Feeling like having a maximally productive Saturday?
While everyone else is binge-watching Netflix next Saturday, you could instead be doing the most meaningful and important work to you, in a maximally supportive and structured environment.
Long story really short, the founders of Ultraworking — Sebastian Marshall and Kai Zau (that’s us) — really like work, working, working better, working more effectively. They get a huge kick out of working. After having done some dozens of collaborations across a half-decade — developing apps together, co-authoring a book (Gateless), doing charity projects, partnering with some of the top universities in the world to run entrepreneurship trainings, hosting and attending retreats, and things of that nature — they founded a company together at the start of 2015, Ultraworking.
The company is interested in making the nature of work itself better. Sebastian and Kai think this is one of the most important things in the world right now, as the era of huge corporations and secure careers declines, and we’ve all got to find, select, manage, and complete work that’s really meaningful to each of us.
Ultraworking is a really pretty simple idea — there’s dozens or hundreds of “known best practices” out in the world that lead to 1% to 2% edges in effectiveness, and yet these can be hard for an individual to install in their own life.
Thus, Sebastian and Kai relentlessly study what works, and look to build it into a mix of simple-to-use technology, methodologies, and very simple trainings to make people more effective.
You're invited to some free Ultraworking Work Cycles.
“Work Cycles” is one of the things past customers have loved the very most that the UW founders came up. People really, really like it. Top attorneys and accountants sign up repeatedly and refer their friends. Startup founders, business owners, top students, programmers, writers, translators, even veteran military officers rave about Cycles.
This session was REALLY helpful. The accountability practices plus the group work setting was tremendously focusing. Will have to spend some more time thinking about the second and third order elements that contributed to that outcome. This is the first time I've done long- period work tasks in an "accountability group". This setting has been eye-opening and extraordinarily valuable.
— Gregg Jones, Georgetown Professor, CEO of Strategic Applications, retired U.S. Military Special Forces Officer; Washington, DC, USA
I was pleasantly surprised with my performance — at least 3x more productive than normal. I’ve read about productivity best practice and implemented some of it before but you have to try something like this to really experience the benefits.
— Neil Taylor, Commercial Director at mobedia; London, UK
My productivity was higher and I was more motivated to get stuff done. This program's format is awesome for productivity.
— Mark Bao, Programmer; New York, NY, USA
It’s a simple concept, but don’t be fooled by the simplicity — you show up and we walk you through how to plan and complete difficult work in real-time.
People report anywhere from a 25% to 400% boost in effectiveness from attending these cycles. Yes, on the higher end, people report getting 4x more stuff done than they do working alone.
First thing’s first — this isn’t a seminar. You don’t sit there and listen to a “blah blah blah” — you actually bring your Most Important Work you want to get done. You then do very some brief planning and laying things out with guidance from one of our trainers — Marshall himself will be hosting the one you’ll be attending — and then you break your work down in a simple spreadsheet we set up with four starting questions:
“What am I trying to accomplish this Cycle?”
“How will I get started?”
“Are there hazards present?”
At the end of each 30-minute Work Cycle, you assess:
"Were there any distractions?”
"Things to improve for next cycle?”
Do not be fooled by the simplicity of this methodology.
This is an incredibly reliable way to troubleshoot and complete work in real-time, see what’s effective and what isn’t, manage your energy and morale when work gets hard, reset and adjust if you run into a roadblock, and otherwise get over any procrastination or anxiety and get work done.
It works really, really, really well.
Live real-time guidance, training, feedback
Every 30 minutes, you take a break from your work, assess how the last cycle went, and plan the next one.
By itself, this methodology works well and is very popular. Many attendees of past Work Cycles adopt the format verbatim for their own lives and use it consistently going forwards to great effect.
But over and above that, you’ve got Marshall and Zau there to give you feedback, help troubleshoot, help make small adjustments. For instance, the difference between “write my book” and “finish outlining chapters 3, write the opening hook, and transition to the next scene” is actually night-and-day for productivity.
