Review: 18 Minutes


I know the feeling: too much to do, not enough time. I’m swamped with emails and voicemails, and don’t know where to begin. I’ve read the books and attended the workshops. I’ve been a Covey guy and a GTD guy, but I’m still having a hard time getting it all done.

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

by Peter Bregman is written for guys like me. The theory: 18 minutes a day is enough to find our focus, master distraction, and get the right things done. How does it work? Bregman’s written an article to explain his idea:

  • take five minutes in the morning to plan the day
  • take one minute every hour to refocus
  • take five minutes at the end of the day to review

These are fairly simple ideas. In 18 Minutes, Bregman takes them even further. He gives us “a comprehensive approach to managing a year, a day, and a moment so that our lives move forward in a way that keeps us focused on, and doing, the things we decide are important.”

Part 1 of the book provides a foundation for his ideas. Part 2 asks, “What is this year about?” Bregman challenges us to create our annual focus, “five areas where you want to spend the majority of your time over the next year.” Part 3 asks, “What is this day about?” Part 4 is about how to apply all of this in the moment, dealing with initiative, boundaries, and self-management.

I wondered if there was enough in Bregman’s 18-minute idea to fill a book. It turns out there is. I’ve read the book once, and I’m working through it again so I really get it. And yes, I’m actually starting to use his 18-minute plan.

I found this book really helpful, and I recommend it to anyone who’s feeling like they could move closer to living with greater intentionality.

You can buy the book at Amazon, or find out more at Bregman’s website. Bregman also has lots of good articles, like this one, at Harvard Business Review.

Review: 18 Minutes
Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada