Succulent Plant
10-week online course
Mindful Productivity for Scientists
 
A program to learn to manage your time, projects and energy. The result? A productivity system to focus and get things done. And not just "things", but those that matter to YOU!  

Imagine...

 

You look at your watch and it's 17.00. And you feel so awesome about yourself that you just want to scream. Because you've finished all your the priorities you had written for the day. And you're not even that exhausted. So finally, you go home with a smile on your face thinking how tonight you'll enjoy dinner time, and then chill at the sofa while watching the "The Handmaid's Tale". 

Because you LOVE science. But you'd also love to have a life. And it seems there is no time for it!

Another way of being a scientist is possible. And I want it for you (or any other version you prefer!)...week after week.

If you’re an early-career scientist...

 

You’ve already heard that the key to be productive is to FOCUS. If you're following me for a while, you’ll know is also the key to write all your papers…or basically to get things done! 

 

And you may wonder, “OK, but how and on what do I focus?”

 

Well, the answer is not so easy…yes, focus is key to write and to do anything productively. But how do you get there is a multi-piece puzzle. And I'd like to share my version of that puzzle with you!

Now, do any of these things sound like you?:

  • You’d like to finish today this draft you have in your screen …but there you are, staring out of a window

  • You're constantly distracted. Email notifications, Whatsup, your partner when you're at home and your colleagues and students at the office

  • Focus is not a problem, it's that there is too much to do! Write papers, analyse data, do experiments, supervise students, and even some teaching! How is it possible to do it all? And now, all those meetings

  • You wonder if you are actually cut out for academia. Feeling not good enough is no fun

  • You’ve concluded you are just too slow. There is nothing to do about it

If you’ve answered “yes, that’s totally me!” to any of the things listed above, let me tell you two things:

  1. You’re not alone. Many scientists feel the same way. Just, it is not something we speak about!

  2. You can do something about it. Managing your time and your to-do list in an efficient way, is a skill. And you can learn it. The same as you learned to do it in an inefficient way!

 

You may have heard that to succeed in academia you need a productivity system. You may even have heard it from me.

 

And it may sound obvious, but here there are some not-so-obvious aspects about that system that needs to…

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  • Work for YOU

We humans are diverse. Scientists too. You may struggle to focus in an open space while your colleagues are just fine. Or you may have small kids and are exhausted. So you need a system customised to your needs. And a system flexible enough to adapt to the changes in life!

  

  • Start from the inside out

It needs to start with your needs, your strengths, your values…because it is inside where you’ll find the motivation to finish your work when things get hard. And believe me, things will get hard!

  • Include your energy

There are plenty of scientifically validated tools for time and project management. But they are not enough. They often forget the energy…you cannot measure energy as you measure the time or how far you are with your projects. But you can feel it. And you’ll need it to finish those projects!

It’s time to design your own productivity system so you can stop surviving and start thriving!

Here’s why you may be feeling you’re not productive

(and how to change that!)

TRYING TO MAKE THINGS PERFECT

Reading that email 3 more times before sending it. Delaying sending the manuscript to your co-authors week after week because you feel is not ready. Spending two weeks preparing a presentation that is only for your group. All that overworking of things when is not a final version is delaying you from finishing things!

WANTING TO DO TOO MUCH

Having days packed with meetings, experiments going on, teaching, supervision of students. An endless to-do list that instead of becoming smaller, every day is growing. And ending up frustrated day after day, and week after week because again you didn’t finish (by far) what you wanted. You need to do less things, so you have time for what is important.

FEELING GUILTY

​About saying no to that colleague that asked you to review a paper. Guilty about taking a day off because you don't feel well and you need a long sleep. About not calling that friend that became 40 last week. About not being fully present with your kids because there is a lot going on in your mind.Let's stop feeling guilty! 

The thing is, if you’re feeling like this, it’s not your fault. Academia is an institution that was mostly designed by white males who were good at focus and writing, and who had housewives at home taking care of their kids. If you are not in that situation, it’s totally normal you feel overwhelmed. And since that was not enough, we got a pandemic.

