10X your Productivity: 5 Lessons from 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman

18 min

How often do you find yourself wondering at the end of your day why there are so many things still left undone, even though it felt as though you had been laboring at it all day? Even after you industriously strived to check everything off your to-do list, you are still feeling unfulfilled. Surely, you can solicit the help of free online task management tools to get your work done on-time, but before that, you, as an individual need to get your life back in order. ’18 Minutes’ by Peter Bregman shatters the myths of ineffective time management and drills our neck-down-geeky-generation on how to stay more focused . Yes, there is still hope for you, you just don’t know it yet. Read on to find out how you ca  regain control over your days and nights.

Lesson 1: The first step is the most difficult one

Have you ever seen the launch of a rocket? If not, here is an idea about it. The rocket entails tons of energy, thrust, and momentum to attain the launch state. However, once the rocket leaves the nest, it is all a bed of roses onwards.

Same goes for happiness and doing something big. In the book, Peter shared a research conducted by Eric Weiner. According to the study, Iceland is deemed as the happiest place to live on earth. Eric traveled to Iceland to find out what makes the heart go merry there. He concluded that the people of Iceland don’t stigmatize their people.

You can be an artist, a painter, or even a cobbler; anything that caters to your whim. People won’t point fingers at what you do or how you are doing it. In this way, it will be easy for you to take a leap of faith without feeling downtrodden, and embark on a new journey, imbued with a renewed confidence with zest.

In our everyday lives, we are forced to take quick decisions for things that matter a lot in our lives. And for that, we need to be prepared to take the first step. Start from small things. Things like playing guitar. Don’t think about being an expert. Pick up a guitar and invest your time in it. Don’t think of it as actually writing a novel. Start by penning down 500 words a day, until you train your brain to maintain the flow in your daily life.

Lesson 2: Execute fast

Reminiscing his childhood story, Peter said, “When I was 13 years old I got an idea of creating an app. At that time there was no one to motivate or judge me. So, I ignored the idea altogether. 5 years down the road, guess what I saw in the newspaper? Yes, that same idea which I had 5 years before.”

Here, Peter Bregman teaches us the power of expedient execution. If you have a viable notion, validate your business idea and follow your gut.

Too often, we lose track of time and delve incessantly in finding the perfect solution that would work seamlessly without any hassle. However, in your pursuit of perfection, if you do not execute the solutions which come to your mind, how will you know what is working and what is not?

“Don’t Die with your music still in you.” ~Wayne Dyer

Life is too short to spend your days on the sidelines. Execute fast. Break rules. Fail more often. And in doing all of this, you will be enlightened with reality.

Lesson 3: Create a not-to-do list

We all know what to do in life. But Peter forces us to jot down a not-to-do list every day. Your time is precious. If you while away your time flooded under a deluge of mundane tasks, how will you ever explore your true potential?

“To get the right things done, choosing what to ignore is just as important as choosing where to focus.” ~Peter Bregman

Every morning, create a list of things that you don’t want to squander your time in. Keep that list with you at all times. Eliminate all the distractions that are killing your productivity. Life is too short to live small. Know what you want from life and then work hard/smart to get there without losing your enthusiasm.

Lesson 4: Create an environment that supports your vision

“Your mind can help you move forward or get in your way. Choose the fantasy world that supports you.” ~Peter Bregman

Here is a fable for you. Once there was a lion who was always seen sitting on top of a hill, poised on a big boulder, to glean a bird’s eye view of the tourists passing by. People assumed that the lion loved to sit on that rock. But, soon the reality dawned over. It unraveled that the rock was temperature controlled. On hot days, the rock was warm, and on warm days the rock was hot. Of course, you don’t need to train the lion to do anything like this.

The real-life equivalent of this fable comes down to installing a fan in your office to control the temperature, to put the Coffee machine in an optimal proximity to the work area. And to give your employees the freedom to share everything and anything they like, dislike, or feel bothered with.

Lesson 5: Stick with the 18-minute plan

The crux of the book is the 18-minute plan that can revitalize your day and gear you up to move mountains. A simple plan that will make your life more productive and exciting.

In just 3 simple steps, Peter Bregman tells us how to be more effective and productive in this high-phase digital world.

Step 1: Take 5 minutes in the morning to decide your to-do and not-to-do list. Schedule your calendar for the entire day.

Step 2: Spend the next 6 minutes to meditate/visualize your day. In your mind’s eye, see everything turning out the way you want it to be.

Step 3: Take 7 minutes at the end of each day to analyze your day. Revel in the lessons you learned, the success you achieved, and come up with a plan for the next day.

To wrap it up all

If you are looking for some inspiration and time management in your life, we recommend that you read the book yourself. Great suggestions for attaining focus, meaning, and productivity,  Setting boundaries, keeping a list of things-to-ignore (NOT do), in addition to the 18-minute plan, are a few things we find most useful in the book. Do try all of the above suggestions and feel free to share your learned lessons from the book in the comments below.

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