How to Make More #Careerlion Time?
As you probably read in my previous blog, I am now obsessed with audiobooks. One of the books that I recently finished is Make Time: How to Focus on What Matter Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. I think it was a great read with some thought breaking tips for all of us #careerlions trying to do as much as possible in all different areas of our lives. Today, I will share with you my thoughts on the book and some of the key lessons I learned from the book.
Make Time is a great read for anyone who is, or should be for that matter, interested in time management. If there was ever a time to be careful of how you spend your time, this is it. Nowadays it is so much easier to get distracted, especially with people making money from our distractedness even. We #careerlions and of course we are millennials too, basically want it all. We want to have a great career, but want to travel the world and have a healthy work-life balance. All while staying fit too. Yes, I am describing myself here. However, I am fully aware that I am not alone. Jake and John also refer to this as the 'Busy Bandwagon'. How do or should we even juggle all that? I think this book really tries to help us take a step back and figure out a strategy to work on what matters most to you. Spoiler alert: you will have to pick, as their advise is to pick only one highlight per day to focus on.
I love that Jake and John both have experience as developers at Google, Google ventures, and YouTube. Their communication style and struggles with time management in an innovative environment definitely makes this book stand out from the rest. The way they have structured the books with 87 tactics is also one of the pro's of the book. What sets them apart as authors is that they stimulate you to see what works from you and illustrate how some of the methods work for both of them while others don't. They don't oversell, claiming to have the magic recipe for all. Making them a much more reliable source in my opinion for sure.
What I've Learned From the Book
Make Time wouldn't be a proper productivity and time management book if it didn't have a framework used as the basis for the book. The framework of Jake and John has 4 stages:
Starting each day with a focal point in mind. Something to achieve that day, which may even take only 60-90 minutes to complete. However, it should be something that will define your day and make you feel fulfilled. It is about doing something you want to do versus a task that you need to do. Criteria to use when choosing your highlight include urgency, satisfaction, and joy.
Jake and John recommend physical barriers to ensure that you are focused, instead of relying on your willpower alone. For instance by having a distraction free phone. You can find more information for a distraction free here for the iPhone and Android.
They also advocate that you should make time to recharge your brain. That you should prioritise taking care of your body. This is something that I can totally related to. When you are busy, making healthy meals and exercising seem like the easiest things to cut in order to have a bit more time. Over slightly longer periods, this never worked out well for me. Now, I take care of my body even more when I know that I am busy. I try to never miss a workout even though I am on a tight schedule and healthy meals definitely remain a top priority regardless of my schedule. This will make sure that you have the energy to keep up with all of it in the first place. Jake and John also make an interesting point to do something your ancestors would have done daily to stay healthy and full of energy. They must have been on to something, given that we came to exist in the first place.
Something that may seem obvious, but is critical and easy to skip when you are busy is reflection. Being mindful of what you could adjust and improve in your daily system is what will help you to thrive. Keep track of which tactics worked and which didn't. After all, reflection is the way to engineer and optimise your life.
Some of the other tips and tricks in the book that I liked include:
Setting a visible timer: aids you in staying laser focused. I have used a timer in the past, but somehow lost track of this habit. I do remember feeling extra focused on a single task when I had a timer on. Mainly because I didn't want to falsely time that I wasted, meaning that it would seem like I was slow. It seems silly as I am not sharing these statistics with anyone, but if it works then it works.
Slow your inbox: Schedule your email time and only deal with email at the end of the day. Be slow to respond and reset expectations. Honestly, I mostly like this advise because I tend to be very slow with email and also only deal with pressing emails quickly. Also ensuring that everyone is aware that I prefer for instance the phone when there is an issue at hand. Doing my email at the end of the day is also something that I tended to do more and more naturally. Of course it feels good to have all of your emails out of the way, especially early in the day. However, it feels better when you have finished all of the to-do's of your list that day without less pressing issues taking up all of your attention span instead.
Some nice quotes:
"Even if you can’t control your schedule, you can control your attention."
"It’s not about saving time, but making time for things that matter."
"You only waste time if you’re not intentional about how you use it."
If you are interested in a full overview of all the tactics in the book, I would recommend taking a look these book notes.
This YouTube video also gives a nice visual summary of the book.
Are you going to pick up a copy of Make Time? Or listen to the audiobook? And are you ready to prioritize sleep? How do you plan to do so? Share it with us!