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Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less Hardcover – Illustrated, March 5, 2019
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From the Inside Flap
Everyone gets 168 hours a week, but it never feels like enough, does it? Work gobbles up the lion's share--many professionals work as much as 70 hours a week--leaving less and less margin for rest, exercise, family, and friends. If we're not careful, we can trade what matters most for a task list that grows longer by the day. What's the solution?
In Free to Focus, New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt reveals nine proven ways to win at work so you are finally free to succeed at the rest of life: your health, relationships, and more. He helps you
· redefine your work so it works for you
· filter your tasks and commitments
· cut out the nonessentials
· eliminate interruptions and distractions
· set boundaries that protect your focus and drive results
· leverage your time and energy for maximum productivity
· build momentum for a lifetime of success
Most people think productivity is about finding or saving time. But it's not. It's about making your time work for you. Just imagine having margin and free time again. It's not a pipe dream. You can be free to focus, starting today.|Michael Hyatt is the founder and CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company, a leadership development firm specializing in transformative live events, workshops, and digital and physical planning tools. Formerly chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael is also a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of several books, including Living Forward, Your Best Year Ever, and Platform. His work has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and other publications. Michael has been married to his wife, Gail, for 40 years. They have five daughters, three sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren. They live just outside Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more at MichaelHyatt.com.
From the Back Cover
"Free to Focus will push you to use your time well and to become a better version of the person you were created to be."--Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio show host
"Great stories are thought through before they're written. Great lives are the same. Mike gives us a framework to plan our lives in such a way that we won't have to experience regret. This is a great book."--Donald Miller, New York Times bestselling author; founder and CEO, StoryBrand
"Busyness is meaningless. What matters is consistently executing the work that actually matters. This book shows you how."--Cal Newport, New York Times bestselling author, Deep Work and Digital Minimalism
"Michael Hyatt is one of the best leaders I know. Leaders rely on smart systems to help them lead in the office as well as at home, and Free to Focus provides the kind of system that every smart leader craves."--John C. Maxwell, author, speaker, and leadership expert
"I've been where you may be now--buried under a mountain of daily tasks, watching my biggest goals and most important projects slip further and further out of reach. Here's the solution. Michael Hyatt has created a productivity system that really works. Free to Focus does not disappoint."--Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author, The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity
- Item Weight : 14.3 ounces
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0801075262
- ISBN-13 : 978-0801075261
- Product Dimensions : 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
- Publisher : Baker Books; Illustrated Edition (March 5, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #13,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I almost drowned.
I enjoyed body surfing, but because I was a tall guy, I needed to go out relatively far to decrease the chance a wave would slam me into the ocean floor. I was cautious, staying between the flags on Maroubra Beach (where I loved the large waves). However, after swimming from the shore a bit one time, when I looked back I was no longer between the flags and much further out than I expected. A riptide had “assisted” me.
No matter how hard I tried to get back, I was getting no closer to the beach. Those gigantic waves I loved were pounding me, especially when I finally gave up on my male ego and raised my hands so the lifeguards would see, and save, me.
But they didn’t see, or save, me. All raising my hand did was bring me closer to drowning. I was spent.
Praise God, a few body board surfers came within shouting distance, and I yelled, “I am not going to make it.” The body board one of them lent me is why I can share this story today.
Why this apparently unconnected story in a book review?
At work, school, or otherwise in life, do you feel like you can never get ahead of all the tasks you have to accomplish? Like you’ve been pulled out so far, that you can never reach the shore accomplishment-wise? Battered and soon to drown unless you somehow figure out how to swim harder and faster? Like raising your hand for help does no good? (I remember one case where, when I mentioned to my boss I was a bit overwhelmed, her immediate request was for me to create a list of everything I was doing. Hand raised, wave dunking me under.)
Well, if you feel like that, Michael Hyatt’s Free to Focus is the body board that can save you and get you to shore every single day.
With a sense of accomplishment.
Hyatt’s book is the right combination of facts, inspiration, and practical advice. Facts that show you why you need to change how you work. Stories and quotes that will inspire you to try.
And practical advice on how to.
It is a system he had to develop for himself, since:
“My problem back then was doing to much-mostly by myself. Later I realized focusing on everything means focusing on nothing.”
We are scattered.
We can stop both from happening.
Without going into specifics (that’s what the book is for):
“If productivity isn’t fundamentally about improving efficiency and increasing success, then what is the goal? Why should we bother? That brings us to the real objective, and Free to Focus’s underlying foundation: productivity should free you to pursue what’s most important to you. The goal, the true objective of productivity, should be freedom...”
Not just trying to squeeze more work in. Not measuring success on success. Instead, focusing on what is important. To you. True success will follow.
I received a pre-release electronic copy to review, but I was so impressed I pre-ordered hardcover copies for boss and myself. (Don’t tell him, it’s a surprise.) I will be getting more coworkers copies and discussing it with my peers and my team.
It’s that good.
As an avid user of Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner, it didn’t surprise me his book would be so useful, and it has encouraged me to start leveraging the planner more fully. If you are drowning at work, don’t swim harder or raise your hand for help. Grab this body board. Apply its advice. You won’t regret it.
