Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

Recently, I read MAKE TIME written by -Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, suggested by Dr.Rish Sharma. For me it’s a game changer read. It gave me permission to work on my own priorities instead of reacting to everyone else’s . Awesome practical advice that is really down to earth. I have already made changes to how structure and organise my days using the tips from this book.

Invaluable for those wanting to get the most out of every day. I am lucky enough to be test reader for make time and it has already change my life. Make time is a take on how to avoid distractions and be more focused on what’s really matters to you.

Make time is about slowing down the crazy rush and making time for the things that matter. It’s not about productivity. Instead, it’s about creating more time in your day for the things you care about. It could be time for your family, learning a language, starting a side business, volunteering, writing a novel…

I am sharing the blinkist of the book. Hope it brings new light and more creativity in your life and in this new year 2021 you get sufficient time for the things you love.

In the twenty-first century, two very powerful forces compete for every minute of your time.
1-Busy Bandwagon-Overflowing inboxes, stuffed calendars, and endless to-do
lists.
2-Infinity Pools– Apps and other sources of endlessly replenishing content.

While the Busy Bandwagon defaults to endless tasks, the Infinity Pools default to endless distraction. Most of our time is spent by default.

Make time is just four steps, repeated every day:
  • The first step is choosing a single highlight to prioritize in your day.
  • Next, you’ll employ specific tactics to stay laser-focused on that highlight.
  • Throughout the day, you’ll build energy by exercise, nutrient dense food,meditation….so that you can stay in control of your time and attention.
  • Finally, you’ll reflect on the day with a few simple notes.

HIGHLIGHT: START EACH DAY BY CHOSING A FOCAL POINT

The first step is deciding what you want to make time for? It might be an important work like finishing presentation, or spending time with family, reading book or gardening or grooming your dog…. Highlight must be the first thing before you start your day and should be your priority.


When you choose a Highlight, you put yourself in a positive, proactive frame of mind. But this alone isn’t enough. You’ll also need to rethink how you react to distractions that might get in your way, and that’s exactly what the next step is all about.

LASER: BEAT DISTRACTION TO MAKE TIME FOR YOUR LASER

Adjust your technology so you can find Laser mode. Simple changes 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.

REFLECT:ADJUST AND IMPROVE YOUR SYSTEM

Before going to bed, take a few notes. Its super simple: You’ll decide which tactics you want to continue and which ones you want to refine or drop. And you’ll think back on your energy level, whether you made time for your Highlight, and what brought you joy in the day.

For make time practice no perfection is required , the every day mindset matters”.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Your Highlight gives each day a focal point. Choosing your daily Highlight starts with asking yourself a question:

  • What do I want to be the highlight of my day?
  • What’s the most pressing (urgent) thing I have to do today?
  • At the end of the day, which Highlight will bring me the most satisfaction?
  • When I reflect on today, what will bring me the most joy?

A good rule of thumb is to choose a Highlight that takes sixty to ninety minutes. If you spend less than sixty minutes, you might not have time to get in the zone. Sixty to ninety minutes is a sweet spot. It’s enough time to do something meaningful.

HIGHLIGHT TACTICS:

  1. WRITE IT DOWN:

There’s a special, almost magical power to writing down your plans: The things you write down are more likely to happen. Make writing down your Highlight a simple daily ritual. You can do it at any time, but the evening (before bed) and the morning work best for most people.

2. GROUNDING IT:

  • If you didn’t get to your Highlight, repeat for a second chance.
  • Repeat to build momentum.
  • Repeat to create a habit.
  • Repeat to keep the good times rolling.

3.STACK RANK YOUR LIFE:

If you’re feeling stuck choosing a Highlight than make a list of big things that matter in your life.

Don’t prioritize the list yet, just write it. Consider what’s most meaningful to you, and draw a circle around number one.

4.BATCH THE LITTLE STUFF:

Make a batch of small things your big thing. For example, one day this week Highlight will be “catch up on email” or “return phone calls.”

5.THE MIGHT- DO LIST:

6.THE BURNER LIST:

Like time and mental energy, the Burner List is limited, and so it forces you to say no when you need to and stay focused on your number one priority. Here’s how to make one:

  1. Divide a sheet of paper into two columns.
  2. Put your most important project on the front burner.
  3. Leave some counter space.
  4. Put your second most important project on the back burner.
  5. Make a kitchen sink.

7.RUN A PERSONAL SPRINT

PLAN OF ACTIONS FOR HIGHLIGHTS:

1.Schedule your highlight:

2. Block your calendar:

If you work in an office where colleagues can add meetings to your calendar, take a different approach: Use daily “do not schedule” blocks to make room for your Highlight.