 

But things are changing. Slower than you probably would like. And now is the moment to build a system that works for you. One that you feel you're in control (and not just constantly putting fires off!).

 

When you find what really motivates you, and combine it with  ways of controlling your mindset blocks and with proven productivity strategies, you become unstoppable!

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You’re in luck because I’ve made something for you. Now let me introduce you to the…

Mindful Productivity for Scientists

A program to learn to manage your time, projects and energy. The result? Your productivity system to focus and get things done. And not just "things", but those that matter to YOU!  

Mindful Productivity for Scientists isn’t so much a course as it is a coaching program that will bring you from feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, to be excited about finishing things 

The end result: a productivity system that works for YOU. A toolbox customized to your needs, to help you manage not only time and projects but also your energy. And an "instruction manual" of how to use those tools and in which moment. 

It’s not gonna do magic. You need to implement what you learn. But once you do it, you can see results like this:

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Jordi Gamir Felip

Post-doctoral researcher

University Jaume I, Spain

@chori11

During my lab years, I was pretty organized, but I lost the habit along the way. And this lack of organization and distractions did not let me focus. This course has helped me to plan my work again. And more importantly, to identify what are those tasks that are moving my career forward and prioritize them! This course can suit different types of people… Those who are not organized will learn how to plan and set goals (among other things!). People who are organized will learn how to apply many concepts that may be familiar but did not know how to implement (my case). 

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Yang Song

Post-doctoral researcher

Utrecht University

The Netherlands

I'm not a planning person, I just do what I feel like. It used to work but often I ended up continuously working for 12h and totally break down the next day. Now I use a weekly planner, batch my tasks and try to simplify! These changes have allowed me to make time for things that really matter…those that are in line with my priorities and my values. This course has opened my eyes that many things I often do are just procrastinating or perfection-seeking. I definitely should have done this course earlier. I'm having a better work-life balance after this course.

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Teresa Quijano

PhD researcher

 Universidad de Yucatan-CSIC, Mexico-Spain

Before I took this course I had some organization. But, I was having trouble keeping my energy high and, some days II was anxious about having a lot of things to do. After the course, I watch those tasks with perspective, confidently prioritizing, and even asking for help! One of my favorite things I’ve learned is to set ambitious goals and break them down into little pieces. And of course, the chatting part with all the participants was a highlight!

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Erika Diaz-Almeyda

Assistant Professor

New College of Florida, USA

After taking this course, I am now more compassionate with myself. The examples in the lessons are so specific to the life of a scientist that now I realize some things that before were not so evident to me. I am good at what I do! Only I’ve been often surrounded by unrealistic expectations, which made me believe I was not good enough. A clear outcome of taking this course is that now my productivity is more consistent, and those moments of not feeling “good enough” have almost disappeared! Plus, I love the community of cooperative and conscious scientists in the courses of “I focus and write”.

Why I may be your kind of person... 

Hey, I’m Ana, and…

I've taken everything I've learned from more than 15 years doing research. Supervising master students and Ph.D. researchers. Collaborating with top researchers in the fields of Ecology and Entomology in Spain and The Netherlands. And working during the last year with scientists that wanted to focus and write. And here I combined that with my own struggles.

 

Feeling small covered by an impostor syndrome that peaked when I started as a postdoc in Wageningen, as a non-native English speaker, surrounded by excellent scientists. Unable to focus around the distractions of being a new mum. Or lost in uncertainty about what should I do with my life every time my contract was about to finish.

But I've also learned something crucial: productivity is a skill. You can learn it. And that's what I want to help you with.

Here’s how it all breaks down:
Content

You'll access these 5 modules gradually. Each module includes several short video tutorials of around 1 h in total, and you have two weeks to watch and implement. What is implementation about? In every video there are action steps for you to try. Tips and tricks to improve your productivity! Some will be more around reflections, and others around planning. The tools you need to try to see if you put them in your toolbox! On top of the pdfs of the video tutorials, you’ll also receive workbooks, planners, audios and extra resources. And don't miss the special bonus you can read here below!