Instead of summarizing the book (there will be hundreds of reviews because Michael Hyatt is a marketing guru in addition to his productivity expertise), I will provide some comments based on my experience with the Full Focus Planner and background as a research psychologist.
Many psychological principles are embedded in the book, such as the importance of articulating a clear purpose for improving self-control and self-discipline (which is rooted in value choices that come from purpose). Michael also seems to understand that self-discipline is mediated through habits and not willpower. The book articulates some aspects of ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy) such as making a commitment to a productivity vision rooted in personal values and accepting your personal situation for what it is. It includes “envisioning a better future” which has been effective in self-management interventions. The actionable, practical nature of the system promotes a problem-solving focus, which characterizes effective behavioral interventions. There is an extended discussion of limiting beliefs and liberating truths, which is a key feature of cognitive behavioral therapy.
The concept of implementation intentions is introduced, which boils down to pre-deciding an “if-then” strategy for handling distractions (e.g., requests to engage in fake work). The advice to eliminate, automate, and delegate is consistent with contemporary systems thinking for productivity. It also has some “paradoxical interventions” (aka reverse-psychology) baked-in, such as the suggestion to limit yourself to only three big tasks per day. In general, the book is fairly anchored in contemporary science and doesn’t have the “made up” feel of some alleged self-help books. True, there will never be a randomized clinical trial of Free to Focus, but so what. When a multi-component intervention is derived from research and experience, and when nothing appears to contradict science, it is far more likely to work than an approach which seems unaware of the literature on productivity and basic psychological principles. I’m not saying Michael knew he incorporated all these principles, although he does cite research when applicable. Rather, pushing the book through my “psychologist” grid detected a long list of valid behavioral principles that lend credibility to the system Michael designed and described.
For criticisms, some readers will find the book very aspirational with respect to how much freedom they can attain given their life and work circumstances. Still, it’s pretty realistic and emphasizes accepting limitations instead of ignoring or denying them. Also, the self-assessments (e.g., the rejuvenation self-assessment) have probably not been evaluated for reliability or validity, so the psychometric properties are not known. Maybe they are good assessments, but maybe not. They should be considered “for educational purposes” and not intended to accurately measure anything.
We would all do well to engage in “meta-cognition” from time to time, which means thinking about why we do what we do and how it all works (i.e., thinking about thinking). We are very poor at knowing how much we know, perceiving the passage of time or how long things will take, deciding what to do, avoiding entangling distractions, and so on. Free to Focus is a multi-component behavioral self-management intervention that uses meta-cognition to allow more accurate reflection on how we work and live, with the goal and tools to modify our priorities, schedules, and habits so that we become more productive at our top priorities.
No one can keep up with the Red Queen. And running faster doesn’t help if you’re pointed in the wrong direction. It’s time to rethink the whole model. (Michael Hyatt, Free to Focus)
“Free to Focus” is not your parents’ productivity book.
Productivity is not about getting more things done; it’s about getting the right things done. The important question is not, “Can I do this job faster, easier, and cheaper?” It’s,” Should I be doing this job at all?”
Productivity should free you to pursue what’s most important to you.
“Free to Focus” is not just a book, its’ an entire course on productivity. It includes links to tools the reader can use to assess their own productivity, identify their own goals and gain their own freedom.
Highly recommended for anyone who wants to be set free from running the rat race in order to run their own race.
Top reviews from other countries
These help you to create a life plan and execute your goals for the year, respectively.
They represent, in effect, the high-level plan for your life.
Free to Focus picks up where those books leave off and drills down to the nitty-gritty detail of your weekly and daily tasks.
I was concerned that there might be too much overlap between this and the other two books.
However, in reality, there is very little: Free to Focus successfully joins the dots between the "day to day" and your larger goals.
I've not quite finished the book or the exercises yet, but already I'm getting a much clearer picture of what I need to do - and more importantly, what I need to avoid, to get to where I want to be.
Using Michael's advice, I even managed to get to "inbox zero" on my emails (and have stayed there each day since), which I haven't achieved in a very long time!
I'm sure others will give a more thorough breakdown of what's in the book, so I will leave you with this:
The key to these books is to fully engage with them and do all the exercises, even if some of them seem a bit counter-intuitive.
The best testimonial I can give is that of the 4 books that have had the most impact on my life in the past 3 years, Michael's books count for 3 of them - and that already includes Free to Focus.
It’s a book that will help many of us with overloaded schedules and an excess of emails. There is a way of getting back on top of things.
However, as I have read quite a few I found I skimmed the majority of this book.
There was also quite a lot of fluff in it and could have been more concise, or had more detail.
A lot of these strategies also seem to be geared towards people in higher management.
O autor nos coloca para repensar o conceito de produtividade, entendendo que na manufatura a busca é por eficiência, ou seja, fazer mais e mais rápido. E você deveroa buscar ser produtivo, entregar onde agrega mais valor.
A estratégia de parar, cortar e atuar também é importante. Ao parar para definir critérios de sucesso e avaliar os tipos de tarefa (buscar atuar na zona de desejo, onde você tem paixão e proficiência) o torna mais produtivo. Ao cortar afazeres que não deveriam ser feitos, sobrará mais tempo disponível. E finalmente, atuar com foco, evitando interrupção, para ter produtividade para entregar onde você agrega mais.