18 Minutes by Peter Bregman (April 2020)

How often do you get to the end of another long and frantic day and wonder why so many important things didn’t get finished? We’ve never worked so hard and felt so unproductive and unfulfilled.

18 MINUTES takes this challenge and turns it on its head. Peter Bregman, top HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW columnist and global management consultant, shatters the myth of getting it all done by offering a clear and simple plan for getting the right things done.

He shows how the best way to fight distracting interruptions is to create productive ones ourselves, a practice that can be easily implemented in 18 minutes a day. The result is a simple yet comprehensive approach to managing your life a year, a day, and a moment at a time so that your life moves forward the way you want and at the pace you want.

1 review for 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman (April 2020)

  1. William Buist

    18 Minutes shows how busy people can cut through all the noise, all the distractions and focus on those key items that matter to them. The title though is a bit of a misnomer. The organisation of your day (in just 18 minutes a day) is powerful, and from personal experience works.

    Peter Bregman works from the premise that we cannot avoid distractions, so we should create our own, productive ones. 

Bregman’s approach guides us through the noise that prevents us from focusing. To do this he first recognises that we need to step back and determine what the important things are that affect our lives. One aspect that the book covers is a suggestion that we should take the time to think about the important areas in our lives, He suggests that we are only able to focus on 5 or maybe 6 such areas, and that these will be based served if they take up about 95% of the time. (Other things should be outsourced or managed within the last 5%).

This exercise of identifying the key areas, he cites for example doing “great work for clients” as one of his areas, means you can examine your effort and check that it is focused on the right things.

    As an observation, my own work mentoring business owners and leaders also looks at key areas of focus. Often I find that working to identify these key aspects, across the whole of their lives, is difficult to distill. It takes time to express in language that truly resonates. Yet, when that is done, and the resonance appears it is extraordinary how much of a difference it makes to productivity and focus.

    Bregman also looks carefully at an area of distracting that affects many of us. Work requested by others. Assess fit by asking three questions, “Am I the right person? Is this the right time? Do I have enough information?” If the answer to any one is no then we should not do it. We should pass it on to the right person, wait for the right time, or wait until you have the information that you need.
Then we get to the 18 minutes, 5 minutes at the start of the day to plan the key activities through the day, 1 minute each hour to reflect (without judgement) on how that hour has gone, and 5 minutes at the end of the (working) day to reflect on successes, failures, distractions, and learning in order to be ready for the next day.

    This is a practical easy to read book that will change your productivity for the better and is highly recommended.

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