18 MINUTES Summary In English

18 MINUTES Summary

About Book

Why Should You Read This Summary?

Do you have too many tasks and you feel frozen? We’ve got you. In this modern age, it’s easy to be attracted to doing a lot more than we can handle because there is so much that should be done. This book will teach you how to let go, focus your life on five categories, and build a time-management routine that works. 18 minutes every day is all you need.

Who Should Read This Summary?

•    Students

•    Entrepreneurs

•    Anyone who has a busy schedule

About the Author

Peter Bregman is an executive coach for senior business leaders. He is the founder and CEO of Bregman Partners, a coaching firm for professionals. Peter Bregman helps CEOs and senior managers to perform their best. He is also a best-selling author of 16 books.

 

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

Peter Bregman

18 MINUTES
18 MINUTES Summary
18 MINUTES Summary in English

Introduction 

Do you have big dreams? Usually, people who have big dreams are very busy. They have long lists of tasks that they need to get done every day, and they never stop to take a moment to breathe. That’s not good for you or your goals. If you are always tired, you will not have the energy to get things done faster. You will not be able to be creative too. You need a system that works, and this book will teach you all you need to know about narrowing your focus and getting things done. In this book, you will learn how to organize your life. You will realize that sometimes you need to stop and rethink your life strategy to be able to improve. You will also learn how to control your life by controlling your reactions to certain events. It’s bad when you let your emotions be in charge of your decisions, and you need to learn simple tricks.

Since knowing yourself is the key to your success, this book will guide you towards finding your passion by teaching you about the four elements that you should focus on. Once you find your passion, you will move to the next step: choosing the areas of focus in your life. If you are ambitious, this chapter will teach you how to narrow your scope and not be so overwhelmed. Once you learn about all these principles, the last chapter will introduce you to a time-management routine that will change your life. Are you ready to turn your life around in just 18 minutes?

Reducing Your Forward Momentum

We all find it difficult to admit that we were wrong. Some people, when starting a new project, they work hard at full speed, thinking that they can achieve success faster that way. But sometimes, a person needs to stop, breathe, and rethink his strategy. When you feel like you are doing something wrong, you need to slow down for a minute. If you are in an argument, and you feel that you may be on the wrong side, you need to slow down and think carefully about what you are going to say next. Another strategy is to stop, then start over. Let’s say that you are starting your own business, and you feel like you are going the wrong way or that your idea will not be successful. What you need to do is to stop now and start over while you can, before you invest more time and money on something that you know will never work. Let’s take the example of Dr. Allen Rosenfield. He was the dean of Colombia’s School of Public Health.

He spent most of his life helping others, especially those with HIV.Dr. Allen was a great leader, and after he died, the school of Public Health changed its name after him. Dr. Allen was once having a conversation about whether children should be vaccinated or not. He was debating the issue with his friend, Lee. Dr. Allen was very knowledgeable about the subject, and he believed that children should be vaccinated. He backed his claim by giving solid facts about how vaccination has helped millions of people recover from deadly diseases such as polio and measles. His friend, Lee, on the other hand, was against vaccination. Lee used an article that he read on the internet to support his claim. He said that this article proves that vaccines are hurting a lot of people. Dr. Allen was an expert on the subject, and he had every right to laugh at Lee for using an unreliable source to back his claim. But Dr. Allen didn’t.

Instead of getting angry and feeling that he must prove that he was right, he stopped speaking, slowed down, and thought for a moment. Then, Dr. Allen told Lee that he hasn’t seen this article yet and he would read it so that he can give his feedback. A lot of people feel that if they admit they are wrong, they may lose their pride, position, and power. But it’s the opposite. Only strong people can admit that they are wrong, and everyone knows it. So, if you have things that are not working for you, it’s okay to admit that they need to be dropped from your life, or changed into something better. Don’t let being stubborn harm your future chances. You need to free yourself from any belief that’s holding you back. That’s the way to move forward and achieve great success.

Where Do You Want To Land?

Do you remember when you were in school and you hated your maths teacher? Because of him, you failed math, and maybe also failed to get a degree. A lot of people fall into this trap. We allow external factors to dictate the outcome of our present situation. When talking about decisions, you may think that you are the one in control of your own life, but you are wrong. Usually, most of your outcomes are a result of your spontaneous reaction to some kind of trigger. An example of this is your math teacher who decided to give you a failing mark. You need to shift your focus. Instead of letting life triggers decide the outcome of your actions, you should be the one in control of your outcome. You can do that by thinking of what outcome you want to achieve, slowing down, then thinking of a suitable reaction that will guarantee your desired success.

