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Make time

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

Author- Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

  • Understanding the meaning of the book

"Make Time" is a book that focuses on making time for the things which you always wanted to but you never found time for it. Make time is written by the two guys who worked in Google's design system. The book is an optimum gist of being productive without going nuts. The book is based on two concepts of our life

1] The busy bandwagon- It is the environment of constant busyness like the overflowing inboxes, to-do lists, etc. According to this mindset if you want to live in this modern society you need to be productive as everyone else is busy.

2] Infinity pools- Things that make you feel relaxed from the constant busyness. It's like an endless distraction. Things which you constantly scroll or stream.

It's like these default modes. These are preset settings. When you are not on the busy bandwagon mode the infinity pool takes control and makes us distracted by videos, social media, YouTube, games. To live the best life, you need to find a middle ground between two of these concepts.

It's a book or a framework for choosing what you want to focus on and building the energy on it and breaking the default cycle so that we can carve our own. We cannot drive our attention. It's about making time for what you want to do the most.

This book is divided into four parts

1] Highlight

2] Laser

3] Energize

4] Reflect

  • Highlight The highlight of the day is the thing that is your goal which you want to prioritize today. What do you want to make time for? Choose a single activity it's not going to be just that one single task you would be completing each day but that thing will be on the top of your priority list. Keep the things which you "like to do" or your "main motive" of the day on your priority list. Doing more doesn't make you feel busy it makes you frazzled and crazy. Add meaning to each day try to get the satisfaction of what you did in your whole. This can be going with your friends on Saturday evening so you would look forward to that day and will have a proper memory rather than just remembering the day. At the end of the day, what will be the moment you would savour that's your highlight of the day. Your highlight depends on what you choose to do the most that should be on your priority list. That will give you some satisfaction at the end of the day when you complete your highlight of the day. You create your daily highlight in what you pay attention to. Ask yourself what will be the highlight of the day? The things you want to get done urgently should be your highlight, projects that are time-sensitive and medium-sized. The second thing you need to focus on would be what thing will bring the most satisfaction at the end of the day? It can be a project that is running in the long term or things that can take a lot of time to create. You can highlight these tasks to break the someday cycle. The third thing will be what will bring me the most joy? That thing can be something that you love doing it. These tasks can be reading a book, solving a crossword puzzle. If something falls in all three categories that should be your highlight. Choosing a highlight should be focusing on the task and not on the things from the infinity pools. Satisfaction comes from medium-sized highlighted tasks.


These are some of my favourite methods to choose a highlight- 1] Write it down- writing your highlight in the morning or the evening the day before makes it more possible to complete your tasks. You can use your task list. 2] Stack Rank your life- make a list of the big things at your work or even personal life or hobbies. Only include the big kinds of stuff just make the list of 3 to 10 big things and then choose the most important from it don't consider the most urgent but consider the most meaningful to you. Then re-order the list according to the priority. Then circle the number one. So whenever you want to work on your long-term goals you would focus on the circled one. Use the list to remind yourself of the highlight. 3] Run a personal sprint- keep the same highlight for several days so that you would get better and better at the tasks or until you finish them this creates consistency. When you choose your highlight you need to make time for it. These are some of the methods through which you can make time for your highlight- 1] Schedule your highlight- write down your highlight, schedule the time for your highlight, think about how much time you need to complete your highlight when you want to do it. When you schedule the things it has more possibility of getting it done. When you schedule your highlight you cannot add anything else during that time that makes your highlight your top priority.

2] Design your day- when you design your day and just pre-plan all the things you don't need to think about the next thing that you have to do because that you would have already figured it out. This makes you get in a flow. Instead of thinking "what to do next" you think "how can I do this". Also when you give a time slot to yourself for every particular work that you do you tend to waste less time and also stay on track of your schedule.


  • Laser This step means having a laser focus on the things which we have highlighted. Beat the distraction to be laser focus in your highlight of the day and also redesigning the way you use technology. For endless and proper work you need to be focused like a laser. You need to get into a flow state and be fully engaged. When you are in the flow state of your highlight it feels really good. When you choose the time for your highlight it's easier to get things done unless when you hit a distraction. The creators of the social media apps and sites create them with the purpose of removing the barriers between you and distraction. When you change a task from productive to go through your messages your brain gets stuck on the task before and it takes much longer to get to productive work again. When you avoid these infinity pools it creates an image so that people can also get rid of the attention-seeking apps. These are the few methods you can try for a distraction-free highlight 1] Try a distraction-free phone- remove all the apps which fall in the infinity pool section. Delete all the social apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. Anything other defining infinity pool should be deleted this includes streaming content apps and news feeds. Delete the email and remove your account. Remove web browser.

