There’s too much to do,
You’re drowning in your Inbox…
…What if there was a way out?
Getting there is a matter of practice, building from smaller to larger efforts. Eventually, you know how it all flows together, and you can travel to places you didn’t think were possible.
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How many times have you heard:
“You’re so creative. You’re so bright.
Why can’t you get your act together?”
Lists, scheduling, and sticky notes can help for short sprints, but then they fail. Reminders jumping out of the phone every 5 minutes hardly works either.
One thing that may have worked well is deadlines. But they can be both friends and enemies. Deadlines put you on high alert, bringing your sharpest mind to focus. You may even procrastinate to get there. Meanwhile, the stress when you do get there can be tremendous. After all, projects rarely line up nicely with each other, and they can quickly swamp you with far too much to do.
Still, sometimes you make it through! And well, sometimes, you just don’t. Either way, you don’t know how you got there or what you could have done differently.
After all, they don’t know where your mind is, and it’s frustrating whenever they interrupt you. As a kid, the demand to “Clean your room!” never came at the right time either, whether a parent said it or you even said it to yourself. Now that back and forth continues in some form to this day.
Maybe you’ve tried several productivity systems without success. But somewhere you stumble. Too many systems give you a list of tips that you just can’t hold on to. Or they demand that you be just like the authors. Somehow, if you’re not like them, well, then you’re either too rebellious or just out of luck.
Whatever works, it’s going to have to work for you.
Set Yourself up for Success
You don’t have to fight yourself.
Wouldn’t it be great to do that without fighting yourself?
Procrastinating less, getting more done on your own, means that you’ll be able to set your own goals. By being more on top of things, you can even get to the things you want to with less guilt. By knowing that what’s important will get done, you can better get to where you want.
Could you have a “wandering mind”?
Every mind has its own natural rhythms. The waves of thought and feeling are powerful. What if your wandering mind wasn’t a weakness?
Whatever system you build, you need to feel like you. You can’t go about suppressing yourself, especially when you know full well that you can do very well under the right circumstances.
Do you have a “hyperfocus” superpower?
You only have to learn how to wield it. Sailing forward with the elements on your side can make you a force to be reckoned with.
The increasingly computer-dependent world means that so much of your work is on your laptop or phone. Unfortunately, that means that any usual methods of keeping on course are easily broken. There is simply too much to explore and be excited by. Systems you design, apps you set to put up barriers can all be useful, but they can also be defeated.
Now, more than ever, learning how to guide your mind is crucial to finding success.
Start Caring for your Future Self
Getting there is a matter of practice, building from smaller to larger efforts. You start with something small, gradually piecing together how one thing works with the next.
You can start with Waves of Focus. A 4 week-long course that gives you exercises to get out from under the overloaded lists, chaotic desktops, and a sea of sticky notes to start guiding your powerful and creative mind to where you want it to go.
September 27 – October 21,2021
4 week-long course that gives you exercises to get out from under the overloaded lists, chaotic desktops, and a sea of sticky notes to start guiding your powerful and creative mind to where you want it to go.
Topics that will be covered
We’ll go in depth on the following concepts…
Raise the Sails
Design the Rudder
Stay on Course
Message in a Bottle
Messages on a Board
Captain the Ship
This course is for you if…
Meet Your Instructor
Kourosh Dini, MD
But the fundamentals of a good solid system are sometimes not the issue. Several clients and readers would come to me, despite having put in their best efforts, having collapsed into an exhaustion of messy apps and lists. They felt they were unintelligent or weak.
“Why can’t I just focus?!”
But it wasn’t about the system, and it wasn’t about intelligence.
In fact, working with clients like these directly, I often see these strengths go hand-in-hand with such problems. Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not about being bright or using a particular tool or method.
In working through their systems, from simple to complex, we would often run into several common blocks to getting things on track.
I built this course to bring together the exercises that help a wandering mind not only find focus but to bring their inherent creativity into play.
A New Type of Online Course
In this course, you will have exercises to get out from under the overloaded lists, chaotic desktops, and a sea of sticky notes to start guiding your powerful and creative mind to where you want it to go.
Active Learning, not Passive Watching
We’ll build each component, one at a time. At every step, you’ll be able to engage, bring up what has and hasn’t worked for you, and practice the skills.
Learn with a Cohort of Peers
Throughout the course, you’ll be engaged in a discussion with a group of like-minded individuals, all interested in guiding themselves. Any challenges you are facing are quite likely faced by others willing to find a path forward together. The classroom can provide a unique environment to begin and strengthen a path forward together.
Accountability and Feedback
You’ll have a direct connection over regular meetings where you can report back on your work. One of the useful levers for those with wandering minds is that of accountability. When you have somewhere to report to and a time to be there, you’re that much more likely to engage and make things happen.
The building and exercising nature of the course means that, at any point, you can always pull back to rebuild more fundamental levels. In fact, it needs to happen for any real mastery to occur. Mastery, after all, does not simply go in a straight line. The course lays out building from the fundamentals to advanced tactics so you know exactly where to return and rebuild.
What People Are Saying about Dini’s Projects
The depth of your work allows me to change how I meet the moment
Thanks so much for all of your work. I used GTD for many years. It was helpful. I then used Mark Forster’s work. It was even more helpful. Then I discovered your work. It is simply transformational; the depth of your work allows me to change how I meet the moment in front of me, as well as create a structure to guide those moments.
It’s changing my relationship with my work
I can’t praise @Kourosh’s Being Productive enough.
Dini’s course takes an approach that lives up to its subtitle, Simple steps to calm focus. This might be expanded to be Simple, yet profound, steps to calm focus. It’s changing my relationship with my work.
…Dini’s course comes across as well thought out and built on foundational research. This makes sense, as Dini has years of medical and other training that enables him to build this foundation.
I would challenge anyone not to be able to pick up any new tips and tricks from this book
What Kourosh has been able to do with this publication, is nothing short of stunning…
…you really can be at ANY skill level to read through this book.
From contexts to projects, perspectives to meta-tasks, I would challenge anyone not to be able to pick up any new tips and tricks from this book.
I always refer to Getting Things Done as my productivity bible and I go back to it regularly to ensure that I still follow the sage advice given within. Well, I’ve now got a second book that deserves to sit alongside GTD and I really cannot give it any higher praise than that.
…you saved my company… and because my life is my job, you probably saved my life.
I do a creative job, but with going freelance I met the struggle of running a business and all duties and responsibilities that come with it. I was totally overwhelmed by all these things I needed to do to keep the business running. I had this moment, when my workflow stopped, I felt frustrated and depressed. I thought about closing my company. I was using the Things app at the time and all the tasks were in one big bag, without contexts, groups, anything. I knew there was this Omnifocus system, but the app seemed too complicated and not legible at first sight. I watched some tutorials—still not excited about Omni. Few days ago I decided that I can’t go like this and I have to switch to Omni and decided to give it one more try. I found your book. Read it in 2 days.
Now I feel like I have been blind and I can see. All these things, personal, business, family, everything is organized, I don’t need to think about a million things to remember. I can focus on designing. I feel really free.
If not for your book, I would never encourage myself to learn Omni, it just feels not intuitive at first contact. You made a huge effort to create this great book. I really feel you saved my company. And because my life is my job, you probably saved my life. From all my heart – thank you. I’m sure I will buy your other book about workflow soon.
Learn with a comprehensive curriculum
The Anchor Technique
Knowing how to stop and start should be easy, right? Not really. And definitely not when you have a powerful creative mind. The playful mind hardly likes being told what to do, whether that’s from someone else or yourself. By using the Anchor Technique, you’ll be better able to make clear decisions as to what you want to start and stop.
Stopping – Transitions & Guides
Reminders are a great way to create a mess. The number of badges, the sounds they make, and more all create a sea of things, each trying to shout louder than the next one to get your attention. It can be quite easy to brush them off without even realizing you’re doing so. By knowing the principles of the mind’s momentum, you can start creating meaningful guides so that when they appear, you’ll not only see them, but you might even welcome them.
Starting – Engaging
You don’t have to wait for a deadline to do something. Getting into something is not about forcing yourself. Faking deadlines never seems to work anyway. But there are ways to bring yourself to work or play, for that matter, in a way that is genuine. By learning the natural waves of your mind’s ability to engage, you’ll be able to be honest with yourself and still make things that need to happen, happen.
Staying on Course
Hard work doesn’t have to be a misery. In fact, by knowing how to pay attention to your reactions, you might even find that moment where the work changes from “hard” to “neat puzzle”. When something falls into the right window of challenge, the sails align and you’re often off and flying with the wind.
Crafting Messages – Writing Tasks
Writing something down is more than just getting it off of your mind. It’s about setting up your Future Self for success. Having the skills to craft them well gives you a tremendous advantage and makes the likelihood of something actually getting done.
Daily Visits & Lists
Lists become useful when you know you can finish them. Until then, they increasingly become scary accusations of everything you haven’t done. By knowing the limits of a list, you can start finding their power. You can craft them, so you can set yourself up for success.