Peter Bregman, the author of this book, is also a consultant. One day, he had a client named Hunter. Hunter’s company had many lawsuits and a terrible reputation with the press. Peter wanted to help him solve these problems. Hunter told Peter one day that, although he looked like someone ready to help, Peter will never be able to turn things around for the company. Hunter also told Peter that they hired a lot of consultants in the past, and they will hire more when Peter fails to get the job done. Peter left Hunter’s office feeling bad. Peter immediately called his uncle and said that he doesn’t want to work for this company because he hated Hunter. Peter’s uncle laughed and taught him a valuable lesson. He said that you don’t have to like your boss to be able to do business with him, just focus on doing business. So, Peter decided to keep working with Hunter, and he worked for this company for years.

One day, Peter went to Hunter’s office, and he saw one of his books on the shelf. Peter asked Hunter if he read the book. Hunter replied yes and he thinks that Peter’s book was good. That one conversation changed how Peter felt about Hunter. Peter now likes him. Now, if Peter has decided to not work for this company because he didn’t like Hunter, he would have lost a job that paid him for years. That’s what happens when we let our reactions decide what we do next. We lose valuable opportunities.

Choosing Your Next Move At The Intersection Of Four Elements

We live in a very noisy world. There are a lot of things that we want to do. Sometimes, we feel like we can’t keep up and because we can’t choose, so we decide to do nothing at all. If you don’t start working now, you will always be distracted by how much life can offer. You need to focus on four elements. First, you should know your strengths, and work on improving them until you become a master of your field.  When you focus on what you do best, you have more chances to succeed. Second, don’t be ashamed of your weaknesses, but rather, embrace them. Try to make them work for you. When people see that you are comfortable in your skin, you will be unbeatable. Third, if you have something unique about you, don’t try to change it. Being different is the key to standing out from the crowd. When you follow the same pattern everyone else is following, you can never win over your competition. So, try to turn your differences into competitive advantages.

The fourth element is finding your passion in life. When you start planning for this year, try to focus on your desires, not on the things that you have to do to make money. Your passion should be the one thing that you can see yourself doing year after year without having second thoughts. Let’s look at the perfect example of someone who has learned how to embrace his weakness and make it work for him. Geoff is a very successful man, and he is famous for his generosity. His most remarkable achievement was giving most of his wealth to a charity foundation. Geoff was once having lunch with a friend. The waiter came to take their order, and Geoff asked for the salad with shrimp. But he said he didn’t want his salad with shrimp but with salmon. The waiter smiled and told Geoff that it could be arranged. The waiter only said that Geoff had to pay an extra dollar for the salad because salmon is more expensive than shrimp. After thinking for a second, Geoff responded that he doesn’t want salmon anymore and he’s fine with the shrimp.

Although Geoff is very rich, he still values every dollar he has. Some people may say that Geoff is being cheap or weird, but what they don’t know is that this type of thinking is what made Geoff very successful. Geoff lives by this strict principle. If something doesn’t give me double the value, then it’s not worth my money, even if it’s just a dollar. Geoff is a great example of someone who made his weakness work for him rather than against him. It’s because of the values that he managed to build his wealth, and Geoff embraces his strange way of looking at money. If you want to live a life that’s different than most people, then you need to know yourself better. You should be able to spot your strengths and weaknesses and then focus your energy on making them work for you. Don’t be embarrassed because you are different. Be successful because you are unique.

Deciding What To Do

Do you remember a time when you had too many things to do, and you just didn’t know where to start? We have all had one of these days. We believe that by doing more, we are being productive, but in reality, it’s the opposite. When you have twenty tasks on your to-do list, you will be overwhelmed and, instead of working hard, you will just freeze. Every year, you should decide to focus on five things. That is three goals for your work and two goals for your personal life. As a result, when you write your to-do list, you should only do the tasks that are within the five categories of your focus. Fiorella was the sales head for a midsize tech company. She asked for Peter Bregman’s help because she feels lost. Fiorella had too many things to do. She had to solve performance issues with salespeople in Asia, fix some issues with her US team, and have a conversation with the CEO to discuss different strategies.

All of these tasks were the first part of Fiorella’s to-do list for that day, and there was so much more. Fiorella had so much on her plate that she didn’t know what to do. She was frozen and unable to start with anything because she already has given up on getting all of these things done. She needed a moment to breathe. When Fiorella took a moment to organize her list, she found so many things that were not important. They were just filling up space in her calendar, and that made her crazy. If you are an ambitious person, you need to get organized, or you won’t get anything done. Start by deciding on the five categories that you must focus on this year, then create a list of tasks that you need to do to achieve your goal. By doing this, you make sure that you are not wasting any time. You will be focused, and you will not feel scared or overwhelmed during the day. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more. Think of the five goals you want to achieve this 2022. Remember, you need three career goals and two personal goals.

