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focus & action 2021

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Learn the most effective productivity system, made for humans.

Class Overview

Module 1: The focus & action Difference

This is not your average productivity class. This module lays the groundwork for the transformation you'll experience as you go through the course.

Start Here: How to Get the Most Out of this Class


Class Structure & First Steps

An overview of what's coming in the following weeks.

Live Calls, Community & Kickoff Survey

How to join the focus & action community and how to find the right time slot for upcoming live calls.

The First Task: Create Your “Before” Video

Let's draw a line in the sand, right here. Define your current situation and set a clear point from which to improve.

The Mindset Shift


Forget Everything You Think You Know About Productivity

Laying the foundation of what we will do in this class and the how focus & action approach is different.

Busting the Biggest Myth About Productivity & Success

Are you suffering from the always-in-the-zone fallacy? Believing this is what keeps countless people stuck...

The 1 Mistake that Keeps People from Succeeding With a Course Like This

Don't let this opportunity pass you by.

90 Heroic Minutes


90 Heroic Minutes – The Challenge

A quick recap of the ultimate deep work protocol and the challenge that will follow on through the rest of the class.

Week 1: Goal Setting Done Right

Learn how to clearly define your goals and highest priority tasks.

Practicing Focus & the Distraction Log

This simple tool will make your progress through the class much easier.

The Most Powerful Tool for Personal Transformation

In the following lessons, we'll be using this repeatedly.

Push & Pull Goals (and the Pitfalls of Goal Setting)

Discover why goal setting usually doesn't drive action & how to do it in a way that actually motivates you.

Exercise: Clarify Your Big Picture Goals

Uncover your push & pull forces, the daily process & get aligned with your core values.

The Project Declutter Exercise

This lesson is about setting clear priorities and decluttering your big picture projects.

Your #1 Priority & the Definition of Done

In this lesson, we bring everything from the previous exercises together to determine a top priority.

Clarity Drives Action: How to Break Down Your Goals

Here's how to go from big, ambitious goals to clarity about the next steps.

Week 2: Design Your Environment

Our habits and behaviors are determined by our environment, first and foremost. Deliberately designing your environment is key to improving your productivity and this module, you get the step by step plan for doing so.

Part 1: Your Digital Workspace


The Notion Workflow

Copy my templates & discover how this workflow creates clarity & immediately actionable steps.

Bonus: Notion Teamwork Board

Do you work with a team? Then these tweaks to the Notion work board are for you.

My Notion Setup: Work Boards, Documents, Pages

So far, we've looked at the work boards, which are the heart of the system I use in Notion. In this lesson, we take a look at the rest of my setup.

Part 2: Digital Environment


The Notification Free Life

How to create a digital environment that supports deeply focused work.

Cold Turkey: The Easy Way to Stay Distraction Free

How do you remove the proverbial cookie jar from your digital work environment? Here's where app blocking comes in.

Smartphone App Blocking

Why I don't use app blockers on my phone & what I recommend doing instead.

Part 3: Physical Environment


3 Rules for Streamlining Your Physical Environment

Optimizing your work space for deep focus and productivity is simple, but very powerful.

Multi Device Environment Optimization

Make use of multiple devices (smartphone, computer, tablet...) to create a stronger deep focus habit.

Week 3: Freedom Time

In this module, we focus in on deeply focused, distraction free work segments & the use of calendars for time blocking.

The Fortress & The Prison: How to Work With Your Calendar

This is a simple but powerful framework for making your calendar an ally in your pursuit of deep focus.

Ongoing Work vs. Finite Projects

Here's a way to categorize your work (and why I heavily favor one category over the other).

Advanced Time Blocking + Scheduled Reviews

In this lessons, we build up on the time blocking and scheduling tools we've introduced previously.

Week 4: Bulletproof Habits

This module is all about the key to making productive habits easy: building habits.

The Monday Reset

This is a new, simple but useful habit that we will do every Monday, from now on.

The Science of Building (and Breaking) Habits

Habits, whether good or bad, all follow the same rules. Master these rules and you can design habits at will.

Habit Tracking & Building a Morning Ritual

Putting habit building into practice, let's build a habit stack for the beginning of the day.

5 Rules for Better Morning Rituals

5 simple rules that make for better mornings, leading into better days.

My Current Morning Ritual

Here's how and why I created the morning ritual I currently follow.

Habit Failsafe – a Little is Better than Nothing

This is a simple but crucial addition to building habits that stick.

Lead Indicators & Personal KPI

These are the tools you need to build the perfect habit & tracking system for your needs.

Week 5: Efficiency

In this module, we cover the tools for highly efficient, time saving workflows.

The Efficiency Challenge

There's one tool that creators, entrepreneurs and knowledge workers use more than anything else. Speed this up and every part of your workflow becomes more efficient.

Use. The. Keyboard.

Using your keyboard efficiently is about more than just touch typing.

Optimize Your Input Devices for Efficiency

These are my tips for faster, more efficiency focused input devices.