After having run Cycles for elite professionals performing at the highest level, students at top universities, entrepreneurs, and people who are looking to break through on creative work — Marshall and Zau have some good insights and tweaks to help you navigate your own work.
If you happen to get stuck at any given point on what to do next, you get real-time feedback to get unstuck. It’s very valuable.
There’s a lot of known science about how people perform better in groups than by themselves, and in supportive groups best of all. You’ll be working with your video camera on, in real time, with other participants working away. You know you’re going to be reporting back your results in 30 minutes.
This gives surprisingly huge boosts to productivity. In athletics, sports scientists have seen that people training in groups get as much as 13% higher power output while feeling less fatigued in the process — which, you know, is kind of incredible when you think about it.
Work Cycles is the same sort of thing. The people are terrific. It’s also neat to learn lessons by seeing how, for instance, a programmer goes about writing and debugging difficult algorithms, a top attorney goes about writing a white paper on changes in the tax code, or how a bilingual creative translates an opera from French into English (all real examples).
It’s very cool to be working alongside terrific people doing interesting things. You learn a lot, you get a boost of motivation, you get more done, you feel less tired, you might learn and build some new mental models about how other people organize their work, and — very cool to see — we’ve seen new friendships and relationships come out of this sort of thing when attendees follow up with each other.
BAFTU: Come for free as the guest of your friend
In the past, we’ve charged $140 for Work Cycles alone, people came, and we’ve had literally a 100% satisfaction rate. Seriously, no joke, we survey people afterwards in an objective survey, and everyone has always said it was worthwhile. We’ve also ran these with open attendance at some top universities — not a partisan crowd, y’know? — and got across the board 100% positive rave results there too.
So how much is this going to cost you?
Well, how about free?
One of your friends signed on to our Ultraworking Pentathlon competition, and they get to bring someone for free under the “Bring a Friend to Ultraworking” program.
They chose you.
Why are you guys doing this?
(1) Because we think it’s cool,
(2) Because we think it’s an awesome thing for people attending the Pentathlon to be a little bit of a hero to one of their friends,
(3) And because the type of people they’re likely to invite — ie, you — are probably our type of people, and we always want to get to know more of our type of people.
Okay, sounds great. What do I do?
There’s two sets of Work Cycles coming up, you can pick between these two:
Saturday 14 October, 12PM EST (9AM Pacific) to 4PM EST (1PM Pacific)
Saturday 21 October, 12PM EST (9AM Pacific) to 4PM EST (1PM Pacific)
The only thing we ask is that if you sign up, you actually come. If you’re not sure you can make it, pass on this one and keep an eye out for next time. That way, your buddy can invite someone who will come (they only get one guest for capacity and individual attention reasons), and also, once we’ve got the guest list we’re always needing to monitor to make sure people aren’t having a hard time logging on for tech reasons, etc. So — please be courteous and only sign up if you can make it.
You’ll actually be working live, in real-time, so pick the work you’re going to do in advance. Two types of work are good to do during Cycles: the first is very boring rote work that you don’t want to do, like getting your taxes done or answering a ton of email. The second type is deep, hard, creative work that often gets procrastinated. Either one is a good candidate, but we’ve found “in-between” work to not be so great… for instance, if you need to answer a few emails, then call someone back on the phone, and then wait for a while, etc, obviously that doesn’t work as well for a heads-down focused burst of Cycles. If you’re debating between two different things, that’s fine, you can mark that down on the form below and we can help you choose when you’re setting up on Saturday… but again, you’ll definitely benefit if you’ve thought this through a little beforehand.
Then sign up at this link and mark your calendar --
See you Saturday, and here's to leveling up alongside some great people.
We’re excited to meet you, and to help guide towards some great productivity — both in real time, as well as permanent lessons that should help you level up at working… we dare say forever. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, eh, getting a ton of work done and leveling up at such a critical skill?
If you haven’t registered, here’s the link again --
Oh yeah, and give you friend a big hug and buy them the next round of coffee or lunch to say thanks, eh?
Sebastian Marshall and Kai Zau