There are so many distractions, interruptions and things to do in our busy lives that it is difficult to make time to focus on the things we care about most. Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky both worked at Google designing tech products that aim to distract us. After realizing the effects that modern life were having on their own lives, they designed an approach for reclaiming time into 87 tips with four key steps.
- Select a daily highlight to be the primary focus of your day. If you set a single intention at the start of each day, you will be more satisfied, joyful and effective. A highlight or task can be anything–finishing a newsletter, working out, or learning to play guitar. Selecting a highlight every day keeps you intentional and focused about how you spend your time. The book includes ways to come up with daily highlights.
- Laser – home your attention on that one specific task. This is all about how you manage your attention and avoid getting sucked into all the other stuff. The book has many different tactics to manage all the distractions.
- Energize – Fuel your body to support your mind. To bring energy to your focus, Knapp and Zeratsky give you ideas and hacks for making changes to your level of activity, the kind of food you eat and the way you relax and sleep.
- Daily reflection – assess what worked best to enable you to focus. Knapp and Zeratsky recommend keeping a daily log of your process to record whether you completed your highlight, which tactics you employed, and how you might tweak them to your advantage. According to Zeratsky, “you need to find a way to establish your own system.” Your attention, time and energy are yours to design and experiment with.” One size doesn’t fit all.
If you’re interested in learning more, I recommend checking out the Make Time blog.