18 Minutes (2011), Peter Bregman - Book Summary

18 Minutes (2011) are helpful guides to help you get things done efficiently by focusing on what's meaningful and avoiding distractions. Through the book, you will shape the career that is right for you and find ways to achieve your goals.

This book is for

  • Those who want to do a good job;
  • Those who are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work;
  • Those who are looking for happiness and meaning in life.

About the author

Peter Bregman mentors CEOs from startups to established companies. His specialty is leading and improving today's work environment. His writings have also been published in Forbes and Psychology Today magazines .

What does this book say? Find focus and get the job done in 18 minutes.

Do you ever find it difficult to concentrate? Not only you, but many other people have experienced that feeling. With Facebook, Instagram, and smartphones by your side 24/7, constantly displaying notifications that disrupt your focus, it's tough to get work done.

So how do you overcome these distractions and regain your focus? First, you need to accept the fact that you cannot do everything alone. Then you need to make sure that your goals are your own. Finally, it's time to make plans to achieve those goals. There are a few tips that don't require much time that can make your success easier. Just 18 minutes.

Through this book, you will learn more:

  • Life lessons from Gmail's "undo send" button;
  • Lessons on choice from jelly;
  • Those who are looking for happiness and meaning of life.

Start by pausing and focusing on your best activities.

Sometimes, waking up in the morning and looking at your to-do list can be overwhelming. Organizing the right time to complete all the work is really difficult. However, with the right planning and focus, you can still be productive and get them done.

First, find a goal to focus on by pausing for a moment, arranging the work in order of importance to not being too important, needing to be completed right away, and not needing to be completed immediately, and come up with an effective working method. most fruitful.

Pausing also helps you avoid mistakes.

Take Gmail's "undo send" feature as an example. This feature gives you 5 seconds to see if you regret the email you just sent. And 5 seconds is all people have to pause and realize their mistake. Of course, it would be better if people could avoid writing and sending the wrong emails in the first place.

Our first instincts often involve many emotions, the brain needs time to control and guide us in the right direction. So, to avoid confusion or waste of time, before you act, slow down and take a moment to review.

Taking a break gives you more time to prepare for lasting success.

Think of life as a marathon: It requires constant effort and persistence. Marathon runners achieve that endurance through a reasonable arrangement of running time and rest: dividing the week into 4 short days, 1 long day, and 2 rest days. And like these athletes, you need a break to reflect on things.

Pausing allows you to think in new ways thereby presenting new possibilities.

Without that respite, you'll feel like you're on an autopilot, operating only in the directions available. This is also a reason for mistakes and missed opportunities. When you pause for a moment, your brain will have a chance to calm down, see things more properly, and explore new possibilities.

Therefore, do this important work first: pause.

Find what works for you by leveraging your strengths and embracing your weaknesses.

Do you have big ambitions but don't know where to start? To find the best option for you, try to schedule your own time and focus on the things that matter most. Ask yourself what goals you want to accomplish in a day, a week, a year, or a lifetime.

To achieve those goals, you'll need direction, and the key to getting it right is limiting your choices and using your strengths.

Taking action is easier when there are fewer options. A simple way to narrow down your options is to focus on things that align with your strengths and talents. This can be seen as an effective strategy of allocating time and energy properly.

Use this method to focus on about five things that will make a difference in your life. Your social life improves: will you become a better parent or you may offer improved products. By spending 95% of your time on these goals, your time and energy will be allocated in the best possible way.

However, focusing on strengths doesn't mean you should ignore weaknesses, but instead embrace them. When you're looking for direction in life and need to choose what to do for the next day or the next few years, consider both strengths and weaknesses. From there, you will find the right path to success.

Keep your personality different and follow your passion. At the same time, avoid pitfalls.

Have you ever thought of the things that set you apart as a disadvantage? Do not think that! On the contrary, it is your competitive advantage.

Diverse markets allow people to have more choices than ever before. From bars and restaurants to technology devices and mobile apps, they stand out and succeed only when they are different. What will successful projects do in the following years? The answer is: focus on special and outstanding features.