Getting Things Off Your To-do List

Now that you have chosen your five categories of focus, and you learned how to put every task in the appropriate category, it’s time to talk about the other tasks. After everything is organized, you will be left with other things that need to get done but they don’t belong in any category. You will also have things that you won’t be able to do during the day. So, what can you do about these tasks? You can sit down and review your list. You have four choices. You can either decide to do the task right now and get it over with, schedule it for tomorrow or a later date, put it in the list of tasks that you may do one day, or just let the task go. The trick is to never leave a task hanging on your to-do list for more than three days. This unfinished task will only overwhelm you, and you will start to lose yourself. You may even start getting angry and behaving in a way that doesn’t represent who you are.

Let’s take the example of Dov. Dov is the CEO of a professional service firm. His life is the definition of success, and everyone admires him because he is a nice guy. Dov has a successful job, a happy marriage, and many children. He is also intelligent and he takes care of his community. Dov reads a lot and everyone likes to be around him at parties. However, one day, Dov threw his phone and almost hit one of his employees. After doing that, he regretted it and kept thinking that this is not who he is. Dov is a nice guy that everyone likes. So, what happened to him? Simply put, he was overwhelmed by his long list of tasks. Dov has a lot of things that are waiting to be done, and he feels unproductive. He is not satisfied with what he is achieving, and he believes that he can do more.

After what he did, Dov kept trying to apologize, and he tried to make things right. The problem was that one incident is enough for people to change their minds about him. This moment has become the definition of who Dov is, and it’s all because he was unable to fix his to-do list. If you do not want to explode with anger as Dov did, you need to learn a simple trick. Start your morning by setting your phone alarm to beep at the end of every hour. Then, ask yourself two questions. Have I been productive this past hour? What can I do to be more productive in the next hour? By doing this, you ensure that you are being focused on the present task and not being haunted by a long list of things waiting to be done. Make every hour count.

Creating A Daily Ritual

Do you have enough time to get all that you want to be done in one day? Of course, you don’t. Everyone is complaining about lack of time, and that is a problem. We learned in the previous chapters how to focus our to-do list on five categories. That is three categories for work and two categories for personal life. Having an organized list will not magically solve your problem of the lack of time. The challenge is in the execution of your plan. How can you stick to your plan when there are so many distractions surrounding your life? The answer is simple: you should build a routine. This is the 18 Minutes technique. First, start your morning by spending 5 minutes planning your to-do list. Remember that you only need to write the things that belong to the five categories of your focus. Then, spend 1 minute every working hour, to check your productivity and see how you can improve.

The last step is to spend 5 minutes at the end of each day reviewing how your day went. You can ask questions like how was your day? What did you learn? And on which parts do you need to improve?Jack LaLanne was a fitness guru. He is famous for binding himself with boats full of people and swimming for a mile dragging the boats along with him. Doing something like that is unique, and it needs a lot of power. Jack had a show on TV. This show was the longest fitness show that ever ran on American TV. It was aired for thirty-four years. What people don’t know about Jack is that he is more than a TV celebrity. He has created a lot of exercise machines that were famous all over the world. One example of these machines is the weight selectors used in health clubs. The secret to Jack’s success was simple. He was able to build a solid routine and follow it every day.

Jack’s morning routine included two hours of exercise every day. Ninety minutes were devoted to lifting weights, and the remaining 30 minutes were spent swimming or walking. Till the day he dies at the age of ninety-six, Jack was able to keep following his morning routine despite his old age. The last book that Jack wrote before he died was Live Young Forever. It was his eleventh book. To publish a book in your nineties is not easy, but to keep lifting weight at that old age is superhuman. Jack knew what he wanted to focus on and he went for it every day. He never took a day off because he believed in the power of building a ritual. If you want to be extraordinary and successful like Jack, you need to turn your goals into rituals. Start by applying the 18 Minutes ritual, and watch your life improve every single day.

Conclusion

Now that you discovered how spending 18 minutes every day could change your life, you can take a moment to relax. You can now let go of everything that’s been holding you back. You learned that admitting you are wrong is not a weakness, but a step to thinking and doing things better. You also learned how to control your reaction so that you can control your life. It’s not always up to your emotions. You need to be smart about your decisions and take the right step even if it’s hard. By focusing on the four elements, you can change your life forever. These four elements include your strengths, weaknesses, your differences, and passion in life.

In this book, you learned about narrowing your goals to cover five areas of your life every year. If you focus on more than five categories, you will be lost because you will have more than you can handle. You also learned the 18 minutes routine that can help you focus and get rid of distractions. This routine starts by spending 5 minutes every morning for planning, one minute every working hour for checking productivity, and 5 minutes at the end of the day for review. By following this ritual every day, you will build a strong foundation for your success. So, what are you waiting for? Achieve your goals using the 18-minute technique and build the best daily routine for winners.

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