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Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want Hardcover – February 24, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Peter Bregman is back, this time with an even faster way to find your focus and get back on track when life throws you off. His honesty and empathy for his own failings make Four Seconds a refreshing read.” (Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive)

“Bregman’s insights are life-changing, often surprising, and—most importantly—entirely practical. His strategies can be used every day, take very little of your time, and yet yield extraordinary results.” (Heidi Grant Halvorson, associate director, Motivation Science Center, Columbia Business School, and author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently)

“This book is priceless, a book that could change your career, your marriage, your life. I hope you get a chance to read it.” (Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception)

From the Back Cover

All too often our best efforts to accomplish the things we want most—to do our jobs well, to make meaningful contributions at home and at work, to have satisfying relationships with loved ones, friends, neighbors, and coworkers—are built on bad habits that sabotage us. We feel overwhelmed by our increasingly large to-do list, so we automatically multitask to get more done—and end up more stressed and more overloaded. We say something with the hopes of impressing the other person, but instead of end them—then spend days trying to repair the damage. We give what we think is a pep talk to our team— but they walk away demotivated.

How can we be most effective and productive in a world that moves too fast and demands so much of us?

In Four Seconds, Peter Bregman shows that the answer is to pause for as few as four seconds—the length of a deep breath—to replace bad habits and reactions with more productive behaviors. In his trademark style of blending personal anecdotes with practical advice, Bregman reveals some of our most common counter-productive tendencies and describes counter-intuitive strategies for acting more intentionally, including:

  • Why setting goals can actually harm your performance
  • How to use strategic disengagement to recover focus and willpower
  • Why listening—not arguing—is the best strategy for changing someone's mind
  • How taking responsibility for someone else's failure can actually help you succeed

Drawn from Bregman's hugely popular Harvard Business Review blog, this engaging and wise book provides simple solutions to create the results you want without the stress.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (February 24, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062372416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062372413
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to improve your life, read this book. "Four Seconds" shows us how to pause, wait, and think before acting; it's all about avoiding those ‘knee-jerk’ reactions in our day-to-day lives. Subverting our impulses and replacing them with positivity can seed itself into every aspect of our lives and help eliminate negative habits that are holding us back. Bregman offers invaluable insights that can help almost anyone improve their relationships, business and personal. You’ll find his advice ringing in your ears throughout the day. This is truly the type of read that sticks with you and noticeably changes the way you view your interactions and decisions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Peter Bregman tells stories about his life to share ideas on productivity, performance, and life. The ideas are simple to understand though they may be challenging to implement. Each chapter focuses on one key idea. Some you may already do, some you may question. The others may be useful, at least for a while.

Some of the ideas are focused on productivity. For example, he recommends limiting the number of times you check email. The ones I found more valuable address the far more important issues of interacting with other people and managing our own actions and reactions. Better to avoid a fire than have to fight it.

Each story / lesson / chapter is only a few pages long, and each stands alone well enough that it can be read by itself.

Four Seconds is structured like his previous book 18 Minutes. Both are intended to dramatically improve your life by introducing rituals that can be done quickly.

The book is unlikely to make you laugh or cry, but that isn't its goal. It will make you smile, and think, for at least four seconds.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I saw all the User Reviews giving 5 stars to this book I thought they exaggerated. They didn't. So here I am, adding my 5 stars to help attract attention. This book is a treasure. Giving very practical and so much needed tools and information on our today's life and work style. Though I don't need to justify anything, reading this book you realise how astonishing you can turn your life around in 4 seconds (or less). Recommended for you, yes you, that you believe you don't have the time to read, or the money to buy it.
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Format: Hardcover
Imagine if you could change your life in just four seconds. Peter Bregman makes a compelling case that you can improve your relationships, achieve more professional success, and even stick to your health goals in the amount of time it takes to pause, breath and "course correct." Four Seconds is a fun and compelling read as Bregman uses examples from his own life--and often from his own family--to share his own lessons learned as he became more mindful and skillful in his personal and professional life. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simply put…(pause for a deep, four-second breath)…Peter Bregman is a master storyteller. Picking up where he left off with his entertaining and inspirational “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done,” Bregman shows us how, by using his incredibly simple, but amazingly powerful, “Four Seconds” method, we can become more mindful, dramatically enhance our personal and professional productivity, reduce our stress, and increase our overall happiness.

Whether talking about a piece of blue gum stuck to a guy's shoe or reflecting on a family incident, Bregman has an innate observational ability to pluck from his own everyday experiences, valuable and memorable life and leadership lessons that are universal. And through his simple-yet-powerful (and highly engaging) stories and astute insights, he enables us to re-examine ourselves, and our own everyday situations, with fresh new eyes.

With a better understanding of both the things we need to START doing, and (in many ways even more importantly) the things we need to STOP doing, "Four Seconds" helps us to better navigate our personal and professional lives, the decisions we make, and the actions we take...all while breathing just a little bit easier.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic book that really resonated with me, i read it today in one sitting i know i will be rereading this again very soon. Great tips and techniques for life, work and personal relationships as well. I highly recommend this book.Thanks Peter!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Four Seconds is simply wonderful! This enjoyable, easy-flowing collection of vignettes is chock full of lessons for leadership, business and life. Want to manage email? Need to learn to deal with anger - your own or that of others? Need to find time to think? Want to stop making mistakes? You'll find the answers to each of these situations - and many, many more - in the pages of this book. If you're not yet convinced, buy it and turn to page 140, where you'll discover the secret to getting an upgrade to first class! That alone should be reason enough to take Four Seconds along on your next business trip.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the best books I've read ever hands down, literally had a hard time putting it down. I absolutely loved the bite-sized knowledge structure of this book illustrated by captivating and memorable stories. Now I know why Seth Godin suggests it. Buy yourself a copy of it right now!
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