Sometimes the difference is what drives us to follow our passions.

Doing what we're passionate about is always easier and more enjoyable than doing something we don't enjoy. Mastering or perfecting a certain skill can take a long time, so focus on something you really enjoy.

Take learning an instrument as an example. A study at the Berlin Academy of Music showed that it takes 8,000 hours to become a professional pianist. This period can be shorter if you love what you are doing.

However, to be successful, you also have to avoid pitfalls.

One of the most common pitfalls is the tendency to give up when you fail or make a mistake. Don't fall into this trap! Instead, pick yourself up and see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Another pitfall involves being discouraged by uncertainty about the future. In fact, no one knows the future – even a winning lottery ticket can turn out to be a disaster in the future! It's better to focus on the present moment and create your own opportunities.

So, you already know what to do and what to avoid. Now it's time to execute your plan.

Plan your day with an 18-minute “ritual”.

To follow the plan, you need to arrange a reasonable time. And to do that, you need to have a system in place to help you track your progress and help you stay focused. The 18-minute ritual is the system you need.

First, take five minutes in the morning to plan your day. In addition to the things that you want to do, create additional “skip lists” to avoid. This will help you manage your workday and stay focused on your goals.

Assuming one of your goals is to be a good parent, today you might decide not to seek advice from other parents and instead focus on listening to your thoughts. your child.

Planning is an effective means of getting things done. It means you can't leave today's work for tomorrow. Studies have shown that people can get things done more easily when they set a detailed time and place for their schedule.

Of course, sometimes, things don't go according to plan and you have to adjust. But don't delay everything more than three days. If it still can't be done, it's best to let it go.

Next, take a minute every hour to pause.

Humans are very easily overwhelmed and distracted at times. To stay on track, take a short break every hour to reflect on what you've done and what you should do next. Then you will be focused again and have more energy to work.

Finally, take five minutes at the end of the day to evaluate. This is a time to think about what you did and didn't do during the day. Remember, learning from mistakes is also key to long-term success.

Now, with the power of a daily 18-minute plan, beat the distractions that are distracting you.

To avoid distractions, you need to master your initiative, your boundaries, and yourself.

Even though you have a plan and method for getting it done, you may still be wondering: “What about everyday distractions? It might affect my original plan.”

Beating distractions isn't easy, of course, and is often the hardest part of getting things done. Just changing the environment can help you focus more because if you only look at one wall every day, you will easily become distracted. That is also the reason that the chairs in the meeting room are often rearranged so that everyone can concentrate more.

It's easier to stay motivated if you see getting things done as fun.

Let's say you have a long-term project that looks daunting. Try to think of a game out of that work. For example, divide a project into different levels to relieve pressure and gradually increase the reward for "beating" those levels.

Setting clear boundaries is important in protecting your work area from distractions.

If you are working in a private office, make it clear to everyone, even your children, that they need to respect your privacy. If you have a do-not-disturb time or knock-on-the-door rule then you have to make sure it's followed, otherwise people will just take it as a suggestion.

Sometimes it is we who are the cause of the distraction.

Here's a trick to help you: distract yourself from your own distractions! Often you can resist the temptation of junk food or Twitter by simply stopping and distracting yourself. This is similar to pausing and refocusing on the work in progress.

Now that you've mastered distractions, it's time to start your plan. So, one last tip for you: Start small, and then the rest will come naturally.


The main message of the book:

Don't do what others expect or seem necessary; Do what's right for you. Find out your strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Then, make a five-year plan and use 18-minute steps to accomplish your goals and overcome distractions in your own way.

Give advice:

Don't be afraid to fail, take advantage of it!

Do you know why Iceland is the happiest place in the world? That's because people in Iceland don't discriminate against mistakes. And so should you. By accepting and learning from your mistakes, you will become more mature, allowing you to maximize your potential. Failure is inevitable and it is highly educational.