Haven’t you ever wonder where did you spend your time on? I know I do, most of my days it seems that I wake up, work, get back home, eat and sleep! The next day I do it all again. What happened between gets lost.

I know I spend time with my family, and friends, I try to take a long walk sometimes. I go to the gym, I read… but how much time do I spend doing all these things, and how much does it compares to the time I spend working or sleeping.

I have a lot of projects and goals that I would like to find time to start… there are books I’d like to read, things I’d like to learn, but I never have the time for it.

Some people seem to have 48h days, they work, they have side projects, they read, they write, spend time with their family and they are always looking fresh. How do they do it?

I heard about this book called “Make Time” from Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. It's about taking control of your life and the time you spend on an unnecessary tasks. I’ve already read a book by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky about design sprints, and I did like the writing so I gave it a shot.

“...is not about productivity, life hacks, or time-saving tricks. It's about creating time for what matters by rethinking the defaults of constant busyness and distraction.” 

Who are Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky besides two guys obsessed with the idea of redesigning time?

Jake Knapp worked at Google and Google Ventures for 10 years and he is the creator of Design Sprint. A framework to validate ideas in 5 days (four, in his new book), more on that in a future post.

John Zeratsky was a designer for companies like Youtube and Google Ventures. He also worked for publications like the Wall Street Journal and more.

The book, as they say, “...is not about productivity, life hacks, or time-saving tricks. It's about creating time for what matters by rethinking the defaults of constant busyness and distraction.” but by doing something from the book you will gain time and increase your productivity.

Take control in 4 steps. Highlight, Lazer, Energize, Reflect!

With the book, you’ll  learn how to define your daily highlight, the thing that you want to accomplish. Something that is urgent to do or that brings you satisfaction or joy.  You should write it down, making a list of things that you want to do or create. John calls it "might-do list". A list of things that you want to do when you have time for it, making them your highlight.

You should create time in your calendar to put your highlight. Make it one more thing that you have to do in your day. Plan your days to have all the things you have to do or want to do and include your highlight, your family time, your own time, etc.

One thing you should remove from your life are the “infinity pools”, apps with infinite content (social networks, television, youtube, games...). You should delete those apps from your Smartphone or at least log out from them. That way you'll avoid checking your profile every 5 minutes or check it has a reflex to notifications. In the book, they call it “time craters”,  small distractions that cause a big hole in your productivity. Like a small meteor that when hits the earth's surface causes a large crater.

When you remove all your distractions you are in Laser mode, the time to be productive and start bulldozing your calendar one task at the time. But that consumes a lot of energy and you should listen to your body. This is the Energize step, and for that, you should act like a caveman! For more on that you should read the book, but to sum up, you should exercise your body, eat well and rest! Whenever you take a break, take a real one, go for a walk and don't fall on the infinite pool trap.

At the end of the day, reflect, think of what you had planned for the day, what went well, what you should improve and plan your next day based on those insights!

Apps to help

There are some apps that can track your life and help with some insights. You'll find some examples in the book, others in the time dorks blog or the make time website. I started to use 3:

Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep, and by adding some notes you will start to understand what affects your sleep and tweak your day based on that information. The app is available for Android and iOS.

Life Cycle

Life Cycle monitors the places you've been, the time you spent commuting, on a restaurant, at home, at the gym, everywhere… and you get a daily report based on that. You can see it also weekly, monthly, … Is available for iOS.

OneBigThing

One Big Thing is the shortest to-do list you will find. It’s a great resource for defining it’s your Highlights and some other things that you want to do in your day. It’s simple! It's only available for iOS.

If you want to know more about the book visit the website here and check some tactics and tools for finding focus and building energy. You can also check heck Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky newsletter called Time Dorks and their medium account!

I’ll try to make 2019 the year to take control of my time! I’ve planned ahead a lot of things I want to do, books I want to read and places I want to visit. I even created a Trello board to track those things! By the end of the year, I’ll review my year based on that Trello board and see if the book made me change the way I manage my time.