The Highlight Course

Learn to make time for what matters every day with our new 4-week program. Featuring all new video and activities, a global community of people like you, plus live Q&A discussions with Jake & JZ.

All of us wish we could spend more time on the things that matter, and less time on the distractions and obligations that get in the way. But you might have noticed… this is actually super hard to do in real life.

Why? It’s hard to stay focused because we live in a crazy world—a world full of sneaky defaults that shape our time and attention.

Think about it: Most mornings, you wake up, grab your phone, check email, and maybe look at the news or Instagram. Then you realize you’re running late, get ready, get to work, only to spend most of the day sitting in pointless meetings and playing Whack-A-Mole with email and chat. This wasn’t a series of deliberate decisions, and it wasn’t your fault. These default actions are just the collection of habits and norms that have stuck over the years.

This is totally normal. We’ve all been there. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s right. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you want time for things that matter

What should you do? If you believe the countless blog posts, books, TED Talks, and fortune-cookie tweets about productivity, the answer is simple: Do more.

Get more done. Be more efficient. Process your email 20% faster and wake up 2 hours earlier. Set more goals and make more plans. It’s the only way to fit those important moments into your life.

Perhaps you tried their advice. Perhaps you became more efficient… more productive… more optimized. And maybe it worked. Maybe you did actually get more done.

But if you’re anything like us, you didn’t like how it made you feel. Being more productive doesn’t mean you’re spending time on the right things. Doing more doesn’t help you create time for what matters; it just makes you feel even more frazzled and busy. And when you’re busy day after day, time slides by in a blur.

This course is about stopping the blur, slowing down, and actually experiencing the moments that matter—instead of rushing through them to get to that next item on your to-do list. 

Start each day by choosing a Highlight

Out of all the advice in our book Make Time, there’s one tactic that has the power to transform how you spend your days. Thousands of readers have told us how choosing a daily Highlight gives them a much-needed sense of clarity and purpose.

The idea is pretty simple. Start each day by asking yourself the question:

“What will be the Highlight of my day?”

You might choose something that needs to get done. Or a satisfying project that you’ve been meaning to make time for. Perhaps you’ll choose a joyful Highlight; something that sounds just plain fun.

Your Highlight is not the only thing you’ll do each day. Most of us can’t ignore our inboxes or say no to our bosses. But your Highlight gives you a chance to be proactive instead of letting technology, office defaults, and other people set your agenda.

Research shows that the way you experience your days is not determined primarily by what happens to you. In fact, you create your own reality by choosing what you pay attention to. This might seem obvious, but we think it’s a big deal: You can design your time by choosing where you direct your attention. And your daily Highlight is the target of that attention.

About the Highlight Course

Our new course begins with helping you use the Highlight method to transform your days, but it doesn’t stop there. Not even close. 

In the Highlight Course, you will:

  • Discover where your time goes now, and decide where you want to spend it instead.
  • Understand which activities and people give you energy (and which ones zap it).
  • Master strategies for choosing a daily Highlight and fitting it into your schedule.
  • Practice using your Highlight to make time every day.
  • Reconfigure technology so you’re in charge of your time (instead of letting devices run your day).
  • Learn to build and maintain energy so you can enjoy the moments that matter.
  • Reflect daily to build strong habits for focusing on what matters.
  • Make a plan for big life changes like your Someday Project.

This course contains our latest and best advice. We’re taking everything we have learned from the past few years—from dozens of presentations and workshops, and countless conversations with readers and experts—to create the best possible resource for helping you make time for what matters.

The Highlight Course is not just a self-guided collection of videos. During the course, you’ll get real-time support from a community of people like you, all working to make time for what’s important to them.

Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss each lesson with Jake and JZ. We’ll be available for live video calls to help you throughout the course. We love this stuff, and we love talking about it with other Time Dorks. We can’t wait to chat about it with you!

What will you experience during The Highlight Course?

Our goal is to help you create a healthy, sustainable habit of using the daily Highlight and the rest of the Make Time framework to focus on what matters every day.

Here’s how we’ll do it…

Lesson 1
Welcome to The Highlight Course

  • 📺 LIVE: Introduction to Make Time and Jake & JZ
  • 🎥 Video: How Make Time works
  • 🎥 Video: About The Highlight Course
  • 📝 Activity: Stack Rank Your Life (Real & Ideal)
  • 📝 Activity: Energy Givers & Zappers
  • 💬 Share: Introduce yourself to the community
  • 💬 Share: What do you want to make time for?

