18 Minutes Book Summary - 18 Minutes Book explained in key points
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18 Minutes summary

Peter Bregman

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

3.8 (274 ratings)
11 mins
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    18 Minutes
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    Start by pausing and focusing on the best course of action.

    Sometimes waking up in the morning and looking at your to-do list can be overwhelming. Finding enough time to take care of everything can be a daily struggle. But with the right plan and some focused attention you can be your most productive self.

    First, find your focus by pausing for a moment, reflecting on what needs to be done and finding the best and most fruitful course of action.

    This pause will also lead to you making fewer mistakes.

    Take Gmail’s “undo send” function, for example. This feature gives you five seconds to reconsider whether you might regret that email you just sent. And five seconds is all most people need to pause and realize they’ve made a mistake.

    Of course, it’s more productive to avoiding writing and sending that email in the first place.

    Our initial instincts are often emotional, and the part of our brain that controls our impulses needs those few extra seconds to take control and put us on the right path. So, before you take action, slow down and take a moment to consider and to avoid wasting time.

    This pause can train your mind for long term success.

    You can think of life in terms of a marathon: It requires constant effort and endurance. Marathon runners gain endurance by breaking their week into four days of short runs, one day of a long run and two days of rest. And just like these runners you need this rest to reflect and put things in perspective.

    Pausing also allows you to think in new ways, leading to new possibilities.

    Without that break you’ll be on constant autopilot, acting out according to your idea of how things are supposed to be. This is the kind of behavior that leads to mistakes and missed opportunities. When you pause it gives your mind the chance to calm down, see things accurately and recognize the possibilities for productivity.

    So take the important first step and pause.

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    What is 18 Minutes about?

    18 Minutes (2011) is a helpful guide to getting things done by focusing on meaningful work, reaching goals and preventing distractions. These blinks will show how to identify the kind of work that is right for you and how to stay on track and hit your targets.

    Best quote from 18 Minutes

    Your year will be best spent doing work that you enjoy so much, it feels effortless. Youll always work tirelessly at your passions – hard work will feel easier.

    —Peter Bregman
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    Who should read 18 Minutes?

    • People who want to get things done
    • Anyone feeling overwhelmed with work
    • Anyone searching for happiness and meaning in their lives

    About the Author

    Peter Bregman is an advisor and consultant to CEOs from big companies to small start-ups. His expertise is focused on leadership and improving today’s work life. His writing has also appeared in Forbes and Psychology Today.

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