Two Awesome Hours, Josh Davis - Book Summary

Two Awesome Hours offers unexpected and exciting ways to help people be most productive, from managing mental energy to letting the mind wander when needed. According to the author, we only need 120 minutes to make a difference!

The book is a great gift for

  • Those who are under pressure from a huge workload;
  • Those who want to learn about the psychological and biological conditions for people to achieve maximum productivity;
  • Freelancers want to make better use of their time.

The person who brings this useful information is

Josh Davis is an instructional professor and research director at the NeuroLeadership Institute. Achievements in the field of cognitive expression or the law of emotions have earned Davis a PhD in psychology from Columbia University.

Chapter 1. The book's greatest value: Working process for maximum efficiency.

Sometimes you will find yourself busy all day but end up not accomplishing anything important. It seems that all you do is just a few mundane and meaningless chores like checking your mailbox, attending meetings, answering questions from colleagues. How do they not waste our time?

The book will show five methods to help people optimize their time and energy sources, instead of spending them on useless daily habits. By formulating the standards of a productive workday, the author will help you ensure at least two hours of productivity every day.

In the following chapters, readers will learn about

  • How to take advantage of unexpected interruptions;
  • The reason why you will be more productive if you let your mind wander at the right time;
  • The ability to help people improve the working performance of fat.

Chapter 2. To be effective, you first need to recognize your "decision points".

Every day, people have to deal with a lot of tasks related to habits. Think about how many times you start your day by hopping out of bed, cleaning yourself, changing clothes, checking your mailbox, and going to a meeting. It all happens subconsciously, so rarely do we stop and wonder if that schedule of activities brings any value? So, we don't know that those habits waste a huge amount of time and energy.

For example, in the case of Doug, as an employee of the strategy department, he is responsible for writing the company's performance report every month. However, instead of completing this important work, Doug wanders around answering emails simply because it is his daily routine. This situation occurs in so many people, one of the best ways to change it is to recognize your "decision points".

At these points, people decide whether a task is completed or left unfinished, and what they need to do next. For example, if a colleague asks you out to lunch while you are writing a report, this is when you need to realize your decision point. Either sit back and finish the report, or go out to relax and eat.

If you can objectively view the options, you will easily choose which option brings you more benefits, thereby minimizing impulsive decisions.

Chapter 3. Proper use of mental energy is the next step to being productive.

In order to fulfill our responsibilities with many assigned tasks, we are forced to "weigh" their importance. Should I reply to an email or go prepare for tomorrow's meeting? Choose wisely, because human mental energy is limited.

Unfortunately, choosing itself consumes a lot of energy and makes us mentally fatigued. This condition occurs when the function of the brain is overloaded. This is where people make important decisions such as planning, editing or proceeding.

To avoid getting overwhelmed, focus on the important work first. For example, if you turn off email notifications when an email arrives, you will save energy that your mind would otherwise expend by constantly trying to refocus after checking email.

Making decisions, even the unimportant ones, takes a lot more energy than we think. Some other energy intensive jobs are communication, parallel execution of tasks, project planning.

Of course we can avoid all of those tasks, but if you realize the importance of each task, you will have a solution to allocate your energy properly.

Start by identifying what you're most bored and tired of doing, then don't do it before you need to put all your efforts into tackling more important things. For example, on the day you need to finish an important report, start the day with that instead of checking and replying to emails.

Chapter 4. Don't try to fight distractions if you want to be productive.

We've all been interrupted by emails, notifications, or unexpected events that interrupt our unfinished business. Maintaining complete focus is not easy, but the reason behind it is not as negative as people think.

To understand this better, let's go back to the olden days. Do you think our ancestors would have survived if they couldn't immediately shift their focus from the ripe fruit on the tree to the ferocious saber-toothed tigers? No, distraction is a natural feature of the brain. And if we accept that fact, we will easily control its negative effects on work performance.

The workspace also has a lot of distractions like computers or mobile phones. Besides making important contributions to the work process, these devices also disrupt human concentration. So, before you get to work, turn off their disruptive features like alarms or automatic pop-ups.

What about unexpected distractions like the sudden passing of an ambulance with a shrill sound? Not all of these things are negative, sometimes letting your mind wander is also an effective way to focus better.

It sounds absurd, but this is the truth. A study conducted by the University of California in 2012 proved that when people have to do creative work like problem solving, they will be more productive if they let their mind relax from time to time. thai. But how do you ensure that the mind relaxes only a little, not completely “strike”?

To be able to "distract" in a controlled manner, daily tasks such as cleaning tables and chairs or cooking lunch will be an ideal suggestion. In addition, you can also be proactive in this by reminding yourself, "I'm taking a break to get back to an important unfinished business." These methods will give the brain a “healthy” rest period to work more efficiently.

Chapter 5. To be productive, we need to be healthy first!

If the physical benefits aren't enough to motivate you to exercise, consider its mental health benefits. This has been demonstrated in a scientific study in which participants were shown a color image of a letter written in different colors of ink (e.g. the word “yellow” written in blue ink). . Their task is to answer the question: "What color ink is that letter written in?" or “What color is that letter written in?”. The fastest and most accurate answers belonged to those who had just finished a light exercise. The above results demonstrate the important role of physical training habits in decision making and problem solving.

In addition, other studies also show that exercise helps people focus better. Therefore, the period after returning from the gym will be the ideal suggestion for you to do important work.

But what if you don't have time to exercise? Fortunately, certain foods are just as effective as carbohydrates and fats. Research has shown that if you work out immediately after eating a carbohydrate-containing food, you will be much more focused on work. But its effect does not last long, the executive functions of the brain will fatigue again after only an hour.

Although it is hard to believe, the truth is that fats are more effective than carbohydrates. Research has shown that certain types of fat can boost brain performance within three hours of eating. In addition, people who are dehydrated will also get tired and depressed faster if they have to focus continuously. So, give your body enough water if you want to increase work efficiency.

In addition to nutrients that nourish the body, external factors also play a very important role in human productivity. Readers will learn more about this in the next chapter.

Chapter 6. Control the noise, light, and things around you to create a productive workspace.

Are you the type of person who needs absolute silence at work? In fact, noises like a few interrupted conversations or songs will inhibit people's ability to focus and perform at their best.

So, if you want to be productive, keep the door to your office closed to block out the noise or find a place where no one will disturb you (a meeting room is a good idea). In addition, light is also a factor affecting human productivity. In particular, blue and white light have a positive effect on human's ability to concentrate, and at the same time fight brain fatigue.

In a study done in the UK, people who worked under blue-white light had better focus than those who worked under white light (all other things being equal).

But if there's no way to improve lighting, there's still another factor you can change to increase productivity: clutter. All the scraps of paper or some random objects will interrupt your concentration. In addition, if the workspace allows, get up and walk around from time to time, you will be surprised at the effect that this action brings to your ability to focus and work effectively.

So, after reading this summary, get up from your familiar chair and walk around for a while. When you come back, you're ready to apply the "secrets" you learned from the book to give yourself "two hours of productivity."


You will get at least two hours of productive work if you follow these five “secrets”: be aware of your “decision point”, rational use of mental energy, see the positive side of your life. distractions, promote wellness, and create a productive work environment. Thereby, you will have enough energy for your body and mind to be ready to work at full capacity.

Lesson learned

Let's exercise!

Whenever you feel tired, lack of concentration, a gentle exercise is the most appropriate "medicine". Remember that it is not only the gym that you can exercise, just some light exercise such as walking around the area around the office or climbing a few flights of stairs can also help you mentally relax, be flexible and comfortable. much more focused.