A Minute to Think Book Summary - A Minute to Think Book explained in key points
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A Minute to Think summary

Juliet Funt

Reclaim Creativity, Conquer Busyness, and Do Your Best Work

4.4 (760 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

'A Minute to Think' by Juliet Funt is a self-help book that emphasizes the importance of taking short pauses throughout the day to reflect and recharge. It offers practical tips and tools for boosting creativity, productivity, and well-being in today's fast-paced, always-on world.

Table of Contents

    A Minute to Think
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    We don’t have the space to just think.

    Everyone, and everything, needs breathing space. The author realized this when she tried to build a fire during a family vacation. She piled up paper, fire starters, and logs of wood – but no matter how many matches she threw at the fire, it just wouldn’t start properly. 

    Eventually, it dawned on her. She had packed everything so tightly that oxygen simply couldn’t circulate. In short, the fire had no space to breathe. 

    Our daily lives are often a lot like the author’s damp squib of a fire. We’re so busy packing our schedules with endless tasks and to-do lists that we can’t fan the flames of our own potential. 

    The key message here is: We don’t have the space to just think

    Instead of thinking, we’re constantly doing. From the moment our morning alarm wakes us, our day goes by in a blur of commuting, emails, meetings, and, often, family responsibilities. By the time we climb back into bed, exhausted, we wonder Did I really achieve anything today? 

    If all this sounds familiar, then you’ve hit on an uncomfortable but valuable truth: being busy and being productive are not the same thing. What’s more, being too busy can actually kill your productivity. 

    Not convinced? Consider Linda, a high-flying sales professional in the healthcare industry. Linda was excited when she got promoted at work, but her promotion came with a crushing workload attached. 

    To cope with her bursting schedule, she canceled her daily lunch break. Instead, she kept a jar of peanut butter on her desk at all times, so that she could eat while working. There were other sacrifices, too – but even so, she wasn’t making headway. 

    Her excellent results and attention to detail – things that had gotten her the promotion in the first place – suddenly dropped off. Without that little bit of breathing space she had enjoyed in her previous role, she couldn’t thrive, and her potential was stifled. 

    When we hear Linda’s story, it’s easy to appreciate that she was simply too busy. But when it comes to our own lives, many of us struggle to identify that we’re doing too much. Instead of seeking out and enjoying some breathing space, we fall into a very modern trap: we begin to feel guilty when we’re not busy.

    Economists call this phenomenon performative busyness. We have internalized the mantra that busier is better. Instead, what we need to do is push back against the tyranny of the packed agenda. We’ll see why in the following blinks.

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    What is A Minute to Think about?

    A Minute to Think (2021) explores how busyness is harming our productivity – and why it's so important to take regular pauses. It reveals the mental and economic costs associated with our hectic modern working environments and explains how we can reclaim our time. 

    Who should read A Minute to Think?

    • Busy professionals hoping to claw back some me-time
    • Leaders seeking to build a more creative working environment
    • Managers wanting to improve their team’s well-being

    About the Author

    Juliet Funt is a keynote speaker and an advisor to many leading Fortune 500 companies. She is also the founder and CEO of The Juliet Funt Group, a corporate consulting and training firm. She has worked with companies including Spotify, Nike, Pepsi, and Wells Fargo. 

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