Module 1
Foundations
  • Limiting beliefs

  • Do less

  • Strengths

  • Values & your why

Module 2
Project management
  • Goal setting

  • Projects and tasks

  • Setting priorities

  • Decision-making

Module 3
Time management
  • Weekly & daily planning

  • Focus & unfocus

  • Pomodoro method & perfectionism

Module 4
Energy 
management

  • Productivity-energy framework

  • Cyclical planning & creativity

  • Yearly & monthly energy

Module 5
Make it last
  • Cultural aspect

  • Setting boundaries

  • Community power

  • Long-term strategy

Feedback & accountability

 

A unique aspect of this program compared with other online courses is the feedback, the online meetings, and the community of peers you'll interact with!

 

You'll meet with me on Mondays every other week in Zoom (5 times). In this group call with a max. of 15 students, I'll answer any questions that you have. You'll have a couple of time slots to choose from. One will be at 20.00 Singapore time, the others will be determined when all students have signed up (aiming to reach all time zones!). If some days you cannot attend the live calls, you can send me your questions in advance and you can watch later the replay videos. And when some urgent question pops up, you can always send me an email and I’ll try to answer ASAP.

The weeks we don't meet, you'll have a call in Zoom with a small accountability group (4-5 students) where you can have a more informal chat about your academic life! 

Previous students swear they look forward to the virtual meetings, they feel inspired by the other students, and love sharing their struggles! These meetings are priceless, basically, because the people in them are always amazing…scientists that have struggles like yours, but that work hard to get over them. Generous souls that open their hearts and share their experiences so everybody can get inspired. And just a non-judgmental community of supportive people!  

 

Last but not least, we will also have a private slack channel with all the students where you can share thoughts, ideas, or ask any question!

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Sounds good right? There is a “but” (like always!)…YOU need to do the work. Nothing changes if nothing changes. So, you need to commit to building new habits and new ways of working.

 

Would you like to join me?

 

Then you can sign up here!

Module 4
Discussion

And don’t miss out on these bonuses:

An invitation for the 2-day virtual retreat
"Get it done"

This is an excellent opportunity to finish that important project! We'll meet in zoom for around 6 hours during 2 full days of focus and productivity! You'll prepare everything in advance and set a clear goal to finish on each day. Then you'll be focused on that, virtually surrounded by a community of peers. The retreat will take place on November 16th and 17th.

Meditations

​Meditation is probably the simplest thing you can do to take care of your mental strength while boosting your focus and creativity. You will have 5 guided meditations and breathing exercises to help you overcome common struggles scientists suffer. You can also use these mindful exercises whenever you need a mental break during your writing day... and don’t worry, you don’t need to have meditated before!

Yoga

​As part of the mindful aspect of the course, moving your body is crucial as a self-care act. Yoga can provide you with unique benefits, especially after working a full day in front of a computer. I have designed for you several classes for all levels including 5 office yoga classes of around 5 min min to do behind your desk, one slow-flow class to start the day with movement, or a more relaxing class to end up the day and reset your mind.

An invitation for the Goal-setting workshop

In this workshop you'll design the path with the steps you need to take to achieve your goals next year, gather the motivation you’ll need, and fall again in love with the process on the way there! We'll meet online for about 2 hours and you'll go through the process of setting your S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals. But before, you'll revise the past year, an exercise that past students love! The workshop will be "live" on December 9th and you'll have access to the replay.

 
Ready to change the way you work?

ENROLMENT CLOSES ON SEPTEMBER 24th 

597 €
THE COURSE RUNS "LIVE" BETWEEN
SEPTEMBER 20- NOVEMBER 26 (first live call on SEPTEMBER 27)

SPOTS ARE LIMITED! (15 max, per group) 
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Mindful Productivity for Scientists is a unique program that…

 

Brings a mindful approach to your scientific life, connecting the practical aspects of being a scientist who has many things on the to-do list, with the mental and emotional aspect of simply being a human being. Because sometimes, it seems that’s forgotten…we are humans with a body, with emotions, with all short things going in our minds. And we cannot just switch that off and get to work.

