Make Time - How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

How much do I want to read more? 8/10

A very nice book, with humoristic illustration.
It all makes sense, and while the process is simple, it helps to read it formalized in such a step by step guide.
From what I read, the "Reflecting" part is what's missing in my process.
I've got to work on this.

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

-- -Mahatma Gandhi


It’s about making time for things that matter.
This book is a framework designed to help you actually create more time in your day for the things you care about.
you can make your life your own.

endlessly replenishing content. If you can pull to refresh, it’s an Infinity Pool. If it streams, it’s an Infinity Pool. This always-available, always-new entertainment is your reward for the exhaustion of constant busyness.
But is constant busyness really mandatory? Is endless distraction really a reward? Or are we all just stuck on autopilot?

Most of Our Time Is Spent by Default

if you don’t do something to change it, that default is what you get.
By default, you get a notification for every new message.
There are defaults in nearly every part of our lives.

While the Busy Bandwagon defaults to endless tasks, the Infinity Pools default to endless distraction.
Our phones, laptops, and televisions are filled with games, social feeds, and videos. Everything is at our fingertips, irresistible, even addictive. Every bump of friction is smoothed away.
Refresh Facebook. Browse YouTube. Keep up on the nonstop breaking news, play Candy Crush, binge-watch HBO.
distraction is quite literally a full-time job.

But what about you? What do you want from your days and from your life? What would happen if you could override these defaults and create your own?

Willpower isn’t the way out. We’ve tried to resist the siren song of these forces ourselves, and we know how impossible it can be
Productivity isn’t the solution, either. The faster you run on the hamster wheel, the faster it spins.
choosing what you want to focus on, building the energy to do it, and breaking the default cycle so that you can start being more intentional about the way you live your life.
you absolutely can control your attention.
With new habits and new mindsets, you can stop reacting to the modern world and start actively making time for the people and activities that matter to you.
It’s about making time for what matters.

Meet the Time Dorks

how we spent our time. we’ll share the principles and tactics we’ve discovered.

Being more productive didn’t mean I was doing the most important work; it only meant I was reacting to other people’s priorities faster.
making distractions harder to access instead of relying on willpower to constantly fight them.

The Backstory, Part 2: Our Dorky Quest to Make Time

I experimented with eating six small meals a day and then tried eating just two large ones. I adopted different exercise regimens, from distance running to yoga classes to daily push-ups.
Meanwhile, Jake spent a full year tracking his daily energy levels in a spreadsheet, trying to understand whether he should drink coffee or green tea, whether he should exercise in the morning or the evening, and even whether he liked being around people.

Over the next few years, we ran more than 150 of these five-day sprints. Nearly a thousand people participated: programmers, nutritionists, CEOs, baristas, farmers, and more

Four Lessons from the Design Sprint Laboratory

something magic happens when you start the day with one high-priority goal.
Each sprint day, we drew attention to one big focal point: On Monday, the team creates a map of the problem; on Tuesday, each person sketches one solution; on Wednesday, they decide which solutions are best; on Thursday, they build a prototype; and on Friday, they test it. Each day’s goal is ambitious, but it’s just one thing.
This focal point creates clarity and motivation. When you have one ambitious but achievable goal, at the end of the day, you’re done. You can check it off, let go of work, and go home satisfied.

we got more done when we banned devices.
we were able to prohibit laptops and smartphones, and the difference was phenomenal. Without the constant lure of email and other Infinity Pools, people brought their complete attention to the task at hand, and the default switched to focus.

the importance of energy for focused work and clear thinking.
healthy lunch, a quick walk, frequent breaks, and a slightly shorter workday helped maintain peak energy.

Experimenting allowed us to improve the process.
seeing the results of our changes firsthand gave us a deep confidence that we never could have built just by reading about someone else’s results.

The lessons we learned became the foundation for Make Time.

Despite our stumbles, Make Time was resilient. We found ourselves with more energy and headspace than we’d ever had, and we were able to take on bigger projects: the kinds of “someday” things we’d never been able to get around to before.

Reclaiming your time and attention can be weirdly easy.
the changes do not require tons of self-discipline. Instead, change comes from resetting defaults, creating barriers, and beginning to design the way you spend your time.
it's self-reinforcing. The more you try it, the more you’ll learn about yourself and the more the system will improve.


Make Time Is Just Four Steps, Repeated Every Day

Here’s a zoomed-out view of how each day looks:

Highlight: Start Each Day by Choosing a Focal Point

deciding what you want to make time for. Every day, you’ll choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar.
something you don’t necessarily have to do but want to do, like playing with your kids or reading a book.

Of course, your Highlight isn’t the only thing you’ll do each day. But it will be your priority. Asking yourself “What’s going to be the highlight of my day?” ensures that you spend time on the things that matter to you and don’t lose the entire day reacting to other people’s priorities. When you choose a Highlight, you put yourself in a positive, proactive frame of mind.

Laser: Beat Distraction to Make Time for Your Highlight

like logging out of social media apps or scheduling time to check email can have a huge effect

Energize: Use the Body to Recharge the Brain

To achieve focus and make time for what matters, your brain needs energy, and that energy comes from taking care of your body.
charge your battery with exercise, food, sleep, quiet, and face-to-face time.
Because things are so out of whack, there are a lot of easy fixes.
sneaking a nap, giving yourself partial credit for exercise.

Reflect: Adjust and Improve Your System

before going to bed, you’ll take a few notes. It’s super simple: You’ll decide which tactics you want to continue and which ones you want to refine or drop.
you’ll think back on your energy level, and what brought you joy in the day.

Over time, you’ll build a customized daily system tailored to your unique habits and routines, your unique brain and body, and your unique goals and priorities

The Make Time Tactics: Pick, Test, Repeat

you’ll pick, test, and repeat. As you read, take note of any tactics you want to try.

No Perfection Required

Perfection is a distraction—another shiny object taking your attention away from your real priorities.


We do not remember days, we remember moments.