18 minutes – Find your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman

Book Summary

This is a great book to achieve exactly what the title suggests. When I incorporate the strategies below, I get so much more out of my day.

  1. Slow down and catch your breath before responding to someone
  2. Remember life and work are marathons – you don’t sprint all day.
  3. Ensure regular stops – for me Friday arvo’s need to be my planning time and a week off every school holidays.
  4. Event – reaction – outcome = leads to failure
  5. Event – outcome – reaction = leads to success
  6. Focus on playing a game that I can win – focus on my strengths.
  7. Embrace your weaknesses and use them to ensure your success.
  8. When interviewing ask people what they do in their spare time – it is a good indicator of passion!
  9. Obsessions are a tell tale sign of success – it defines your natural motivation.
  10. Anyone can do anything so long as there are 3 conditions present:
    1. You want to achieve it
    2. You believe that you can achieve it
    3. Most important – You enjoy trying to achieve it.
  11. Read the book Outliers – It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at something. You had want to enjoy the practice.
  12. If you are passionate – you will automatically become successful.
  13. Top regrets of the dying.
    1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself , not the life others expect of me
    2. I wish I didn’t work so hard on things that didn’t matter to me
  14. The Book Human Motivation – everyone is driven by 3 things:
    1. Achievement – the desire to compete against challenging goals
    2. Affiliation – the desire to be liked / loved
    3. Power – expressed either by the desire for influence and respect for yourself or the desire to empower others to offer them influence and respect.
  15. Create a to do list and an ignore list
  16. If you want to get something done decide where and when you will do it. Break it down into 4 categories:
    1. Do it immediately
    2. Schedule it
    3. Let it go
    4. Someday / maybe
  17. Never leave something on the to do list for more than 3 days
  18. Interrupt yourself every hour to stay focussed
  19. Create an environment that allows you to naturally focus on the things that you need to do.
  20. We only need to be motivated for a few short moments. Between those moments, momentum, habits and unconscious focus kicks in. Know when you are vulnerable so that you know when to kick it in. Take getting out of bed as an example.
  21. People are more likely keep exercising only if they enjoyed their last experience.
  22. Picnics are not the answer – solve problems with people
  23. Money is not fun – don’t use it as the motivator.
  24. Fear can be used as a catalyst for change but pleasure sustains it. The one / two punch – don’t choose one – put one after the other.
  25. Schedule in transition time but make it fast – listen to concerns, then share your perspective once and move on.
  26. When on holidays, schedule a specific time to check emails, make calls etc.
  27. Multitasking or switch tasking is bullshit. Productivity goes down by as much as 40%.
  28. Catch someone doing 7 things right before you point out what they are doing wrong. Keep that ratio and they will keep moving forward.
  29. When hiring someone always ask why this won’t work for you? When they answer, say that is a good point, how would you change it for it to work for you?
  30. Use the 18 minutes template
    1. Your morning Minutes (5 minutes)
    2. Refocus (1 minutes every hour)
    3. Your evening minutes (5 minutes)

Daily preparation

  1. Am I prepared for this day?
  2. Prepared to make it a successful day?
  3. Anticipated the risks that might take me off track?
  4. Will my plan for this day keep me focused on what my year is about?
  5. Have I transferred my ‘to do’ list into my calendar?
  6. Is anything on the list that will not be done in the next 3 days?

How did the day go?

  1. Did I check in with myself every hour?
  2. What success did I experience?
  3. What challenges did I endure?
  4. What did I learn today? About myself? About others?
  5. What do I plan to do differently or the same tomorrow?
  6. Whom did I interact with today? Anyone I need to update?
  7. Thank?


To access the 18 minutes template click here – http://bregmanpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/18MinutesKit-1.pdf

To watch Peter’s Summary watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTmoVy3JFFM

To buy his book, click here – http://bregmanpartners.com/books/18-minutes/


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