Review: Zen And The Art Of Work


There are several authors out there whose name I find synonymous with quality. There is an assumed level of trust and expectation when I pick up their work. There is also a calming knowledge that, when finished, I will feel enriched. One such author is Kourosh Dini.

When I reviewed the second version of Creating Flow with OmniFocus by Kourosh Dini here at Productivityist and I was blown away by the attention to detail and structure of the prose. The way he was able to take a complex application like OmniFocus and simplify it was truly impressive.

When I heard that Kourosh was releasing a video series called Zen and The Art Of Work, I couldn’t get access to the product quickly enough. Could he convey his messages as well via video as through the written word?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Zen and The Art Of Work is a 16 part video course specifically targeted at those who are feeling overwhelmed. I have to confess, when I first saw the titles of the modules, I was apprehensive. I was afraid I wouldn’t learn anything new. Setting Thoughts Aside, Creating Next Actions, Reviewing Systems were just examples of content that I assumed I was fully conversant with.

I was so wrong. I learnt something new in every single module. Even the Introduction. Some particular highlights include:

  • Pausing before every session, so as to make a settled decision on the work to be completed.
  • Clearing the Inbox after every session of work.
  • Just showing up for work. Even for a short period of time, just be there.

When I started the introduction video, the first thing that jumped out at me was the clear intention to provide an experience for the viewer. Kourosh is a skilled pianist, and the audio piping through my speakers was an absolute delight. I immediately reached for my headphones so that I could shut myself off from everything around me. This is definitely how I recommend consuming this course. The combination of the music, alongside the narrator’s calm, soothing voice is akin to meditation. It’s almost impossible not to focus.

As well as the audio, a video course needs to look the part as well. One look at the canvas patterns shows that the author understands this too. It would be so easy to just produce words on a blank background, yet Kourosh hired a designer with the sole purpose of creating visuals that will put the viewer at rest. This helps reduce friction between the foreground and background. And it works. There are great fonts, images and designs all round.

There is no assumption based on the user prior to sitting through the course. No task management application required, no online productivity tools – nothing. There’s just the understanding that the videos will be completed in sequence. Each builds on the last and there is a unique exercise to be completed at the end of each module.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Build trusted systems
  • Relieve overwhelm
  • Form habits
  • Maintain high levels of attention

As well as much more.

I cannot recommend this video series enough. There is content here for everyone, no matter what your level of prior exposure to productivity techniques and at $34.95, it’s great value.

If you click here you also receive a copy of the Soundtrack: Zen and the Piano which is worth the price of admission alone.