Book Review: 18 Minutes

I requested free review copy of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done because I know I could be much more productive with my time. I’ve researched different productivity methods on the web and read books like Getting Things Done but have not gotten any more productive. I was hopeful this book could change that.

A large part of this book isn’t about productivity techniques but about finding your focus. The idea is that once you find your focus or passion you will be more productive since you will be spending your time on things that are important to you. I agree with this ideas but I think that way too much of the book was spent on the subject of finding your focus.

In the part of the book that actually details a productivity plan the author talks about getting the right things done. One way to determine what is important is with the three-day rule. If anything has been on his calendar for three days he does one of four things. He either performs the action immediately, schedules a specific time to do it, puts it on his someday/maybe list, or just lets it go. On letting an item go the author explains that after a to-do item has sat on your calendar for three days you will sometimes discovering that doing the item just isn’t the priority for you that you thought it was and can be deleted.

The “18 Minutes” the title refers to is a plan for managing your day that should take eighteen minutes. You spend five minutes deciding what the best things to do for the day are and then take them off your to-do list and put them on your calendar for the day. You then spend one minute each working hour refocusing. This is to make sure you don’t get off track during the day. You then spend five minutes at the end of the day reviewing how the day went. The author states that if you make this process a ritual it will make it easier for you to get the right things done.

I can’t say that this productivity plan has made me more productive but that is because I have never tried to implement it. One problem I have with implementing the plan is that the various parts of it are scattered throughout the book and there is no recap of exactly what the plan is. I’m thinking that an ideal productivity book would be a very slender volume but since people wouldn’t want to pay much for a thin book productivity books have lots of extra content.

What I need to do is come up with my own productivity plan based on all the productivity tips I’ve read about and then actually do it. You might find “the post on productivity I wish someone else had written” to be helpful if you have struggled with productivity.

This book does have some good information on productivity and the plan could work for you. If you have read lots of other productivity books though I don’t think you will find that this book offers anything much different from the others.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: 18 Minutes”

  1. This is going to sound like bragging but it isn’t. It is almost a call for help. I’m a writer/SAHM/blogger/lover of all things with saving money but I over-organize to the point of not being able to relax. I’m trying to finish a book, write for my blog, find someone to set up a website, still take care of my family and keep a spotless house. I can’t stop. I’m spinning my wheels and honestly, not making any money. Do I walk away? I really don’t know what to do. I love to write but why? Sorry I feel like I’m at confessional. Do you feel like a priest? LOL


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