Back to Blinkist – Summary of “Make Time”
I love readings books but I didn’t get chance to read any book since I came here, I was reading ‘Tipping Point’ when I came here so I packed that. And, I did not open that book since I came! I often look that book on my table and wonder why did I pack it (no wonder I had extra luggage) – I started reading ‘Love warrior’ by Glennon two months ago and read 50% to date, and I still have not finished it yet. (Trust me, I am not being lazy when it comes to reading books lol).
I was craving “knowledge” from last couple of days – people who read books know what I mean when I say that. So I was looking for “something” to read and all of sudden I remembered “Blinkist” – one of my favorite app! I downloaded the app right away and opened app as soon as it was downloaded; same as a hungry child open their lunchbox as soon as the break time bell rings.
To my surprise, the Blinkist of the day was “Make Time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. It was exactly what I needed! The book is about modern life and our busy routines. It often feels like there are never enough hours in the day to do the things we really want to do. If we’re honest with ourselves, though, we’ll see that the culprit isn’t just the modern world; it’s also ourselves. We often make ourselves busier than we have to be. Then, when we’re done being busy, we spend the rest of our time glued to social media, television, and email!
To regain our time and pursue the activities and projects we’ve been putting on the backburner, the solution, it would seem, is simple: stop being busier than we have to be, and avoid the distractions that are whittling our days away. Of course, these things are much easier said than done. If we want a real fighting chance of doing them, we’re going to need to understand the underlying causes of busyness and distraction. Then, we must implement a strategy to overcome them. To bring that strategy to life, we’ll need some practical tactics.
This book highlights why we’re so busy and distracted, why productivity and willpower alone aren’t enough to solve the problem and how to develop a four-step strategy to regain our time. I am not going to share the complete Blinkist but two of my favorite parts from it:
- We lose our time to busyness and distractions.
Why do we feel like there’s never enough time to do the things we really want to do? The simple answer would seem to be that there’s just too much to do on any given day – too many emails to answer, too many meetings to attend, too many Facebook posts to keep up with. But that’s only partially true. The full truth is that our lack of time is, to some extent, self-imposed.
There are two phenomena at work here. The first is the Busy Bandwagon. This is the modern mindset that tells us that we must squeeze as much work as possible into every moment of the day. It urges us to be constantly productive, resulting in overloaded inboxes, jam-packed calendars, and never-ending to-do lists.
The second phenomenon is the rise of Infinity Pools. Unless you’ve been hiding in an underground bunker for the past decade, you’re most likely already familiar with these. Think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix and news websites. Instantly available with a mere tap of the screen or click of the mouse, they’re essentially apps and other digital sources of limitless, inexhaustible, constantly-replenishing content – whether it be information, entertainment or a bit of both.
As anyone who has encountered them knows first-hand, these Infinity Pools can be quite the time wasters – and statistics back this up. On average, we spend four hours watching television and another four hours staring at our smartphones per day – the equivalent of a full-time job! Now, combine that second job with our actual full-time jobs, which are hectic enough by themselves and often spill into our non-work hours because of the Busy Bandwagon. Well, it’s clear where all the time goes, right?
What’s worse is that the Busy Bandwagon and Infinity Pools have joined forces to become a tag-teaming duo of time destroyers. Exhausted by the Busy Bandwagon, we’re easily enticed into plunging into the Infinity Pools and passively soaking up their content. The result is endless tasks and endless distractions, with us bouncing back and forth between the two all day long – day in, day out.
- To overcome busyness and distractions, you need to change the default settings of your behavior.
If willpower alone isn’t enough to defeat Infinity Pools, and if productivity just makes the Busy Bandwagon stronger, how do we escape their clutches? Well, as with vanquishing a supervillain, the answer lies in identifying the ultimate source of their superpower and taking it away from them.
That source can be summarized in one word: reactivity. Both the Busy Bandwagon and Infinity Pools derive their power from our being unmindfully reactive to external stimuli. A colleague emails you with a question, and you feel obligated to respond to it immediately. Your phone buzzes with a notification, and you feel compelled to look at the screen.
You do these things without even thinking about them – and that’s precisely the problem. Riding the Busy Bandwagon and wallowing in Infinity Pools have become our automatic behavioral reactions to professional demands and digital technologies.
If we think of our minds as computers and our behaviors as a program, we could say that unmindfully reactive behaviors have become our default settings. At the beginning of each day, this is how we’re already set up to respond to the stimuli of demands and technology we’ll encounter. This is similar to how, when you turn on your phone for the first time, it defaults to sending you certain notifications, displaying a certain background and playing a certain ringtone.
If you know how to operate a phone, you know how to reprogram its default settings to change the notifications, background, and ringtone to your liking. This book teaches you how to reprogram your own default settings in order to stop being unmindfully reactive, which leads to falling into the traps of the Busy Bandwagon and Infinity Pools.
Summary of the book:
The main reasons we feel like we never have enough time are the Busy Bandwagon and Infinity Pools: the ethos that encourages busyness for its own sake and the apps that keep us distracted with endless communication and entertainment. Productivity and willpower alone are not enough to overcome these two forces of time wastage. Instead, we need a mindful, proactive strategy to deal with them. To that end, you can use a variety of tactics to implement a four-step strategy of choosing a daily highlight, focusing on it, energizing yourself and reflecting on the results.
Call to action:
Take some time to think about tasks you perform daily, identify distractions in your life, in your daily routine. Evaluate them critically and think if you REALLY REALLY need to spend your valuable time on it? Is that something that is going to matter after a few years? Is that something that is adding or going to add value to your future life? If not, remove them immediately. Priorities your daily tasks based on their impact. And lastly, make time to actually read this book to learn more tools and techniques to “Make Time” – it’s worth it!. : )