Things I’ve Learned From “Make Time” Book: Protect Your Time To Focus on What Matters

In this world where we have evolved to become either the most hyper-aroused productivity machine or the most distracted couch potatoes. Most people are addicted to being productive and optimizing their lives in such a way that they can work until their bodies dropped. Some are so glued into smartphones addicted to their destruction. Wait? Did I say destruction? Sure I meant DISTRACTIONS. Kidding aside, I know I am one of those who are living in both extremes sporadically.

Make Time Is Not a Productivity Book

Make Time Diagram
Make Time Diagram

I came across a book entitled Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. It was unlikely for me to pick up a physical book since I am accustomed to paying a lower price for a Kindle book. However, I want to experience the tactile feedback of the pages and be able to read through the comical book thoroughly. The book is not about increasing productivity, but it’s about literally making time for what truly matters. The authors were former Google Employees, so definitely they know what they are talking about because working in such a giant company literally needs to be efficient and productive.

Make Time by Selecting ONE Daily Highlight

Protecting Your Time
Protecting Your Time

I have recently came across The Bullet Journal Method last year and incorporated it with my systems. The idea of writing things manually makes you slow down and allow more time for your brain to process things to achieve a certain degree of clarity. Using a pen and paper allows my mind to be free from distractions since I am faced by a blank sheet of paper (or maybe a messy one with my yesterday’s notes). Selecting every day’s highlight is difficult if many things are going on in your mind (probably on your screen). So, one of the tips in the book is look at the previous day and maybe there is one thing that requires your attention that needs to get done by today.

In case of finding difficulty in selecting a highlight from the previous day, you can always opt to choose from anything under the sun which you might find it fun to do. A daily highlight doesn’t necessarily be a to-do on your list or a project that you need to get done. It could be as simple as “cook dinner for family.” The concept of making a daily highlight is to PROTECT time for a specific event or task that you would just literally prioritize this one thing in your day.

Make Time as a Mindfulness Practice

Daily Reflection Sheet from Make Time
Daily Reflection Sheet from Make Time

Well, maybe you were thinking that Make Time is easy eh? You may be familiar with the idea about the idea,

“if today would be your last day on earth, what would you do with your remaining time?”

I suppose it is the same. If we treat each day like this then we would totally be mindful about our limited time here on Earth. Selecting a daily highlight doesn’t imply to look for open projects or tasks to get done. However, it is protecting your precious time of what truly matters. It is a conscious decision each day on what you want to commit yourself into. Moreover, you can even choose toinvest time to the people you love.

The practice of choosing only ONE thing as a highlight of the day allow us to be mindful of our decisions and actions. In the book, there is also a process called Reflection in which at the end of each day, we can measure how focus we are in doing our highlight of the day. Moreover, it allows us to step back and evaluate what work well.

Make Time to be Energized

One of the tips in the book that I am really trying to practice in my life is to have regular walks and get quality sleep. For the past year, of being in quarantine, it was one of my reflections that for several years, I have been sleep-deprived. Getting sufficient sleep actually helps your body to be more energized during the workday. I often forget to treat my body as my primary asset in what I do in life. Similar with any machine, it is important to take regular check-ups and maintenance so that a machine would function to its optimum condition. Getting myself energized are composed of many factors that mostly contribute to my tranquility and most of those factors are related to my personal health such as getting enough sleep and rest.

In the book, it was mentioned that making time to be energized is necessary to be on your optimum condition. It could be taking caffeine naps, walking, exercise, and eating right foods should be one of our priorities if we truly want to make time for what is truly important.

Make Time is really a relevant book in these days. We have grown to become machines and not humans. The book also demonstrated how we have evolved into becoming the most connected specie in the planet by going back to the cave man. A cave man ate foods that are naturally meant for food (no preservatives) and sleeps in a cave especially once the sun has set (circadian rhythm). I think, going back through time allowed me to reflect on the way I live my life now and make necessary changes to it as needed.