Approachable Tips for Time Management 

September is the month of fresh starts and new beginnings! It’s a chance to lean back into routines you love or to shake things up, and for many families, it’s also back to school season. Maybe you’ve already got a good rhythm for fall. Or maybe you haven’t. Either way, Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky (JZ) is a choice read for this time of year with its approachable time management suggestions. 

I have to admit, I’m rarely in the mood for a self-help book – I often find that either their tone feels bossy or the writing is boring or incredibly corny. I realized that when I do read one, it often is about productivity or personal organization and that’s what Make Time is about… and it’s only a little corny! 

The authors Jake and JZ call themselves “Time Dorks” as former Silicon Valley techies who met while working at Google. Given their history, you would think they would have all kinds of tips for making the best of your smart phone and computer. 

However, they call smart phones and apps “Infinity Pools” that are competing for your valuable time, so instead the authors share is a list of behaviours you can try for yourself to help “focus on what matters everyday”. That’s what I like best about Make Time – Jake and JZ aren’t telling us we have to do all the things they say in the book, or even any of them. They actually encourage readers to flip through the book to experiment with what works instead of reading it cover to cover! 

This book is a collection of observations the authors made after testing productivity techniques in their own lives. (You can read some of their initial thoughts here). They have also taken some of the top techniques from other titles like The 4-Hour Workweek and The Power of Moments and mashed them into one super accessible book.  

Some of my favourite strategies they suggest include: 

  • 23. Skip the Morning Check-In: Jake and JZ day that you should put off checking social media as long as you can – even after lunch. I’ve tried this on weekends especially and I’ve noticed it feels like the days are longer. Who doesn’t love extra weekend time? 
  • 43. Don’t Watch the News: The authors suggest that TV news can be anxiety inducing and that it may be better to read the summaries instead. I couldn’t agree more. 
  • 73. Take a Caffeine Nap: The idea here is to have your coffee or tea and then take a power nap while you wait for the caffeine to kick in. If you love both of these things, why not combine them? And honestly, it works! 

While I do recommend reading this one yourself, you can also watch this 3-minute book summary video that someone on the internet made to explore Make Time’s main points (isn’t the internet a magical thing?!). And, if you like Make Time, you may also enjoy Knapp’s other productivity book Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. 

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