“I need to finish that report by Monday.”

“Ugh, and there’s that pile of laundry.”

“But I really want to play that new board game that just came in the mail.”

Multiple demands and wants, internal or external, can strike at any time.

In such moments, I find that anchoring myself helps me engage with greater reliability, avoid rabbit trails, and get to the things I want.

When I teach the process, I’m often asked:

“How often do you do this?”

The answer is “as often as I I feel like”. That might be three or four times in a day or not at all for several days, depending on circumstance.

But, I wonder if the question reveals a certain assumption: that we should be beholden to a schedule, even for things that don’t need to be scheduled. Or perhaps more generally, that we need to appeal to some external source to tell us what to do and when.

(Even a schedule we wrote yesterday becomes external when it is no longer created in the Now. It was written by our Past Selves.)

Being stuck with some pre-determined rail of work creates tensions. In some circumstances, this can work well.

But, for myself, if those tensions feel artificial, it may result in an unconscious:

“I know I’ve got to do X, so I may as well just do it. I’ll figure out the rest later.”

or I discover myself playing a game having forgotten about the rest until something starts screaming to remind me, whether that’s the back of my mind or something blowing up on my phone.

Whatever benefit such strict systems may have had can be knocked aside by momentary whim or demand.

A system that works for me needs to allow me to be in charge of my own decisions.

But then other questions arise such as:

“How do I make myself do stuff?”

… for example with matters that have distant or unclear deadlines. Or what do you do when you don’t have the seeming luxury of choice?

And this brings us to the heart of a Visit-based system.

It is very difficult to “make yourself” do anything. I’m not sure I’ve ever won an argument with an emotion.

When the attempt works at all, it often stirs resentment and anger within one’s self, not to mention a product or performance that could have been a lot better.

For example, waiting until the last minute for urgency to kick in deprives you of choice, constrains any space to follow up on creative insights, and rarely allows for deep meaningful connection with the work.

A Visit-based system is about connecting with your own sense of experience. It’s about learning how to weigh what is important to you and acting from there.

Whether you find yourself to be creative, neurodivergent, or simply full of wonder, somewhere you have your own sense of experience. You have a world of what you feel you can and cannot trust to be true, at least in this moment.

That base can be a powerful foundation for any step forward.

In this way, much of productivity can be about connecting with experience, rather than some prescribed timeline.

– Kourosh

PS The Waves of Focus is a Visit-based system of engaging work and play such that you can start negotiating the demands of the world in a way that rests on your experience. There is no demand from the system itself beyond what makes sense to you. Working with due dates is not only possible, but when they are realistic, you can often beat them with plenty of slack and better quality, to boot.