2] Clear your home screen- Your home screen is the first thing you see when you unlock it. To get rid of the distractions move all the apps from your home screen to avoid distractions. Keep your screen blank. 3] Leave your devices- leave your devices at home when you go for a walk this will. Also when you are home keep your phone away from your eyesight. Ways to Stay out of infinity pools- 1] Blocking distraction kryptonite- when you feel regret after spending some time on apps or social websites then it's kryptonite. Kryptonite is anything that requires a password. Log out from the account. Turn off the internet during laser time or block the website. 2] Ignore the news- people follow the news because we need to know that breaking news right now. You don't need to follow the news, true breaking news will follow you. Most of the news is bad news. Reporters are constantly bombarding news about human suffering, corruption, politics, etc. It creates anxiety. Instead of going through daily news check it out weekly. Break off from the 24x7 news it's just a distraction cycle.

3] Turn distractions into tools- every particular thing has its value like news, tv, etc. but when we start procrastinating on it for longer intervals of time then it becomes a distraction. Instead of controlling yourself from the infinity pools use them meaningfully. Ask yourself why you are using the app? Is it adding some value to life? Next figure out how much time you want to spend on it per day per week or even month. When you have some purpose behind the use you tend not to procrastinate.


  • Energize The third concept revolves around building energy throughout the day so you can stay on time and attention. Use the body to recharge your brain. The brain needs energy. We can gain it by food, sleep, face-to-face talks, etc. When you don't have energy like your own battery is "zero percent" it's easier to get distracted by infinity pools but when we are fully charged we are highly energized and excited to take any damn project. You can energize yourself using some of these tactics Exercise is one of the ways you can energize yourself. Not for an hour or so but 20 mins is ok. It can boost memory. Walking is another source of energy booster it reduces heart disease and also avoids cancer, strengthens bones, loses weight. Accept some inconvenience like taking the stairs instead of going by lift. Walking to some distant place instead of taking the crowded bus. Eat real food like veggies and fruits they should constitute most of our diet. Fasting can make your brain sharp try to avoid food sometimes when you feel hungry for junk food. Desserts made of dark chocolate are good for health and even have many health benefits. Disconnect sugar from your caffeine diet. Avoid extra sugar from external sources other than your diet. Find places that are surrounded by trees and mountains for your creative writing stuff or deep work sessions. Even if you don't find a forest get some fresh air or open the windows it will awaken your mind and fill your life with enlightenment. Even meditation helps in building a better memory it thickens the cortex muscle of your brain. Take real breaks instead of taking an infinity pool break. If you are watching or listening to the news or referring to any social media app during your work time it creates a lot of distraction and it becomes tough to gain focus again. Spend time with people to live a healthier and happier life. Spend time with them. Spending time with people you know and love boosts your energy levels. Eat without screens. Transform your bedroom into an actual bed room without any devices or screens. Because when you don't have any screens near you, you experience a good night's sleep. Also, avoid social media and news before going to bed. When you are constantly looking at the bright light of the screen your brain constantly thinks that it's 'day' and most of the sleep disorders are caused due to it.


  • Reflect Reflect on the day with some simple notes. Take few notes on what systems you want to continue and which ones you want to drop. What brought joy to your day. When you try these productive methods you need to observe yourself about how the methods go with you. Take notes and choose the right kind of methods to boost your productivity. Reflect on the whole day and figure out how well the tactics were or how much focused you were during the whole day and how did you make time for your highlight. Also, write the grateful moment of the day. The more you make time for something the more you like to do it. Find the joy in every process. Start today don't wait for someday to start whatever you like.


  • Conclusion This book is a complete guide of how you can be more insightful and be more productive. This book will change your relationship with productivity. It is a must-read to the ones who are facing obstacles in making their life more productive and meaningful. It covers all the areas for which you always wanted to make time but never did it.

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