18 Minutes Summary


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Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/18-minutes-summary/

Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done


Let’s face it: no matter what you do, you never have enough time to get the right things done!

Peter Bregman wondered how is this possible for quite a long time in his life. He believes both to have found the answer to this question, and the solution for the problem. After all, that’s why he wrote “18 Minutes”.

We, on the other hand, digested his book in a nifty summary. So that we save you some time.

Since that’s one of the points of Bregman’s book, we’re pretty sure that he’ll approve this summary.

Who Should Read “18 Minutes”? And Why?

18 Minutes” is one of those books a person living in the 19th century would never get, but a person living in the 21st century would deem it an essential guidebook. Its goal is to teach you how to focus and, by focusing, do some meaningful work.

Consequently, it’s a book intended for everyone who has ever felt that he is wasting his or her time, or, even worse, life. It’s also a book about would-be entrepreneurs and, generally, people preparing for a busy life.

Since doing meaningful things leads to a sense of fulfillment, “18 Minutes” can be additionally read by students looking for the right career, and people looking for some happiness in their jobs.

About Peter Bregman

Peter Bregman is an author of three books related to leadership, business and career choice. He has also contributed to five more.

Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Replace Counter-Productive Habits with Ones That Really Work was a New York Post top pick in 2015. “18 Minutes” was a Wall Street Journal bestseller and an Axiom Business Gold medal winner.

He is the CEO of Bregman Partners Inc. and the host of the Bregman Leadership Podcast.

"18 Minutes Summary"

Three words. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.

On average, you spend at least an hour browsing them. Every day. For 365 days a year.

Considering how little time you have once you subtract from 24 hours those eight you sleep through and the other eight you’re working – an hour is a lot of time!

And Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are merely part of the story. What about Netflix and TV? Statistics say that on average, adults are watching more than 5 hours of television per day!

Good luck making your dreams come true during the 2 hours left!

Get this:

According to Peter Bregman, that’s about 1 hour and 42 minutes more than you really need! As the title of his most famous book claims, you can get to the top in merely 18 minutes! And in only a few steps.

First thing’s first:

Pause! Take a breath! Stop and reconsider what you’re currently doing. Think about your to-do list and the things you can and can’t do today. As we’ve already told you, life is a marathon. You won’t get to the end if you sprint through the first stages.

Moving on!

Once you’ve paused and reconsidered your habits, it’s time to get some direction. Don’t do things merely because you’ve learned to do them. Also, don’t learn new things merely because someone else is doing them.

Get some direction! Limit your choices! It’s always easier to do something if you prevent your brain from thinking too much about what you’re not doing.

So, choose your five greatest strengths and, once you do, start ignoring everything else. Just focus on developing and polishing them exclusively. Bregman makes a strong case that you can find a way to use even your weaknesses to your benefit.

It’s simple: just find a profession where your weaknesses may be considered strengths.

Also, don’t forget your unique traits! They’re exactly what makes you – you! It’s good for social reasons to be part of the multitude. But, it’s better, for your sake, to pursue what makes you different from the rest! After all, that’s how the market works! Offer them what others can’t!

Now, you’re ready for the 18-minute plan!

It consists of three parts:

  • Start your day by spending five minutes going over your daily schedule. In addition to the “to do” list, make another – “to not do” list. You’ll need to know what you’ll need to ignore in order not to be distracted.
  • Take a one-minute break every hour during the 8 hours of your workday. Use that minute to contemplate your progress and see what’s left. This way, you won’t lose your focus that easily.
  • Finally, end your day with a five-minute review. If you had missed something, make a mental note. We learn best from our mistakes. It’s good if you note them daily.
Congratulations: you’ve mastered Bregman’s course!

Consequently, you’re ready for achieving greatness!

Key Lessons from “18 Minutes”

1. Delineating Yourself 2. The Simple 18-Minute Plan 3. Defeating Distractions

Delineating Yourself

You’re not everything everybody is! It’s a simple maxim, and yet you’re bound to forget it as soon as you see somebody playing guitar, directing a movie, or managing a bank.

The idea of achieving more is closely related to the idea of accepting to be less. This is, in Bregman’s view, not so bad. It’s just how the world works.

By choosing the five strengths you’re most best at and most passionate about, you’re simply delineating your existence. You cannot be a banker, a footballer, and a poet.

The sooner you decide what to focus on, the sooner you’ll become great at it!

The Simple 18-Minute Plan

The main idea of Bregman’s book is fairly straightforward: 18 minutes is all it takes to turn your life upside-down!

And we’ve gone through the three simple steps. Five minutes in the morning for preparation for the day, and five minutes before sleep for a quick review. Also, one-minute break each of the eight working hours.

It’s merely 18 minutes, but it’s enough to get you on the right tracked. Motivated and focused.

Defeating Distractions

Woody Allen once wrote: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

And he has a point!

Because, plan all you want to, something will certainly come up. The only way to minimize the impact is if you set boundaries to your initiative.

For example, if you need to work an hour in solitary conditions, leave your mobile phone aside for a while and ban everybody from knocking at your door.

A good idea is to block few time-consuming sites for the period.

You will be better off without them. Trust us.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“18 Minutes” Quotes

[bctt tweet="Think of 18 Minutes as the FIND ME button for your life. It will guide you to your most effective self." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet=“Reducing your forward momentum is the first step to freeing yourself from the beliefs, habits, feelings, and busyness that may be limiting you.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“A brief pause will help you make a smarter next move.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Regular rest stops are useful interruptions. They will refuel your body and mind, naturally reorient your life toward what’s important to you, and create the time and space to aim your efforts more accurately.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“To maximize your potential, you need to peer through the expectations that limit you and your choices. You need to see the world as it is—and yourself as you are.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Life isn’t just about some of you; it’s about all of you. Don’t negate, integrate.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Don’t settle for being less than you are. It won’t serve others and it won’t serve you.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Knowing what outcome you want will enable you to focus on what matters and escape the whirlwind of activity that too often leads nowhere fast.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“We don’t actually multitask. We switch-task. And it’s inefficient, unproductive, and sometimes even dangerous. Resist the temptation.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“The world doesn’t reward perfection. It rewards productivity.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Don’t settle for imperfect. Shoot for it.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Stay alert and adapt to changing situations. Keep your eye on the ball, whichever ball that may be.” username=“get12min”]

Our Critical Review

It takes a lot more than 18 minutes to read through Peter Bregman’s “18 Minutes”. After all, it’s about 300 pages long. And yet one feels that his suggestions, as essential and helpful as they are, amount to not much more than a third of an hour. That’s, more or less, as long as our summary.

Now, most of Bregman’s book offers not much more than common-sense pieces of advice. He gets right to the point, and he doesn’t risk saying anything radical or groundbreaking. Interestingly enough, that’s the best part of this book.

So, instead of considering it a guide, think of it as a reminder. Not a treasury of new methods, but a way to never forget some important life lessons you’ve already learned.