3.Bulldoze your calendar:

If you can’t block your calendar, there’s another way to clear time for your Highlight: Bulldoze it. Imagine a tiny bulldozer driving through your calendar, pushing events around. The bulldozer might compress one meeting by fifteen minutes and another by thirty.

4. Just say No:

Saying no doesn’t come naturally. Be nice but honest. Just because you’re saying no to the request doesn’t mean you can’t say yes in the future.

5. Design your day:

5.Becoming a morning person:

Don’t underestimate the potential of mornings. Those early hours are gift. Humans are hardwired to wake when it’s light and get sleepy when it’s dark. Watch the sunrise; seeing the sky go from dark to light reminds the brain that it’s time to transition from night to day.
Becoming a morning person is not for everyone. Some people will have more
success making time at night. Still, it’s worth giving it a shot. Sometimes we don’t know what we’re capable of until we apply some simple tactics and an experimental mind-set to our lives.

6.Design the nights before:

Start with an honest assessment of how much sleep you need and how much you get. To reset the default mode, pay attention to how food and drink affect your sleep. Adjust your environment to wind down and signal “bedtime” to your body. Switch down your fav switches and try candles after 7.00 pm to make room soft and feeble. Go offline one hr before bed.

7. Quit when you are done:

It can be hard to stop work at the end of the day, because the Busy Bandwagon
encourages a “just one more thing” mentality. Many people quit only when they’re too exhausted to go on, and even so, they check email again before they go to bed. We fall into the trap by ourselves. Don’t get trapped, decide and quit!

LASER:

Laser is a state of mind. When you’re in Laser mode, your attention is focused on the present like a laser beam shining on a target. You’re in the flow, fully engaged and immersed in the moment. When you’re laser-focused on your Highlight, it feels fantastic—it’s the payoff for proactively choosing what’s important to you.

Distraction is the enemy of Laser mode. It’s like a giant disco ball in the path of your laser beam: Light goes everywhere except in the direction of the target. Every distraction imposes a cost on the depth of your focus.

LASER TACTICS:

“BE THE BOSS OF YOUR PHONE”

1.Try a distraction free phone:

Removing email and other Infinity Pool apps from our phones might be the simplest, most powerful change for laser mode. Remove email from your phone and check it on your laptop, you’ll remove a lot of stress along with it.

Bottom line: If an app is a tool or if it doesn’t make you twitchy, keep it.

2. Log Out:

Typing in your username and password is a hassle. So, website and apps encourages you to stay logged in, leaving the door to distraction wide open. But you can change the default. When you’re done using email, Twitter, Facebook, whatever, log out.

3. Nix Notifications:

Notifications are not your friends. They’re nonstop attention thieves. Turn off almost all notifications. By turning off your notifications, you’ll teach your phone some manners —the kind of friend you’d actually want in your life.

4. Clear Your Home screen:

To slow things down, try making your home screen blank. Move all the icons to the next screen.

4. Wear a Wristwatch:

A wristwatch replaces the need to check your phone whenever you want to know the time. A quick time check on your phone often pulls you into an Infinity Pool.

5. Leave Devices Behind:

Leaving your devices behind is a helpful tactic when you want to make time for an “offline” Highlight like reading to your kids or working on a project with your hands.

HOW TO STAY OUT OF INFINITY POOLS:

  • Skip the Morning Checking
  • Block Distraction Kryptonite- Your distraction Kryptonite might be something common and obvious such as what’s up, Facebook, email, Instagram, You tube, twitter…..
  • Fly Without Wi-Fi- Fasten your safety belt, and enjoy Laser mode at 35,000 feet. The strange parallel universe of an airplane cabin can be the perfect opportunity to read, write, knit, think, or just be bored—in a good way.
  • Put a Timer on the Internet
  • Deal with Email at the End of the Day
  • Schedule Email Time
  • Empty Your Inbox Once a Week
  • Be Slow to Respond- Respond slowly to emails, chats, texts, and other messages, if it is not very urgent.
  • Vacation Off the Grid
  • Don’t Watch the News- TV news is incredibly inefficient; it’s an endless loop of talking heads, repetitive stories, advertisements, and empty sound bites. Rather than summarizing the most important events of the day, most TV news offers up anxiety-provoking stories handpicked to keep you agitated and tuned in. Instead, make a habit of reading the news once per\ day or even once per week. True breaking news will find you, and the rest isn’t urgent or just doesn’t matter.
  • Make TV a sometime treat.

TO STAY IN THE ZONE:

Getting into Laser mode is only half the battle—you have to stay in the zone and maintain attention on your Highlight. Focus is hard work, and it’s inevitable that you’ll be tempted by distraction.

