Productivity 101

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Why can you never get on top of your to-dos?

You’re behind on everything.

Every day, you’re being bombarded with new demands.

Emails and messages to reply to. Notes to review. Documents to read. Meetings to attend. Tasks to complete.

It’s overwhelming and it never ends.

Maybe you hoped to solve this with shiny new apps—but it didn’t work. Or maybe you tried to work harder or to work into the evenings—and realized that is not sustainable.

When you’re overwhelmed, switching apps or working ever more hours won’t do the trick. The way to fix your situation is to execute on the fundamentals:

Organizing your to-dos. Your email. Your notes and documents. Your calendar.

In other words, we need to go back to basics.

You need a personal productivity system that helps you sort through everything that’s coming at you. With a system, you can prioritize better and show up as your best self.

In this course, we’ll build that system for you.

This is Productivity 101.

Build your personal productivity system. With real examples and demonstrations from a friendly instructor.

Let’s fix the productivity fundamentals

Productivity doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s amazing how much of a difference a little structure can make.

That’s why, in this self-paced video course, we’ll set up a system to:

  • Sort out your to-dos, with nothing slipping through the cracks
  • Tame your email and messaging inboxes
  • Organize your notes and documents, so you can find them when you need them
  • Make sure you show up to meetings prepared and follow up consistently
  • Create room in your schedule for your most important, deep work
  • Clarify you long-term goals and balance them with short-term tasks

And we’ll also set up a simple process for periodically checking in and staying on track, so you’ll be set up for sustainable success.

Each video lesson comes with captions in English and subtitles in a variety of languages.

What good is a productivity system if you stop using it?

A word on extremely detailed, complex productivity systems:

If you listen to some productivity folks, you might start to think that the only way to get a grip on things is to set up fancy systems, particularly if they have intellectual-sounding German names like Zettelkasten.

(If you’ve never heard of Zettelkasten—good. Keep it that way.)

Complex systems aren’t the solution to your productivity problems.

In fact, the opposite is true.

An elaborate and intricate productivity system is much harder to maintain. How many times have you tried to use a complex method or tool and given up because you couldn’t stick with it?

If you try to use an elaborate system and you stop using it, you have no benefit at all. You go back to feeling disorganized and overwhelmed.

But if we build a simple system for you, you will maintain it.

So in this course, we’ll build a simple personal productivity system for you. One with just enough organization so you can always find what you need—but not so much organization that maintaining it becomes a chore.

A minimum viable system.

Let’s do this.

Immediately implement what you learn with the course workbook’s step-by-step action items.

30-day money-back guarantee

If you’re not happy with the course, just let me know within 30 days of your purchase and I’ll give you a full refund. No drama, no questions asked.

Option: private coaching from Peter

You can choose to get a month of private, 1:1 chat coaching with me, Peter, to accelerate your progress. Enrolling in this premium version of the course allows you to ask me anything, anytime. We’ll really dial your personal productivity system in for you so you can show up as your best self.

And you can go even further, adding a 60-minute 1:1 coaching call, to really supercharge your productivity. If you want to see the most improvement to your productivity in the least amount of time, this option is for you.

If you sign up for the coaching call, I’ll send you a booking link after you enroll where you can choose a time for our 1:1 session that’s convenient for you.

9 practical lessons

Each lesson has a YouTube-quality instructional video, lesson text, and step-by-step action items in the course workbook to immediately implement what you learned.

Lesson 1: Introduction

  • A better way to think about productivity
  • Why it’s so important to build your personalized productivity system
  • Course structure and practicalities

Lesson 2: To-Dos

  • Getting a handle on your tasks & projects
  • Capturing tasks whenever they come to mind
  • Organizing your tasks with “areas of responsibility”
  • Deciding on your daily priorities
  • Acting with clarity and confidence

Lesson 3: Email & Messaging

  • Taming your inboxes
  • Responding on time and to every important message with the triaging technique
  • Setting up a routine for consistently catching up on communication, without destroying your focus
  • Tracking email and message follow-ups

Lesson 4: Notes & Documents

  • Setting up your “minimum viable organization”
  • Making sure you can find notes and documents when you need them
  • When to use folders, tags, etc.
  • Connecting notes, tasks, and documents

Lesson 5: Meetings & Calendar

  • Showing up to meetings prepared
  • Taking useful meeting notes
  • Following up on meeting action items
  • Making space in your schedule for your most important work

Lesson 6: Goals

  • Balancing short-term tasks with long-term priorities
  • Clarifying what you really want
  • Breaking down your goals into bite-sized steps
  • Setting up regular check-ins to keep moving towards your dreams

Lesson 7: Weekly Reviews

  • Making sure nothing slips through the cracks
  • Maintaining your personal productivity system so it stays useful and up to date
  • Anticipating which deadlines, projects, and events are coming up

Lesson 8: Your Productivity System

  • Tying your personal productivity system together
  • Clarifying exactly what goes where—finding a home for everything
  • Saving time and effort by creating reusable templates
  • Setting yourself up for sustainable success

Lesson 9: Next Steps

  • Maintaining your momentum
  • Recapping the key course principles
  • How to dive deeper into specific productivity topics
You get lifetime access, so you can go at your own pace. Take your time or work through the course in one sitting. Refer back to the course anytime.

