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18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done Hardcover – September 28, 2011
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The 30 Best Self Help Books
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18 MINUTES is an intensely smart, insanely readable, and eminently practical guide to boosting our effectiveness and deepening our satisfaction. I've already benefited from the ideas in is book in my own work. So will you.
-- Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind (
Pick this book up and read it. Bregman's wisdom, humility, and ability to tell a great story run through every page of this gem. 18 Minutes is the best blend of a business book and a self-help book I have ever read.
--Robert Sutton, Stanford University Professor and bestselling author of Good Boss, Bad Boss (
Feeling in control of your time is a key element of happiness. In the thoughtful, practical, and often funny 18 MINUTES, Peter Bregman explains how to make sure we have plenty of time to do the things that matter most to us -- so that our lives reflect our true values and priorities.
--Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project (
Bregman has taken the advice from his popular Harvard Business Review columns and turned it into a book for people who feel that they don't have enough hours in the day to do what they need to do. He offers straightforward advice: focus your priorities at the annual, daily, and moment-to-moment level; determine your goals; eliminate distractions that don't let you achieve those goals; and be firm regarding your boundaries. While the reader has no doubt heard this advice from other self-help books, Bregman's anecdotes are helpful and funny, his advice is sound, and his points are easy to grasp. Hopefully readers will find what he has to say useful and not just a retread of things they already know--multitasking is a myth, take time to refocus throughout the day, motivate your employees with fun--from other sources.
--Publishers Weekly (
About the Author
Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, a global management consultancy where he is the advisor to CEOs as well as to their top management teams on leadership and workplace issues. He is based in New York City.
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Top customer reviews
However. There are some great takeaways from this book. It's worth the read just to get the system down. It works immediately.
Step 1. Work from a world of having 3-7 goals (max) each year.
Step 2. Spend 95% a day on your goals, and 5% a day on that crap you have to do, like emails and calls.
Step 3. Follow the daily regimen to check in with yourself each hour, at end of day ETC.
Overall the value of the book comes to help RECENTER you. That's the gift you receive from reading it. If you're a fan of this topic, the 2 other books that I found were super valuable was 12 weeks, and Manage Your Day To Day. SUPER VALUABLE!
Another reason I put it in the "bathroom book" category is that there are not a lot of interactive exercises or challenges. It's just "Hey, think about this concept."
I've rated it three stars because, while it's not an awful book and the writing is quite good, the concepts tend to be platitudes on the level of "follow your passion", and there's not much actionable in it. Plus, I knew almost all the jokes used to start chapters, and I'd heard similar stories too. Combined with the platitudinal nature of the concepts, I just didn't feel like I learned much. If you have not read other self-improvement books, you might not have that problem. This one wouldn't be horrible as your first one, but you would want to get others for some depth to really get benefit, I think.
If you want something more substantial, I'd suggest either Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life if you want something general about ramping up your success, or The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism if you are more interested in the public sides of your career.
That said, the system in this book was unlike others I have read about but made sense and seemed easy enough to implement. I read this book a year ago and I still use parts of the system today (on good days).
The one real problem with this book is that it seems to assume that the reader owns her own business or is heavily invested in her job. For example, the book advises the reader to pick 5 main areas in life (about 3 professional and 2 personal) and divide their time roughly equally between them. However, I have a day job that demands 80% of my waking hours but doesn't contribute to my life goals, so the system doesn't totally work for me. But, you know, it's easy enough to modify and it's an interesting read.
Also loved his anecdotes. Peter Bregman seems to have the most interesting life in the world and someday I will have it too.