Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
Best for: Those looking for some tips to help them focus their time.
In a nutshell: Two former Google folks offer their tips for making time for what matters (I mean, it’s right there in the title, and I couldn’t figure out a better way to say it).
“Trying to cram in just one more thing is like driving a car that is running out of gas: No matter how long you keep your foot on the accelerator, if the tank is empty, you aren’t going anywhere. You to stop and refuel.”
Why I chose it:
Assuming all the paperwork and such goes through, I should be starting a new job next month. For the past year I’ve been working from home, and only part time, so I’ve been able to do things like chores and exploring my new city on my own schedule. And before that, I didn’t work on Fridays for years. But my new job has a regular work week, so I’m going to have to work harder to be more intentional about how I spend my time.
The main premise of the book is this: we should pick a highlight for our day (work or personal life) that takes about 60-90 minutes; create an environment to have laser focus; make some changes to increase energy, and then reflect on the actions we’ve taken and if they’ve helped us focus on our highlight.
The book itself is well-designed. It’s a bit hefty, but it has illustrations and summarizes the four areas well. After presenting the basics behind each thesis, the authors offer tips on how to implement it. The suggestion isn’t that the reader incorporate all the suggestions, but that we try them out and reflect to see which work to help us make time for what we want to do with our days.
Some suggestions are ones I’ve heard before — deleting apps from phones that suck time but don’t add a lot to life, exercising a bit each — but the framework is different, and I like it. I’m going to try it out.
That said, a couple of reservations: this was created by two dudes. One does have children, but I would be interested in how this works for people who are primary caregivers of their children and don’t work outside the home. They do reference how some of this might be challenging to people who have newborns or other people they care for, but I could imaging being a bit skeptical. Additionally, for people who have very little control over their work schedule, some of the tips might be hard to implement, but I think it’s worth having a go.