Captain the Ship – Managing the Inbox
Nearly every productivity starts with the Inbox, but it’s the hardest job of all. That badge numbering in the hundreds, if not thousands, can be terrifying. By bringing the principles of course together, you’ll have the exercises to not only start clearing the Inbox, but to use this powerful piece of machinery. You’ll be able to set ideas aside and come back to them later.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I get when I sign up for Waves of Focus?
1. Two live Zoom classes with peers per week over four weeks
2. One live Zoom Q&A Implementation session per week over four weeks
2. Exercises to practice the lessons
3. A forum to interact with your fellow students
How do I know if this course is for me?
Waves of Focus is not about turning you into someone who looks like they are organized to others. For example, you could do very well with sticky notes. Some may even have a very solid system of creativity and work that involves them. Maybe you find piles of books and papers inspirational. That’s fine, too.
This is more about building the mental muscles to guide and re-guide your focus in a way that is about caring for your natural rhythms of mind. The hope is to reach a sense that you can rely on having what you want in front of you when it is useful and ready to be acted on with only the friction that could be inspirational.
Consider the following to help you decide if this course is for you:
- You’ve been struggling with your attention, constantly fighting yourself rather than finding flow
- Your relationships are burdened by needing to keep you on track
- You find flow but don’t know how you get there
- Your Inbox is constantly flooded
- You get into the flow of something and then lose track of other important commitments
- You fear taking on commitments because you can’t keep promises to yourself
- You’re open-minded about learning in an online class setting
- You’re willing to put in some time and effort to watch the lessons, engage in the class, and practice the exercises
How do I know if this course is not for me?
- You are looking to do more than is actually possible
- You don’t have time to make an effort to improve your attention
- You already have a solid system of work
- You are looking for a replacement for therapy or medication
- You are looking for shortcuts and quick fixes
- You are being forced by someone else to take the class
Will this help me if I have ADHD?
More accurately, have you ever found yourself doing something you didn’t mean to be doing? Have you ever caught yourself doom scrolling for longer than you intended?
Whatever that distinction is—that part of you that says “do this thing!”, and that part of you that says “nope!” and vice versa, that’s the relationship I’m trying to help you with.
Please do note that I will not be functioning as a psychiatrist, physician, or therapist in this course.
Can’t I learn this on my own?
All of them require several important mental muscles to build. Once you have those muscles, those systems and more can blossom.
Quite likely, you can find these principles on your own. But doing so, piecing together different systems, and designing something that works for you, can take a tremendous amount of time and effort.
What time are the lessons and will they be recorded?
September 27th 12:30p-2p – Module 1
September 30th 12:30p-2p – Module 2
October 1st 12:30p-1:30p – Q&A
October 4th 12:30p-2p – Module 3
October 7th 12:30p-2p – Module 4
October 8th 12:30p-1:30p – Q&A
October 11th 12:30p-2p – Module 5
October 14th 12:30p-2p – Module 6
October 15th 12:30p-1:30p – Q&A
October 18th 12:30p-2p – Module 7
October 21st 12:30p-2p – Module 8
October 22nd 12:30p-1:30p – Q&A
I plan to record the live lessons and upload them to the private forum.
How much time does Waves of Focus require?
What if I’m too busy right now?
I recognize the snideness in the comment, too, but the sentiment is important.
Will you turn this into a book or self-paced course?
Still, having written several books and a self-paced course, I’ve grown quite fond of them. Many readers have been quite happy with them.
I expect changes and adjustments to Waves of Focus as I teach the course. As I bring them into a more solidified shape that lends itself well to a book or self-paced course, I’ll certainly consider it.
How different is this from your books and course?
Being Productive is a self-paced course that takes the user through the individual, foundational steps and habits that shape a solid working system. It is adaptable to just about any other system out there. Many people wrote in to say that they found it transformational and that they refer back to it regularly.
However, there is a subset of people for whom the principles don’t quite take. Their Inbox still overflows, procrastination continues unabated, and it is difficult to even make it through the course itself. Whether creative, with ADHD, anxiety, or otherwise, there is a continued tendency to skip past whatever the intended focus is. Overwhelm and frustration pervade.
In working with clients, one on one, we would try to find where the tires just weren’t connecting with the road. Waves of Focus is the result of those discussions. The years of frustration can build in such a way as to stand in one’s own way and atrophy certain muscles.
While there are several tips and tricks to share, there is a process of exercise that seems to be helpful. More than just a change of perspective, a person needs to be able to practice a care for the Future Self. Waves of Focus is about doing just that in the context of meaningful work.
What if I’m still not sure…
Do I have to participate live?
You don’t have to do much of anything. You could just watch the recordings after the fact. However, you will miss out on the vitality, accountability, and engagement offered by a live cohort. The exercises and breakout groups are there to help prompt a learning experience that is missing from recorded sessions.