Recommended Tools & Resources for Efficiency

A collection of recommended tools & resources to improve your efficiency.

The 6 Universal Efficiency Tools

Here are the 6 ways to optimize efficiency + a case study on how we roughly 10x-ed productivity in our video workflow.

The Efficiency Trap

Avoid this trap, which can turn the pursuit of optimization into just another distraction...

Week 6: Do What You're Afraid Of

Given all the tools and strategies for highly productive work, what can still get in our way? Fear.

Is fear holding you back?

In this writing exercise, we uncover fears that may be at the core of procrastination and other destructive habits.

Overcome fear through gradual exposure

If fear is what's holding you back, how do you solve that problem? That's what we cover in this lesson.

Making Meaningful Change Happen (the exception to the rule)

There's one exception to the gradual, step-by-step approach we've taken in this class so far...

Commitment Devices, Announcing Your Goals & More

If you feel strong resistance to doing something, can you use a commitment device to your advantage? And should you announce your goals to people or keep them to yourself?

Forward Momentum

This lesson is about the most effective commitment device I've ever encountered.

Week 7: Build a Strong Foundation

This week is all about building a strong, solid foundation that supports your work and life goals.

Foundation & Cornerstone Habits

Intro to the module + 2 important questions to ask yourself, for building a strong foundation.

Pillar 1: Sleep

A good night's sleep is the foundation for a productive and successful day. Do these 4 things to improve your sleep quality.

Pillar 2: Exercise

Exercise & movement are fundamental to creating a high performance mind. But most of us have been told many unhelpful stories about what exercising means.

Pillar 3: Food

How does food affect our ability to focus & perform? Are there brain-boosting foods we should all be including in our diets?

Pillar 4: Social Connection

Social connection is a strong predictor of overall health, wellbeing, happiness and human performance.

Week 8: The Mantra Document

Discover how to create a daily reminder document that keeps you on track for your most ambitious goals.

The Daily Reminder to Keep You on Track

What the mantra document is about & how to create the first version of it.

My Current Mantra Document (and the Principles Behind It)

Here's a look at my current mantra document and everything you can learn from how I created it.

How Your Mantra Document Grows With You

This is the simple method I use to keep my mantra document evolving & up to date.

Bonus: Examples of My Mantra Document Evolution

Here is an example of several previous versions of my mantra document.

Bonus: More on How to Create the Perfect Mantra Document

A few more points about how to create your mantra document, based on questions & discussions in the community.

Week 9: Leverage, Hyperproductivity & Recovery

In this final week of the class, we tackle some of the more advanced productivity concepts that can take your output to another level.

Intro to Week 9

Here's a quick overview of the week's content & the unique challenge for week 9.

Hyperproductive Sprints, Part 1: Case Study

A dissection of a hyperproductivity sprint during which I created and launched 2 entire online coruses in the span of a couple of months.

Hyperproductive Sprints, Part 2: The Principles

These are the principles & strategies that make a hyperproductive sprint work.

Recovery, Part 1: What Prevents Us from Feeling Recovered After Taking a Break

Why is it that even when we take time off or spend a lot of time unproductively, we still don't always feel recovered and recharged?

Recovery, Part 2: The 3 Levels

How to implement 3 levels of recovery in your life.

Leverage & the Myth of Outsourcing

3 things to help you apply the principle of leverage to all areas of your work.

Troubleshooting: How to Use focus & action to Get Yourself Back on Track, Anytime

In this lesson, we tie everything in the focus & action system together and look at a framework you can use anytime to troubleshoot productivity problems.

The Final Task: Record Your "After" Video

Let's close the loop on one of the first things we did in this class...

Bonus Lessons

Bonus lessons and additonal material that can help you along the way.

You Are Not a Robot

This is one of the main reasons people "fail" at implementing new habits and reaching their goals... and the most important thing you can do to solve it.

How to Deal With Perfectionism

Is perfectionism keeping you from starting work and/or finishing work? Here are the strategies that have worked for us, to overcome this problem.

Change the Loop You’re Stuck In

An inconvenient truth about human nature... but one we can use to our advantage.

Achieve More by Doing Less

A common story of failure, and how to avoid it.

The focus & action System Failsafe

What does the "failsafe" principle from habit building look like when applied to the entire focus & action system?

Fear Setting by Tim Ferriss

A systematic approach to processing your fears & making strategically sound decisions.

The Single Tasking Trap

Multitasking saps your energy and makes you less efficient. But single tasking can do the same, if you don't avoid this mistake...

Visualization vs. Mental Rehearsal

What's the difference between visualization and mental rehearsal? And why does one help and one hinder our progress towards our goals?

About the Teacher

Shane Melaugh

Shane is a serial entrepreneur with a long-standing obsession for personal development and life optimization. He has a habit of buying more books than he can ever read. During his childhood his worldview was significantly influenced by Jackie Chan movies, the Vorkosigan Saga and the writings of Miyamoto Musashi.

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