Lesson 2
The Highlight Method

  • 🎥 Video: Introduction to the Highlight method
  • 🎥 Video: How to choose a Highlight
  • 📝 Activity: Write Down Tomorrow’s Highlight
  • 👩‍💻 Activity: Schedule Tomorrow’s Highlight
  • 🎥 Video: To-Do List Battle
  • 📝 Activity: Reflect on Today
  • 💬 Share: Get support for your daily Highlights
  • 💬 Share: What questions or challenges do you have?

Lesson 3
LIVE Discussion

  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ answer questions from the community
  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ share personal Highlights and Reflections
  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ discuss advanced dorky tactics they use every day (including stuff that’s not in the book)
  • 💬 Share: Ask questions and participate in discussion

Lesson 4
Beat Distraction to Find Laser-Like Focus

  • 🎥 Video: Introduction to Laser mode, and why we care so much
  • 🎥 Video: Why Infinity Pools are so hard to resist
  • 🎥 Video: Add friction if you want to avoid distraction
  • 📱 Activity: Distraction Kryptonite
  • 📱 Activity: Distraction-Free Phone
  • 👩‍💻 Activity: Log Out
  • 👩‍💻 Activity: Slow Your Inbox
  • 💬 Share: Which Infinity Pools do you struggle with?
  • 💬 Share: What did you remove, and how is going?
  • 💬 Share: Continue to get support for your daily Highlights

Lesson 5
LIVE Discussion

  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ answer questions from the community
  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ share personal Highlights and Reflections
  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ talk about their battles with Infinity Pools
  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ discuss advanced dorky tactics they use every day (including stuff that’s not in the book)
  • 💬 Share: Ask questions and participate in discussion

Lesson 6
Use Your Body to Energize Your Brain

  • 🎥 Video: Introduction to Energize
  • 🎥 Video: You are more than a brain
  • 🎥 Video: The modern lifestyle is an accident
  • 🎥 Video: Six building blocks of energy
  • 📝 Activity: Review Energy Givers & Zappers
  • 👩‍💻 Activity: Schedule Time to Keep it Moving
  • 📱 Activity: Friendly Social Jujitsu
  • 📝 Activity: Choose Your Own Adventure
  • 🎥 Video: A quick primer on habits
  • 💬 Share: Which Energize tactics work best for you?
  • 💬 Share: Continue to get support for your daily Highlights

Lesson 7
LIVE Discussion

  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ answer questions from the community
  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ share personal Highlights and Reflections
  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ talk about their favorite Energize tactics
  • 💬 Share: Ask questions and participate in discussion

Lesson 8
Graduation 🎉

  • 📺 LIVE: Jake & JZ answer questions from the community
  • 📺 LIVE: Small Shifts Create Big Results
  • 📺 LIVE: The Everyday Mindset / Adjust & Improve
  • 📺 LIVE: Start Someday Today
  • 💬 Share: Ask questions and participate in discussion
  • 💬 Share: Your “Big Reflection” with the community

After the course…

  • Continue to share and discuss with the community
  • Get forever access to the videos and course materials
  • Free upgrades to new versions of the videos and course materials in the future

Who is it for?

The Highlight Course is perfect for you if…

  • You feel busy and distracted, and don’t have enough time for the projects and people that matter most to you.
  • Your days feel like a series of reactions—to your phone, your email, and other people’s priorities.
  • There are projects—small, medium, or large—you’d like to make time for, but don’t know where to start.
  • There are people—your family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors—you want to spend more time with, but you feel like “life” just gets in the way.
  • You’ve tried to get organized and get productive with other books, apps, and systems, but found the advice unrealistic or impractical. 

What is your time worth?

Time is our only finite resource. Assets like money, energy, and health are renewable and expanding. If you lose money, you can make more. If you get tired, you can rest and recover. If you’re weak, you can become strong.

But we only get a certain number of days to live our life—and we don’t know how many until they’re gone!

At work, your time has a specific dollar value. Whether you charge by the hour, get paid by the hour, or receive a salary, it’s a number you can calculate.

But what about your life outside of work? What is the value of those hours and experiences with the people who matter most to you?

Your time is priceless and finite, yet most people give it away freely—to distracting apps and websites, to dumb meetings that show up on the calendar, and to mindless entertainment that numbs our brains instead of reenergizing us.

Our goal with The Highlight Course is to give you back your time, and help you spend it on the people and projects that matter most every day.

When you join The Highlight Course, you won’t be alone. We have assembled an amazing team to help us deliver a truly great learning experience.

