1-1-1 Book Review: 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman

May 30th, 2012 Karine Joly 6 Comments

Blogging is like exercise for me.

If I can make it part of my daily routine, I will find the time for a 30- to 60-minute session very easily. However, if I skip one or two sessions, it can get very tough to get back to it.

Case in point: it’s been almost a month since my last post. While I got back to running last week, it’s been tougher to find make the time to blog.

Between the weekly duties for the graduate online course on social media marketing campaigns I teach at SNHU, the conference presentations I’m working on, the conference trips, the planning and development of our new course and event offerings as well as a zillion other professional and personal (like baking a Stegosaur birthday cake last week) things to do, it has been really tough to find the time.

So, I’ve decided to take it – even if my slides for one of the 2 presentations I’ll give next week at the 8th Annual Innovations in e-Learning Symposium are not 100% done yet.
I’ve decided to take the time to share with you a quick review of a book I’ve recommended ever since I read it a couple of months ago. It is a good one, so keep reading :-)

But, before I go further, let me add a quick disclaimer: while the current state of my schedule might make you wonder if I learned anything from this book, it is important to note that I’m currently dealing with the consequences of the choices I made BEFORE reading this book :(

So, here’s is my 1-1-1 Express Book Review of “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done” by Peter Bregman.18 Minutes by Peter Bergman

  • 1 thing I liked

    This is a book offering a solution to a very common problem: the increasing demand on our time resulting in an everything (information, communication, work, choice) overload. I really liked the fact that the author, Peter Bregman who is also a columnist for the Harvard Business Review, explains and shows through several examples that this everything overload issue has now become a fact of life for many (everybody?).

    Bergman puts it brilliantly in this short paragraph: “Because there’s so much to do – so many interesting people, enjoyable activities, worthwhile causes, compelling opportunities – it’s hard to choose. So we don’t. We try to do it all.”
    Reading this book made me feel normal again – and not just another unorganized, less efficient person unable to manage all she had to do. The book made me feel better.

  • 1 thing I didn’t like too much

    Sorry, but I can’t think of anything I didn’t like in this book, so I’m not going to make something up just to follow the format (and you’ll read this post quickly this way, I know you’re busy ;-).

  • 1 big take-away from the book

    There are many take-away in this book: from defining your annual (life?) goals to focusing on daily activities that will help you achieve what’s important to YOU. The book title comes from the daily ritual Bergman offers as a way to stay on track: 18 minutes per day (5 in the morning, 5 in the evening, 1 minute every hour) to plan, refocus and reflect. Here is how he sums it all up: “just 18 minutes a day can save you hours of inefficiency. The trick is to choose your focus deliberately and wisely, and then consistently remind yourself of that focus throughout the day.

    I’ve been using a variant of this ritual by creating my daily to-do list for the next day just before I physically leave my office at the end of the day. It has definitely helped me refocus on important (if not urgent) items such as getting back to blogging with this post :-)

6 Responses

  1. Erik says:

    I’m definitely going to have to check this one out – focus is something I sorely need. Too many days go by where I end up saying…”So what did I actually do today?” I like Jason Fried’s take on this in Rework, also.

  2. Krista says:

    What a great book recommendation! I also appreciate your candor with how you manage your blog along with everything else in life and in work. I also struggle to find a balance between the two (or three) but perhaps a fresh look on time and organization will help.

  3. Karine Joly says:

    Thanks, Krista. It feels good to know that one is not alone :-)

    Erik, I read ReWork and this a very good one too. I see the focus of Rework more on organizations and teams than on the individual.

    What I really liked in “18 minutes” is the fact that Bregman offers advice for the “whole you” (professional and personal).

  4. Thanks for this review. Looks like a worthwhile read. As for your other distractions from blogging, that stegosaur cake was totally worth it. Any kid (and many adults) would love a birthday cake like that. You are a cool mom!

  5. Karine Joly says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Andy. Too bad you live so far away, I would have baked a guitare cake for you ;-)

  6. [...] one comes highly recommended by Karine Joly, one of the most productive bloggers I know. Read her 1-1-1 review of this [...]

Got a question or comment?