 

And after doing some mindset work, understanding yourself better, what’s stopping you from moving forward, and defining what matters, we’ll get to work. To build a productivity system with proven effective strategies: goal setting, priorities, projects, tasks, and the full cocktail!

 

All that surrounded by a community of people that has a similar view of what academia should be, scientists that suffer similar struggles, brilliant minds full of creativity that will inspire you and be inspired by you! 

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Lena Neuenkamp
Post-doctoral researcher

University of Alicante, Spain
@LNeuenkamp

Before the course, I felt stuck and worried about not advancing in my work tasks – my first own Marie Curie project in a very productive group and a backpack with tasks from my previous postdoc. Although the busyness of academic life has not changed after this course, now, I feel now I have the tools to navigate my academic pathway. A big result has been to understand that I need to set boundaries and ask for help, so I can protect my own time and energy to do the work I want to do. Moreover, the accountability groups were very nice, because we could share our advances and struggles. Not feeling alone with the latter felt very comforting and encouraging. And last, I simply liked the atmosphere and people!

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Daniela Requena Suarez PhD researcher

Wageningen University

The Netherlands

@drequenasuarez

 This course came at a perfect time. I was about to enter the final months of my PhD and was overwhelmed by the final steps. In the end, I was able to plan everything day-by-day, and even had the mental energy to take additional challenges in the last weeks. I really liked the accountability groups! It was really nice to share victories and struggles with other people. After the course I managed to submit a PhD thesis on time, so I'm very happy that I joined! I would have finished it regardless, but definitely with a more troubled mentality. I'm currently in the post-submission stage, happily going through a "void" period and not feeling guilty about it!  I'm super happy I signed up!

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Katja Hoedjes
Assistant Professor

 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When I joined this course I had just started a tenure track position and I felt utterly overwhelmed. I was just working like crazy, but not having time for my own research. I felt that I couldn't enjoy any time off because I hadn't achieved enough for my work. The course really helped me get clear what my values are and what I should give priority. Even if this means that I have to say no to others. Another big aha moment was discovering the void. I used to feel so disappointed with myself for having these voids, but now I know that this is all part of my natural creativity cycle (I do have super productive periods as well!). I really liked all the videos, which were very clear, funny, and useful. And I love that I can continue to watch them.

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Barbora Lepkova

PhD researcher

Charles University Prague, Czech Republic

@poop_scientist

Before this course my working hours were completely inefficient. Just the fact that I spent money made me really put effort into it. During the course I was shocked with the importance of taking breaks (pomodoro-style). The other important thing I learned is setting boundaries, working on what is alligned with my priorities and say no to the rest. The calls were great, both with Ana and with our peers - I even got some statistical help from the other students! As a result, my productivity has changed beyond measure. I have a plan with the steps to finish my dissertation. And even when I’m still behind my schedule, I feel so empowered knowing I can do it! I am just sorry I didn't take this course much much sooner. Also, the "Get it done" retreat really helped. Doesn't matter that you know what to do. This course will help you implement it!

Ready to get started? 
 Yes!

Or keep reading…

 

Imagine what the world would be like if you…

  • Have a system to work productively, and that you can adapt depending on your needs.

  • Say hi to procrastination and impostor syndrome when they arrive, and quickly kick them out!

  • Set up the foundation of WHY are you doing your work, so you can go back and gather the motivation you need.

  • Plan your days, weeks, months, and years, having clear priorities. Things that matter to YOU.

  • Say NO without feeling guilty. Because you are now the priority. Finally!

  • Become more consistent, get things done, and feel confident!

That’s what I want for you with
Mindful Productivity for Scientists
And this is what past students say about this course...
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Ana Shein

PhD researcher

NIOO-KNAW, Wageningen, The Netherlands

@shein_ana

Before I joined this course I was feeling negative around my work. Especially due to the lack of motivation, not having clear priorities and being drained by difficult tasks. Now I feel less stressed because I am aware that many of my blocks (such as procrastination) come from emotions, but I can understand them and put into place with the tools I got. Also, having a good planning and overview has helped me feel more positive about myself and my work. The module on energy management was my favorite: if i have energy I can do tasks that are key and demanding, if I dont, i do smaller tasks without forcing myself. I’d recommend to invest in this program as a mini-journey to know yourself better and take action on those issues that are blocking you from working efficiently.

