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How to get your time back?

This time I will be writing about the recent book I read by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky and it is called Make time. Yes, it's basically talking about what the title is saying, how to make time. Make notice, not by magically extending the 24-hour day to for instance 36 hours. Well, on a second thought…it would be nice. It actually advises you how you need to analyze, make a reflection of your daily habits or your daily to-do’s list and see where your focus is or in other words… what have you actually been doing and how your time is distributed over the entire day.

Frankly speaking, I considered myself a master of procrastination in the past. Perhaps, not the best to admit, but I perform best under time pressure. It is a habit since I was in school when I had to important test to pass, or some deadline approaching…suddenly, I noticed this urgent desire to polish my nails in vivid red or rearrange the entire room layout. Please take notice, I seldom put some colour on my nails. You might have guessed it, the exam date approached and the deadline for that paper were just behind the corner. Pulled and pushed my final atoms of energy together and focused and delivered. On several occasion, this tactic worked.

However, the stress level at that point was abnormally high and when you are in your teenage years or in the early twenties, it works. Not so many things to stress about. (Millennials, you might quarrel about it, but believe me …the stress levels are not near as high when you have kids, job, studies and a farm.)

Nevertheless, this exemplar tactic, in the long run, it is nor sustainable. As I said when you are a responsible adult and have all above as stated in the brackets…not to forget a really busy head of ideas that need to be executed or that list of books to read… for sure you need to start managing your time. I do not mean, by restricting your time regime to strict time frames and to be a time freak who lost all spontaneity. However, you are all of a suddenly required to think about your daily activities, because all your egoistic to-do’s have to fit into your kids’ extra activities, spouse’s spontaneous hobby projects or farming endeavours (chop some logs, cut the grass…). You need to think about it in advance. You need to prioritize.

What is your priority? What will become your highlight for today, as it is called in the book? And then you need to put your focus on that and deliver it.

So, Make Time is a wonderful book. How did I come across this book?

Simple. Because I recently just fell in love with the design sprint methodology designed by the authors Knapp and Zeratsky. While I was shopping on Amazon for book Sprint ( currently reading… the review will come next week. ), I naturally added into cart also Make Time.

(You shouldn’t mention to my husband, that the checkout at the end exhibits 4 books at the end…. Oops.) Even though I am dealing with design sprints, one should think I would grab Sprint. No, I took Make Time in my hands first, because it is a nice book. Lovely yellow book covers. I know, I know. Don’t judge a book by its covers, but it really attracted me. (I wonder if they used the design sprint to design the cover? Mhm…). Must admit, I read it in two takes. The book is amazing, and it just came at the right time for me. I am in a phase, where I need to make daily highlights and focus in order to achieve all the given tasks.

The book is written in a manner that draws the reader, it is funny and clear. Enjoyed reading it tremendously. It is not a heavy loaded book, even though it is packed with practical pieces of advice to regain your lost time. You are not struggling a bit to come to the last pages.

Let’s go-to basic? What is the book about?

You are encouraged to analyze your daily habits, daily job routines and reflect on your schedule. Are you really that busy or you just have an illusion you are busy, when in fact you are occupied with nonsense and you are jumping from one activity to another? When I am writing this, I can easily relate to some extent. When I say nonsense, this refers to social media scrolling and endless flipping up with index finger. The day went by so fast, but in the end, you have been 1 hour and a half on Facebook and the other half on Instagram. Perhaps your day was dedicated to all day answering emails, and this is a daily routine. Also when you start playing with your kids at home, you do not dedicate that precious time entirely, but you glaze your screen each 30 second or so. In the end, it is quite clear how your time is spent, you just don’t acknowledge it. If you a bit freak about lean principles, these are the wastes of your productivity and what needs to be done about wastes? Eliminate it.

Basically, the book sums up all these wastes, it highlights them for you. Perhaps, all of this was written in some “How to..” article in some fancy magazine, however it gives also bunch of suggestions. Not in terms of micromanaging the busy schedule, but how to focus when you are doing something, you are really doing it and focusing it without any distraction. It gives you pinpoints to clear away all the notifications on the phone which might derail your focus or the itch to check your latest Facebook feed. It gives you insight, that given time frames have to be quality spent activities. Especially, when you are starting a new project, a new company or adopting a new hobby. Time needs to be wisely dedicated.

And when time is slipping by, you have to conscious where is it wasted. For instance, I always stated that I wnt to bed as early as 10 pm, but in fact, I was checking my social media accounts for another straight hour and certainly I was not sleeping. What you need in order to regain your time back, honesty for instance.

One free advice for me, since I have a new phone. It has this new cool function of “do not disturb”and I set a timer that automatically switches all notification off from 9 pm till 7 am each night. Basically I get them in the morning, just without flashing lights and sound effects. Pop-ups are put on hold for the night. And my night regime is not disturbed anymore, usually I twitched at every sound. I was laying, half asleep … beep sound and out of curiosity I checked. Might be something important.

No, it is not that important, believe me. It is social media. It is not. Only calls and regular text pass this “do not disturb”, because regular people, like my mom, still call and send text oldfashioned way.

Make Time gave me a new perspective. The fact is that you have heard loads of advice and many how to-do’s in some magazines article. When you are reading this in the book it is denser and well written. I genuinely trust the authors, because they worked it out by themselves and these bits of advice are based on their examples and their experiences. They walk their talk. Usually the stuff written in some magazine is just random google facts gather together by a college student, which face I don’t see.

Not to disclose, all the tactics from the book, but my own advice is to make time and read the Make Time. It will take you 4 hours or a few more, you will gain much more when some set of advice you might apply in your daily life. The FOMO (fear of missing out) it is just a thought and it will disappear, you are missing much more when you react to each and every impulse or notification.

Final thought, just check this book. It can be a life-changer for you too.



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