Ever have Dawn-til-Dusk Days?
No, I’m not referring to vampires here.
Days when you are running non-stop, 100 miles per hour from morning til night?
You are the non-cartoon, business version of the Tazmanian Devil.
Firing off emails.
Multi-tasking (during those meetings.)
Texting while driving.
Banging out proposals.
Firing off more emails….
You are making things happen.
The day starts and the day ends.
You’ve done a ton of stuff.
But then you examine what really happened… and you’re not certain the most important issues were addressed or advanced.
Plenty of movement, to be sure.
As to the amount of action?
At least not as often as you do now.
The subtitle of 18 Minutes is Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done. I implemented several of his suggestions this past week. They work.
Sure – it’s only been one week, but I think I’ll be able to stick with Bregman’s suggestions because they are simple. They make intuitive sense. After reading David Allen’s popular, Getting Things Done, I struggled with his suggestions. There was an awful lot going on.
And maybe even folders for the other folders?
I’m confused easily and the various elements in his program seemed like more effort than it was worth. I tapped out after 8 weeks.
Bregman’s approach is different.
He starts off by saying you’re not going to get everything done.
You’re not and you won’t.
Now… let’s focus on what truly matters and develop habits that help us avoid the everyday BS dragging us down.
Meetings to prep for other meetings.
Checking email 16x each day.
Things like that….
One technique that saved me a few hours last week is the Beep. Bregman encourages readers to set 8 (8 of the 18 minutes referred to in the title) alarms during the day – a beep at the end of every hour.
When the beep goes off, ask these questions:
1. Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now?
2. Am I being who I most want to be right now?
“At first it seemed counterintuitive to interrupt myself each hour. Aren’t interruptions precisely what we’re trying to avoid? But these one-minute-an-hour interruptions are productive interruptions. They bring us back to doing what, and being who, will make this a successful day.
This isn’t all about staying on plan. Sometimes the beep will ring and I’ll realize that, while I’ve strayed from my calendar, whatever it is I’m working on is what I most need to be doing. In those situations I simply shift items on my calendar so my most important priorities still get done and I make intentional choices about what I will leave undone.”
This past week I set 8 alarms on my iPhone and tried out the Beep.
On multiple occasions I found myself completing work that needed to be done, but it wasn’t work that needed to be done immediately to help me accomplish my primary goals for the week.
Bregman has gone to the Seth Godin-Dan Pink-Heath Bros. school of writing.
Good company, to be sure.
The hallmarks of this writing style are chapter-leading short stories, frequent self-deprecation, short chapters (5 pages or less) and detailed summaries. The pace of 18 is brisk. It’s an easy read.
Bottom Line: This book will pay for itself in 20 minutes. Even if you don’t like to read, you like being productive. Try before you buy via Peter Bregman’s fantastic blog. Bregman also contributes regularly to the Harvard Business Review and NPR.
Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com). He’s reading 52 books this year. He’s trailing by 4 books at the moment. Plenty of time left….
26. 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman
Categories: Libro 52 Challenge