Meet the team

Make Time is not your typical time-management book, and the Highlight Course is not your typical online course. That’s why we teamed up with learning expert Erik Skogsberg to design the course. He’s got a PhD in curriculum and instruction 🤯

The flannel thing was totally unplanned. We were in Seattle.

Julie Harris is currently the world’s only certified Make Time Coach (it’s true). In addition to coaching, she’s a writer and facilitator with a background in psychology. In other words, she’s really good at helping people make positive changes. Julie will be our community leader for The Highlight Course.

And in case you don’t already know us… hey!

We’re Jake and JZ, the bestselling authors of Sprint and Make Time. We both worked in the tech industry for a long time, as designers for Google, YouTube, Microsoft, and other companies. At Google Ventures, we developed the Design Sprint process and used it to help teams at Slack, 23andMe, Blue Bottle Coffee (and 150+ other companies) focus together on their most important challenges and opportunities. We realized that lessons from the Design Sprint could apply to everyday life, too, so in 2018 we published Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day. We’ve given talks and workshops about Make Time at Netflix, NASA (for real), the Federal Reserve (no joke), and lots of other places.

Make Time really works

The best part of this journey is hearing stories from real people who are using the daily Highlight and the Make Time framework to find focus and energy every day. And we have heard some great ones:

The things you suggest have changed my life. I was already a phone minimalist, but your book has transformed me into an early morning person who thinks hard about her Highlight for the day and makes it count.

Michelle in England

Thank you for your wonderful book! It has really helped me put things into perspective and spend more time with family.

Vinnie in Boston

Make Time is changing my relationship to my work and to stress in general. The Highlight tactic has had the single biggest impact on my ability to focus. I’m leaving the office every day feeling like I’ve moved meaningful work forward.

Lima in San Francisco

Make Time has had a huge impact on a side project of mine. I have been working on a children’s book for years. But work was very slow and I sometimes wondered if I would finish the book before my kids were too old to read it. Enter Make Time. Since reading your book I have been working on my children’s book every night and loving it.

Martin in Sweden

Your book changed my life in 48 hours. I have started organizing my entire agenda around my Highlight of the day. I eliminated distractions by deleting most of the apps on my phone. I also created a new habit of using my smartphone only after the Highlight of the day is completed.

Fred in Brazil

Make Time has been the single most influential shift this year. Choosing a daily Highlight has helped me hush the busy bandwagon and leave the day feeling accomplished. This feeling of accomplishment leads into a more intentional evening with my kids, where we cook, clean and read together. For the first time in a long time I have both hope and a plan to accomplish the long-term goals for my life.

Erica in Michigan

The Make Time framework really works. And for many people, our book is all they need. But we know that for most people, reading a book and trying things on your own isn’t the best way to learn. 

Over the past two years, we’ve talked to countless people about Make Time. We’ve studied learning styles and habit science and the design of educational experiences. 

We’re taking everything we have learned and putting it into The Highlight Course.

It combines self-paced lessons, on-your-own activities, real-life practice, peer support, group accountability, and expert feedback.

The new Highlight Course is our best work yet. And we believe it will be the best way to make time for what matters to you.


When does the course start? On February 13, 2020, but registration has already closed 😞

Where does it take place? The Highlight Course is entirely online. You can participate from any computer with an Internet connection.

How is the course different from the book? The book gives you the tools and tactics. With The Highlight Course, you’ll create a healthy, sustainable habit of using the Highlight method and the rest of the Make Time framework to focus on what matters every single day. Not a one-time boost, but real changes to your daily routine. Changes that stick. The course contains all-new videos, worksheets, and personalized activities based on the book; a community forum with dedicated moderator; and live video discussions with Jake & JZ.

What if I haven’t read the book? That’s okay. We designed The Highlight Course to work for people who are totally new to Make Time. But if you have already read the book, that’s even better—the course can help you personalize the framework and establish a truly sustainable habit of using the tactics in your daily life.

What if I miss the live video discussion? A recording of each video chat will be available. You can watch the replay when you have time, and participate in the community forum at any time, day or night.

Can I move at my own pace? Sort of. If you get behind, you can easily catch up, but it won’t be possible to work ahead on your own. The community support and live discussions with Jake & JZ are essential to the course, so we need to all move through the course at the same pace.

Will you offer a self-guided version of the course in the future? We may. We don’t have any concrete plans for that yet.

What happens after the course ends? The community forum will stay active indefinitely. You’ll continue to have access to all the videos, worksheets, and other course materials.

If you have other questions, please email