my pocket, desperate to pull out my shiny device of delights. (I still maintain that sunset would have made a wonderful instagram photo. Espcially if I’d used the Lo-Fi filter, goddamit. And I could have emailed it to my friends too. Or tweeted it. Or even put it on LinkedIn. No, that would be a step too far. Who looks at LinkedIn?)
How do you prioritize what gets your time and attention each day?
I switch off all screens for at least two hours a day, and that’s normally the best two hours of the day. Sometimes it’s four, or six hours. And sometimes it’s zero hours. It’s an ongoing process. I’d definitely say I haven’t nailed it.
How do you stay focused and motivated on a daily basis? Do you have a routine, ritual, or process that helps to get into a productive flow?
I meditate in the morning in front of the Joovv Infrared light. That’s a great way to start the day. Plus I have a newborn son and he’s always guaranteed to bring me right back into the moment.
How do you optimize your environment for productivity and focus? How do you incorporate Freedom into your schedule?
For my day job I need to watch and read a lot of sports news. But I need time off too. So blocking sports sites and news sites for certain times of the day helps me to get stuff done. Then once it’s sorted I can come back and read all the articles I like!
What is the most difficult or challenging aspect about your work or working process? Do you have any strategies that you use to help overcome these challenges?
It is a great job, but it can be quite intense. That’s why it’s so important to switch off when I get home. In the Sky Sports studios I’m surrounded by around 200 monitors, all feeding me different information. So at home – they all go off. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone, iPad, big telly, etc. But just not ALL the time. Yes, these technological wonders enhance our lives in many ways, but it’s sometimes hard to remember life beyond the monitor.
What resources or tools do you use daily and have found most beneficial to your working process?
Meditation is hands down the best one. After that – switching off with Freedom.
What projects are you currently most excited about?
Zestology has now been going 4 years and follows me on a journey to find some of the best natural energy and wellness hacks. It has featured (not-very-humble brag) some of the biggest names in health, medicine, science and wellness worldwide. It’s my podcast adventure to find more energy, vitality and motivation, so enjoy.
What do you do outside of your work routine that helps you stay healthy and productive?
It’s quite a long list. The best stuff:
- Infrared light
- Bulletproof Coffee.
- Lots of exercise
- The Berkey Water Filter. It’s a fantastic bit of kit that takes out all the nasties found in tap water, including chlorine, ammonia and chloramine, but leaves all the good stuff in.
Where are you currently based?
I’m in London, close to the river. It provides a nice backdrop for recording the podcast out and about.
To learn more about Tony or his work, you can visit his site at TonyWrighton.com