The End of Fake Productivity: Review of The Dojo by Jonathan Mead and Charlie Gilkey

The Dojo GuideWhen Japanese martial artists want to deepen their knowledge, learn new techniques, and advance their skills, they gather in a training center, the dojo. Both avid martial artists themselves, Jonathan Mead from Illuminated Mind and Charlie Gilkey from Productive Flourishing, joined forces to transfer this image of the dojo into the world of productivity.

The Dojo Guide (affliate link) is basically an ebook of 38 pages in PDF format, accompanied by seven audio sessions of a length between 8 and 13 minutes. For people who prefer the written word, a transcript of the audio files is provided.

For an info product, the Dojo is not cheap, selling currently at a price of $67. If you have the choice between buying it or better going for 67 scoops of ice cream, you may start to think about it. (At least I did, but I’m a sucker for desserts.)

Honestly, though, 67 scoops would probably be a bit too much even for the trained stomach. The Dojo, on the other hand, is a great tool for productivity nerds and newbies alike. Compared to a personal coaching session with just one of the authors, the price gets put into perspective, too. What’s more, early buyers were surprised by a scheduled group call with both Charlie and Jonathan, allowing everybody to ask questions and discuss the content. A little bird told me that there will be another call in June, so that might be a good opportunity for you to get directly in touch with the guys.

What’s it all about, then?

In short words, the Dojo is about escaping the fake productivity we all find us in from time to time. Instead of doing the important stuff, we’re busy getting our email inbox down to zero and responding to secondary tasks other people throw at us. Thankfully, the Dojo does not want to impose a new system on us. Rather, the guide is about building your own approach to productivity, nurturing it from the personal energy and power you already have. In the end, this is about doing things at your own rules, and at your own pace. You can imagine that this chimes with my approach to life. Jonathan and Charlie challenge the usual productivity industry by putting an emphasize not on doing more and more stuff, but on doing what matters – a fine but important distinction, especially if you are a person who likes to preserve some free time while building your business or doing whatever work you have got at hand.

If you are looking for worksheets and lists, the Dojo is not for you. If you are a number cruncher and like to track down statistical data of every aspect of your life, the guide is not for you, either. If, on the other hand, you are wondering why you don’t fit into the usual productivity schemes or miss a deeper meaning and a place for the “important few” when working with them, the guide might be your thing.

The Dojo is short and precise, directly to the point. There is no drivel and no comfortable, yet superfluous fluff. If you grab the guide, there’s no need to get into a comfortable reading position on your couch, waiting for inspiration. Much the contrary, the Dojo is about creating a specific and personal mindset that leads towards not only more, but higher-quality output.

The ebook and the audio sessions do reinforce each other neatly. For each chapter of the book, the authors recorded their personal takes on the content. While the text is denser, the audio helps you to really integrate the information into your life, as do the questions at the end of each chapter that provide you with lots of food for thought.

The design of the ebook is beautiful. Contrary to many info products out there, this is a great example of how design can complement the content. Unfortunately, the quality of the audio files could be better. While it does the job, the sessions sound like recordings from a telephone call (and, probably, they are), and thus have a little echo that might disturb you. It’s still good enough to understand everything, and there are no lacks or recording errors. As I personally enjoy reading this kind of information a lot more than only hearing it, I was happy to see the audio transcripts released a few days after the product launch. Since then, I would listen, read, and take notes of the content at the same time.


Name: The Dojo – A Guide to Doing What Matters
Content: 38 pages ebook in PDF format, 7 accompanying MP3 audio files of 8-13 minutes each
Price: $67
Where to get it: Feel free to get it here or through any of the affiliate links on this page, helping me with a sales-based commission. The price for you remains the same.

Whom it’s not for:

  • Number crunchers
  • People looking for pure entertainment and long reads
  • People looking for a new GTD system to buy into with lists, weekly reviews, etc.
  • Hi-fi experts

Whom it’s for:

  • People who want to do more of what matters
  • People who want to tap the energies they already have inside
  • Especially creative people of all colors: Writers, artists, starting entrepreneurs
  • Open-minded people: The Dojo will probably lead you to question your beliefs


When a fighter enters a dojo, he is ready to learn something. But he’s also ready to take action and begin to fight. The Dojo Guide, much in line with this tradition, is not inviting you to remain seated for hours and hours, listening to the wisdom of a master. It invites you to join the teachers, hear their instructions, and then let them step back as you unleash the powers you always had inside but did not know how to tap into. This is at the same time the most uncomfortable and the best thing about this guide: It comes with no excuses to delay your personal fight to creating your own way of productivity.

Go check out The Dojo Guide here.