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Gesche Blume-Werry

Assistant Professor

Umeå University, Sweden

@gescheBW

On my days before this course I felt like my job was putting out the most urgent fires around me, instead of focusing on my own goals and how to achieve them. I found it hard to prioritize and concentrate, and to be as productive as I felt I needed to be, to succeed in my job while also being happy. During these weeks I’ve learned what are the things that hold me back, and how to tackle them. Much of the struggle to be productive comes from a fear of not being good enough, and being organized is a big help! One of my big "a-ha" moments has been to prioritize tasks to achieve more of my personal goals instead of others’ priorities, while still feeling a good teacher and mentor. For me it was very helpful to have a teacher in this, and a peer group with similar struggles that you meet regularly for accountability. Now I have a go-to system to help me when I feel like I am drowning. I would not have implemented these things without the course, I needed the kick in the butt!

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Berta Bonet

Postdoc researcher

University of Birmingham,UK

@Berta_Bonet

I have always been organized but, in recent years when I needed it more (being a new mum), I have lost this organization's capacity. I was feeling in a chaotic situation. The course has boosted my confidence and clarify my professional goals. I recommend it 100%! It's super useful for different things: (i) to realize that with some modifications in our daily life (professional and familiar) you can be more productive, (ii) to keep you more focused, (iii) increase your emotional energy and your confidence. A big thing for me was to reflect on what and where I am and what and where I want to be in my professional career. I didn't realize that these basic things matter, and wow how they matter! They give sense to what I am doing every day, what I am struggling for, and what I want to fight for. Then, all makes sense!

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Lily Peck

PhD researcher

Imperial College London, UK

@little_peck

Before this course I struggled with feelings of anxiety and worry about my research. These thoughts would stop me being able to complete my day-to-day tasks. Now I can overcome them and I trust myself to get everything I need done. I had a big “a-ha” moment when I suddenly realised how happy I was again. I wasn’t worried about anything, and I was able to really enjoy my lab work and my writing, and able to think much more broadly about my project again. And I loved the group therapy sessions! I joke with this, but in all seriousness, the calls where people were very open about their struggles really helped me see that I’m not alone in my anxieties, and that it’s okay to feel like that. Before starting the course, I thought Ana was going to tell me about a great online tool which was going to totally transform my planning. That’s not what she did, but she did something so much better – she showed me that I don’t need a fancy tool, I can do it all myself. It’s so simple and effective… who knew!

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This program is for you if:

  • You feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do, and unsure of whether you are focusing on the right things

  • You don’t really have a plan, and mostly work on the urgent things first (mostly coming to you by email!)

  • Whenever you look at your to-do list you get a burst of anxiety and the only thing you feel like doing is watching Netflix

  • You spend your days putting off fires and wondering when will you finally have time to write

  • You struggle to focus

  • You’re just exhausted! Not mentioning demotivated

But I also need to tell you that this program is probably NOT for you if:

  • You have a productivity system that works for you. If that’s you, don’t lose your precious time. Just go and do your science, do more of what works well, and tweak what could improve.

  • You want an easy and fast solution to your problems. The solutions I know take time and effort ;)

  • You are not willing to look inside you…The mindful aspect of this program requires that you dig a bit inside you, finding your values, what motivates you, or why you do what you do. It’s up to you how deep you want to dig, but at least you’ll need to go through the outer layers!

  • You are seeking a solution to feelings of depression or burnout. I am not a therapist. These are serious issues that require professional help, so if you feel you need that kind of help, please contact a professional. Most Universities will offer support.

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REFUND POLICY

Due to the limited spots in the course, I cannot offer a refund. If after reading the information about the course you are doubting whether joining or not, please send me an email explaining your situation. I’ll do my best to help you make a decision!