Theory + action = results

The course consists of nine lessons with YouTube-quality videos and lesson text. In the lessons, you’ll learn a framework for dealing with each of the productivity basics: your to-dos, your emails and messages, your notes and documents, your calendar and meetings.

After each lesson, you’ll head over to the course workbook that has step-by-step action items and you’ll immediately implement what you’ve learned. This way, you won’t be learning things you’ll never use—you’ll immediately combine theory and action for fast results.

In the course, I demonstrate concepts in certain apps, but you don’t need to use any particular apps. The principles apply whichever apps you like to work with. I do share lots of tips for some of your favorite to-do, notes, calendar, and communication apps!

And look, the solution to feeling overwhelmed and not being as productive as you’d like really isn’t to work harder or to work more hours.

It’s to build a simple system that’s easy to maintain and that can handle everything that’s coming at you.

So let’s build your personal productivity system.

This course is for you if:

  • You feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do.
  • Your to-dos are listed all over the place—if you’ve written them down at all.
  • Your notes are an unintelligible mess.
  • Things are slipping through the cracks because you’re disorganized.
  • You’ve tried complicated productivity tools or methods, but they haven’t stuck.
  • You want to be more organized and more productive.

This course is not for you if:

  • You’re looking for a magic solution that requires zero effort.
  • You’d rather figure everything out yourself, from scratch. (You can, but it’ll take you much longer.)
  • You’re looking for extremely intricate, detailed, and rigid note-taking systems and calendar schedules.

Your instructor:

Hi, I’m Peter Akkies

After graduating from a top college (Swarthmore, for the curious), I went to work in litigation consulting. I faced a never-ending to-do list and was always involved in many projects simultaneously. I didn’t have much free time.

After a few years, I decided to quit and start my own business. I soon began to teach people how to use task management apps to organize their lives, the way I wished I had when I worked in consulting.

These days, I can’t imagine my life without my to-do system. And I use what I learned as a consultant and in running my own business to help people like you get more organized. I’ll show you how to use the right workflows and systems to be more productive, and feel less overwhelmed.

For an introduction to my productivity philosophy, listen to my appearance on the popular Modern Wisdom podcast, episode 660 (Spotify, YouTube). You can also read more about me or listen to me tell my story on my own (former) podcast.

Anyway, shall we get started?

97.6% of people who took one of my courses would recommend the course to a friend!

Frequently-asked questions

What support can I get?

If you get stuck or want to run something by me, just leave a comment on the relevant course lesson.

What’s your refund policy?

If you’re not happy with the course, just let me know within 30 days of your purchase and I’ll give you a full refund. No drama, no questions asked.

Do you offer a payment plan?

You might be eligible to pay in installments. At checkout, look for the option to pay with Affirm, Afterpay, or Klarna. I don’t control whether this option is available to you, unfortunately.

Do you offer any discounts?

No, I don’t. You can, however, buy this course as part of a bundle, at a lower price than if you were to purchase the courses separately.

How much time does the course take to complete?

I’ve designed this course to be a really efficient use of your time. You’ll start seeing results within an hour, but it might take you a few afternoons to finish building your productivity system.

How long will I have access to the course?

Forever! Other sites may require you to keep a monthly subscription, but for this course, you pay once and you get lifetime access. You’ll also have access to course updates and new lessons.

When does the course start and finish?

This course is self-paced, so you can start it whenever you like and take as long as you need.

Do I need to use any specific apps?

No! This course is app-agnostic. But I do share lots of tips for some of your favorite to-do, notes, calendar, and communication apps.

What languages are available for video subtitles?

Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish, and Turkish.

Can I buy bulk licenses for my team?

Yes, just email me.

Tip: let your employer pay!

Many employers have a budget for professional development. And what could be more valuable to the company than you increasing your productivity? Ask your supervisor or the HR department to let you use the company credit card or to reimburse you. I’ve prepared a handy employer reimbursement request template.