1.Shut the Door

If your Highlight requires focused work, do yourself a favour and shut the door. And if you can’t find one, put on headphones—even if you don’t actually put on any music. Headphones and closed doors signal to everyone else that you shouldn’t be interrupted. You’re telling yourself it’s time for Laser mode.

2.Make a “Random Question” List-

Write down whatever twitchy things coming to your mind in a piece of paper. It will help you to stay in laser mode.

3.Notice One Breath-Pay attention to the physical sensations of a single
breath:

  • Breathe in through your nose. Notice the air filling up your chest.
  • Breathe out through your mouth. Notice your body softening. You can repeat this if you like, but one breath really can be enough to reset your attention.

4.Take a Day Off-

If you’ve tried these techniques and you still don’t have Laser
mode in you, don’t beat yourself up. You might need a rest day. Try taking
real breaks throughout the day and switching to a joyful Highlight that’ll help
you recharge.

ENERGIZE:

You are more than a Brain. Imagine you’ve got a battery inside you. All your energy is stored in the battery, and just like the battery in your phone or laptop, it can be charged all the way up to 100 percent or can drain all the way down to zero. When your battery is empty, you’re totally exhausted—you feel wrung out and maybe even

Now imagine how it feels when your battery is full. You’ve got a spring in your step. You feel well rested, your mind is sharp, and your body feels alert and alive. You’re ready to take on any project—not only ready but excited. That’s 100 percent.

Choosing a Highlight and getting into Laser mode are the core of Make Time. But the secret sauce is Energize. With a full battery, you have the power to be present, think clearly, and spend your time on what matters. To get the energy you need to maintain a focused, high-performing brain, you’ve got to take care of your body.

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while”.—
GRETCHEN RUBIN

Act like a Caveman to Build Energy: Get more exercise! Eat healthier! Live like a caveman!

  • Keep It Moving
  • Eat Real Food/Eat like a hunter gatherer-Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
  • Go Off the Grid
  • Make It Personal- Interact with friends face to face.
  • Sleep in a Cave-Sleep quality is more important than quantity. Make Your Bedroom a Bed Room
  • Exercise Every Day (but Don’t Be a Hero). Squeeze in a Super Short Workout.
  • Pound the Pavement- We were born to walk. But in the modern world, we default to motorized transportation. Most of us can get wherever we need to go by car, bus, or train, and by making it so easy not to walk, this default robs us of a great opportunity to energize.
  • Central Park Your Plate-
  • Stay Hungry-Fasting sharpens focus and improves energy.
  • Snack like a Toddler
  • Get Woodsy- the Japanese government has been encouraging a practice called shinrin-yoku, which can be translated as “forest bathing” or, more simply, “taking in the forest atmosphere.” Studies on shinrin-yoku show that even brief exposure to a forest lowers stress, heart rate, and blood pressure.
  • Trick yourself into Meditating- Meditation is just a breather for your brain. Meditation is also exercise for your brain.
  • Take Real Breaks
  • Spend Time with Your Tribe
  • Eat Without Screens
  • Sneak a Nap
  • Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Welcome to the fourth and final step of Make Time- “REFLECT”. Take Notes to Track Your Results (and Keep You Honest)

START YOUR “SOMEDAY” TODAY

I have tried my best to bring out the synopsis of the book including my personal learning and experiences. Leave your valuable comment if you find it useful and practical.

Reference-

Make Time

Author: Gunjan Mishra

Holistic Wellness Coach ,Functional Medicine Practitioner, NLP and CBT Practioner, A Certified nutritionist from Stanford University(US), Diploma in health and fitness from Shaw Academy(UK), Advanced Diploma in Principles of Nutrition(UK), Personal Trainer (GFFI Academy, India), Advanced Diploma in Ultimate body Transformation(UK), Co-founder of Cosmic wellness centre.

3 thoughts on “Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day”

  1. Dear Gunjan,
    Thanks once again for a very relevant topic that concern all n sundry.
    Do keep up your good work…. Keep scripting…
    Good luck!

    Like

  2. This blog is the need of the hour. More so, as the pandemic has increased our screen time and there has been a general lack of motivation in taking care of oneself.
    The blog is well written and informative. It briefly lays down the simple steps to bring about a change in our lifestyle that can truly enhance our day to day life.
    We have a tendency to given into our primal urge to procrastinate everything. And that makes us miss out on so many things that are important to us and then we sulk into self-pity.
    I really enjoyed reading the methods shared in the blog to simplify our life’s priorities and take action and pay attention what matters to us. My favourite takeaway from this blog is the practice of reflection. That will help me in incorporating these steps, slowly and steadily, at my own pace and a better understanding of what my distractions are and how I can overcome them.
    Thank you for sharing this snippet from the book.

    Like

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