Are you still not sure if this is for you?

 Send me an email at ana@ifocusandwrite.com explaining your situation and doubts and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

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FAQ

 

IS THIS COURSE DIFFERENT FROM MINDFUL SCIENTIFIC WRITING?

Yes, it is! In that other course, you learn an introduction of what Mindful Productivity is, and that is around 20% of the writing course. The results of that have been mind-blowing for many students. And they wanted more! So, I expanded the topic in this course, with a productivity content of around 60% (the rest 40% is about mindset around productivity). 

 

WHICH COURSE DO YOU RECOMMEND ME TO TAKE FIRST?

I need to ask you something…do you have a paper to write and never took a writing course before? If your answer is yes, then take the writing course first. If your answer is no, because you don’t have a paper to write, or you have enough writing experience (either because of practice or you took a course already), then take the Mindful Productivity course!

 

IS IT WORTH SPENDING TIME IN A COURSE ABOUT SAVING TIME WHEN I AM SO BUSY?

Definitely! During the course, you’ll need for each module (and you may take 2 weeks for that), 3 hours: 1 hour for the videos, 1h in the live call, 1h doing the exercises of that module. But I expect you’ll save at least 2 hours a week (hard to measure though…), so think about all those hours you can save in a year!

I AM A POSTDOC/ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IS THIS COURSE SUITABLE FOR ME?

The courses of “I focus and write” are designed with the early-career scientists in mind (according to official numbers that are up to 7 years since you became a Dr!). That includes Ph.D., Postdocs, and Assistant Professors. In the last editions, 42% were post-docs and 18% assistant professors or similar.

WHEN ARE THE LIVE CALLS AGAIN?

The calls with me will be on Mondays, September 27th, October 11th, 25th, November 8th, 22nd. The calls with your small accountability group will be October 4th, 18th, November 1st, 15th. The meeting time will be at 20.00 Singapore time zone. And a second group will meet at different still to be determined (in the past was at 14.00 Singapore time zone).

DO YOU OFFER ANY REFUNDS OR GUARANTEES? 

No. Due to the limited spots in the course, I cannot offer a refund. If you are doubting whether joining or not, please send me an email explaining your situation. I’ll do my best to help you make a decision!

 

HOW LONG DO I HAVE ACCESS TO THIS COURSE?

You have online lifetime access to the videos, and you can download the other materials (slide decks, workbooks, audios, etc.).

  

CAN I SHARE THE CONTENT WITH A COLLEAGUE?

Nope. You will receive a personal login to access the course and it is forbidden to share it. But you can (and I’d love it!) recommend it to your colleagues! 

  

COULD I JUST FIND THIS INFORMATION FOR FREE ONLINE?

Sure, most of this information is online. But the problem is that there is too much information, from all kinds of sources (many not reliable), and scattered. Here I have done the work at curating that information, combining it with my unique expertise (you also have one by the way) after years of supervision and editorial work, and setting it up in a step-by-step process.

  

THIS COURSE WOULD BE A BIG INVESTMENT FOR ME. IS IT REALLY WORTH THE PRICE?

Absolutely. Most early-career scientists end up suffering a delay in defending their Ph.D. thesis or even finding the next job. And issues with writing and time management are often at the core of that delay. If this course helps you to avoid even a 2 weeks delay (and it will help you with that and far more), the investment is fully worthy. Now, just do the math.

 

CAN I GET THIS COURSE FUNDED BY MY INSTITUTION?

You’ll need to check this with your supervisor (plus probably some sort of approval to take a course during your working hours). In my experience, you may get full or partial funding for this type of courses, but that's out of my control ;) 

 

Do you have a question that is not answered here? Or would you like to discuss you situation? Just drop me an email at ana@ifocusandwrite.com

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Disclaimer

Just by purchasing this program, you won't see results on your productivity automatically. You’ll have to actually do the work. Your results may vary depending on your situation, the time you spend on the course, and the complexity of your life! A please remember: I am not a therapist. If you have any symptoms of depression or a mental health problems. This course is NOT the solution (and please find professional help).