Make Time Book Review, Summary, and Notes

Make Time is written by the bestselling authors Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. We know the authors from another book, Sprint: Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days.



📣 What is Make Time by Jack Knapp and John Zeratsky about?

The book is about improving your life by focusing on what matters to you. It's not about managing your time block by block. It's not about creating a complicated system to increase productivity. It's about trying simple and effective strategies and adjusting them to your life.

The book gives only a straightforward strategy: choose a daily highlight. The rest of the book is focused on how you can do it, how you can improve your life to achieve your Highlight, and what you can focus on having a better life.

Inside the book, there are 87 techniques that you can test in your life.

🚀 The Book in Three Sentences

  1. Highlight, Laser, Energize and Reflect is the primary strategy that includes taking notes and writing, which I like to do.
  2. There are 87 techniques in the book that covers all four topics to help you take control of your life and get rid of constant busyness.
  3. The book is not just about time management tricks, but it's more about how to better focus on what matters to you and how to support this with your all life while getting rid of the busy bandwagon mindset.

🎨 Impressions

The book is an easy read, and there is no need to read it cover to cover. However, reading the Introduction and How to Make The Works Chapters is necessary to grasp the idea.

The book's language and style are aligned with its message. The language is succinct and straightforward; reading it doesn't take much time.

If you're already aware of many health, time, and energy boost strategies, it might not give you much. But it will teach you something you didn't know.

Who Should Read It?

If you're struggling with managing your time and have issues setting time aside for your passion, you should read this book.

If you're already working on your passion all the time, you can read this book to understand what are the aspects of your life you can improve. I'm sure you will get at least one new idea.

📒 Summary + Notes

The methodology is simple but powerful if you can apply it to your life. The beauty is that there is no need to follow step by step like a recipe.

Making Time methodology consists of four elements: Highlight, Laser Mode, Energize, and Reflect.

Highlight: You choose one activity that requires your attention. The activity shouldn't take more than 90 minutes to accomplish. The Highlight can be any activity such as reading and answering many emails, preparing a marketing campaign, writing an article, developing a new feature in your app, cleaning the apartment, or fixing your car.

A highlight is a single activity that you will prioritize during your day. It doesn't matter if your focus time is in the morning or evening. Your daily goal is to do whatever your Highlight is.

When there is a highlight, your mind is more in a happy state. After you finish your Highlight, you're done. Whatever else you're doing will be much more straightforward.

Laser: During your day, your laser focus will be on your Highlight. To increase your laser focus, you have to eliminate distractions.

Email, social media, TV series, and news are everywhere, and we are usually not aware of them taking our time. These days, we can neither block all of them and live in a cave nor spend our life around them. There is a balance, which requires being mindful and adjusting how we use these technologies.

If Instagram takes four hours every day, and you're complaining that you don't have time for anything you want to do, there are tricks to reduce your time on Instagram. Nobody is telling you to stop using it. The key is finding these techniques to focus on your Highlight of the day.

Energize: Cutting out time from the distractions is alone, not enough. Your body needs the energy to focus. That's why you have to take care of your physical and mental health with exercise, food, sleep, quiet time, and face-to-face social interaction.

There are many ways you can energize yourself while keeping your focus on your Highlight. There are tiny habits you can form or small changes that help you turn your bad habits into good ones.

For example, when you consume caffeine is crucial for balancing your energy during the day. Your body has its own clock and hormones that are adjusted during evolution. The extra chemicals you take have an impact, and not only how much you take these chemicals but also when you take them has a significant impact on your overall energy during the day.

Reflect: Reflection is writing notes before going to bed. It's not long-form writing or keeping a diary. You're free to make it as short as you want and as long as you need. The important thing is that you write daily. If you're not into writing, just try it for a few days. You'll already see the change.

What do you write? You write about the techniques you tried during the day if they worked or not. If they didn't work, why? Can you adjust it a little and try again tomorrow?

If you couldn't accomplish your Highlight, it's okay. You don't have to drop everything.

It's okay to have the same Highlight for the next day. You don't have to come up with something new every day.

It's okay to take a break from the system and come back later. It's not a complex system, and you don't need to follow it for the rest of your life.

The book has many techniques that are designed to fit each section (Highlight, Laser, Energize, Reflect). The goal is to choose any of these techniques that fit your life (or adjust it to your lifestyle) and try them. If it works, try again. If it doesn't work, change it or drop it and try something else.

There are 87 techniques in the book. I'm not going to write each one because almost all of them are written very well, and I can't write again without copy-pasting from the book. However, I will include the categories' list as it appears in the Table of Contents and how many techniques there are inside the category. So, you know what you will get from the book.

  1. Highlight Tactics
    • Choose Your Highlight (7 techniques)
    • Make Time For Your Highlight (9 techniques)
  2. Laser Tactics
    • Be The Boss Of Your Phone (6 techniques)
    • Stay Out of Infinity Pools (11 techniques)
    • Slow Your Inbox (9 techniques)
    • Make TV "Sometimes Treat" (5 techniques)
    • Find Flow (7 techniques)
    • Stay In The Zone (6 techniques)
  3. Energize Tactics
    • Keep It Moving (4 techniques)
    • Eat Real Food (5 techniques)
    • Optimize caffeine (7 techniques)
    • Go Off The Grid (4 techniques)
    • Make It Personal (2 techniques)
    • Sleep In A Cave (5 techniques)
  4. Reflect (No special techniques, but it has three titles inside)

☘️ How the Book Changed Me

How my life / behavior / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.
  • I can't tell that the book changed me or my life a lot. At least, not yet.
  • As the authors suggest that we shouldn't try everything written there, I'm only trying to adopt one thing in my life; daily notes, including Highlight and Reflection.
  • Also, I realized that I already know a lot about productivity, time management, and how to focus on the essential things. I've picked up this book because I was having trouble with correctly spending time at work. I assumed that I needed a new approach or a framework. Yet, I didn't. Maybe one thing that will help me is consistently using Highlight and Reflection. I already tried writing daily Reflection before but failed miserably. Perhaps this time, it will stick, as I'm more inclined to write than before.

I expect books to enlighten me. As I don't have unlimited time and capacity, I will probably read 25 books a year. If I live 40 more years, that's only 1000 books. It sounds a lot, but not. 2,2 Million NEW BOOKS were published just in 2013. TWO MILLION and TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND. Therefore, my expectations are high from any book that I read.

How I Discovered It

I discovered the book with Amazon's recommendation algorithm when I looked for books related to Time Management.

🌟 My Review

If I was new to the time management and focus concept, I would have liked it more. This is a great book for beginners on the topic.

The book's physical quality is low. The paper and cover are of good quality, but there are full black pages, and some of these pages left their mark on the adjacent pages.

I didn't learn as much as and in a way I expected. That's not because the book doesn't contain information; it has many techniques (87, to be more specific). It's because I expected something else. As I bought it online, I couldn't look inside before buying it.

But reading the book was smooth and easy. I also liked the drawings and page design; they made the reading a pleasure.

Also the authors reminded me of the daily Highlight and Reflection methods. They also presented some tactics that I want to learn about the scientific background.

With all these, you might think that I'm not recommending the book. On the contrary, I recommend this book to the people I wrote in the "Who should read it?" title.

Book Review and Notes Last Updated: Sep 23, 2022