Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Everyday

Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

The Score

There are a couple of metrics I use to judge the value of a book.

  1. To what degree does it change the way I think, live or make decisions? (5/5)
  2. How likely am I to immediately buy copies for friends? (5/5)
  3. What is the quality level of the book (author’s credibility, quality of writing, reliability of research and information)? (5/5)

Based on those questions, I have scored this book with marks out of 5 and taken an average as the final score of its value. (i.e. 15/3 = 5)

For Make Time, I value it as a 5/5 book.

The Review

If you have goals but never have the time to accomplish them, Make Time might be able to help. This is Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky’s—two former Google employees who now dub themselves the Time Dorks—attempt to help you “make time” for what matters most to you.


The methodology is simple. In their own words:

1. The Highlight hypothesis
If you set a single intention at the start of each day, we predict you’ll be more satisfied, joyful and effective.

2. The Laser hypothesis
If you create barriers around the Busy Bandwagon and the Infinity Pools, we predict you’ll focus your attention like a laser beam.

3. The Energise hypothesis
If you live a little more like a prehistoric human, we predict you’ll enhance your mental and physical energy.

The book is organised around these three hypotheses with “tactics” on how to achieve the “Laser” and Energise” principles taking up the bulk of the pages. A lot of the tactics are short and similar to things you have probably read or heard in other places. One of the tactics I have adopted is #24: Ignore the news. The argument being that is probably better and much more informative to ignore breaking news (typically broadcast / internet news) and instead consume the news on your own terms e.g. via a subscription such as the Economist, at a time that most suits you. It is these kind of pithy strategies that make up the bulk of the book.

It’s a good read, one that will inspire you to be more protective of your time and intentional about prioritising the things that matter most to you.

The most useful takeaway however, is this: if you set one Highlight per day (one that is connected to a meaningful priority for you) and schedule some time on your calendar to execute it, whatever happens in that day, no matter where meetings, busyness, or other people’s priorities take you, you can lie down at the end of the day satisfied in the knowledge that at least you completed or made progress on a project or task that is meaningful and important to you.

One reply on “Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Everyday”

[…] Focus — other things had to take a back seat so that I could immerse myself in executing and shipping. Lesson learned is that sometimes if you want to get something done, you need to hunker down and be willing to let other things get out of kilter for a while. […]