This is one of the frequently recommended books on productivity. Having read Deep Work, Four Hour Work Week, and Atomic Habits, I was not expecting to find much new information here. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover new tricks I could apply immediately. On top of that, it was nice to revisit previously read techniques.
Make Time is a very presentable book that mixes efficient structure with a conversational writing style. The result is a modern take on the difficult subject of productivity, especially applicable to knowledge workers like myself.
The book revolves around the Highlight, Laser, Energise, and Reflect cycle. It’s a good abstraction to plan one’s deep work daily.
What I liked
- Nicely presented with visual aids.
- Relatable stories.
- Easy to follow and apply.
- Never gets boring.
- Good to learn from authors’ experiments.
- Urk the hunter-gatherer analogy was spot-on in explaining why we go about things the way we do.
- Insider thoughts about why today’s apps and social networks are so irresistible.
What I didn’t like
- A bulk of the advice is not new or common sense.
The authors list 87 tactics to deal with the aforementioned four pillars of the make-time cycle. My favorite ones include the following:
- Tactic 7: Run a personal sprint.
- Tactic 16: Quit when you are done.
- Tactic 17: Try a distraction-free iPhone
- Tactic 23: Skip the morning check-in
- Tactic 25: Ignore the news
- Tactic 30: Watch out for time craters
- Tactic 49: Invent a deadline
- Tactic 54: Start on paper
- Tactic 55: Make a “random question” list
- Tactic 56: Notice one breath
- Tactic 61: Exercise every day (but don’t be a hero)
- Tactic 65: Eat like a hunter-gatherer
Make Time is an easy-to-recommend book, even to folks who aren’t too much into reading. If you have never read a productivity book before, grab a copy and start reading. It might be the best book you’ll read on the topic.