There never seems to be enough in one day.
Another day is over and the sense that I have not achieved enough is real.
Did I begin that writing project? did I make time for exercise? Have I spent enough time with my partner? Did I socialise? When am I supposed to relax?
Making Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky (of Google Ventures, best selling authors of SPRINT) aims to address the limited amount of time that we have, and how to find ways to use that time with more intention and purpose.
A bit of backstory.
It's the beginning of 2020, some new flu-like disease has begun to spread from China. I'm in Melbourne, working in a cafe, trying to support a fledgling career in acting and live performance. "Coronavirus" reaches Australia, a few people up the road catch it.
The world grinds to a halt. Theatres close, productions shut down, I lose my cafe job. I'm ready to book it back to my family home with my tail between my legs.
My back is up against the wall, in this new world I have little to no transferable skills. I need to make a change, immediately.
I open my ageing Macbook, I see on Facebook that Adobe is giving away 3 months of their software for free due to the pandemic shut down. Time to get to work.
I plan my days out like work days and begin learning Graphic Design, I take an online Diploma of Graphic Design over the next year, realise that the ability to draw is a fantastic skill to have (some people cannot dance, I cannot draw, or dance) and once again I set my sights elsewhere.
After Graduation I'm straight back into learning, I pick up the Google UX Design Course, blaze through the first few months, I purchase and burn through the "essential" UX books, whilst also applying for jobs left, right and centre. The world was opening up and I was still living off government benefits, which were quickly drying up.
I interview for a web design co-ordinator role, land it.
All of a sudden I'm working my first full-time job, remotely, in a completely new industry.
I was excited, but also daunted.
I get through the first month and my head is pounding, how the hell am I supposed to get through all this work each day? Why can I never clear my inbox?
How am I so busy all the time?!
Enter the Busy Bandwagon and the Infinity Pool
The Busy Bandwagon is the name that Zeratsky and Knapp give to the "overflowing inboxes, stuffed calendars, and endless to-do lists."
Picture me, second month into a new career, who has never had a professional inbox or even organised a calendar in my life, unblinkingly watching my emails pile up with my brain melting down the back of my throat.
How am I so busy?!
Infinity Pools are our love to hate services that suck the time away from us. Does it have an endless scroll or stream? It's an Infinity Pool.
Think Twitter, Facebook, Netflix all the stuff that we love to hate.
This one wasn't a huge deal for me, as I had dealt with some of these demons in the past, but it was still an issue in my life.
Endless Tasks, Endless Distractions.
What's a modern human to do?
Enter the Make Time frame work.
Highlight: Find a highlight for your day, this could be playing with your kids, going out for dinner, knuckling down into a big new project, starting a blog (yes, this has been my highlight for the day, and the making of this blog has been a highlight over a number of weeks!). Write this down and schedule your highlight.
Laser: Use different tactics to laser in on your focus time, create a distraction free iphone (I have and I love it), set a timer, put on a set of headphones.
Energize: take walking breaks, exercise, eat healthier snacks. This section is all about making sure you can go the distance.
Reflect: Like scientists we have to look back on the tactics we used during the day, and check to see if they were effective. Knapp and Zeratsky have an online document that they have supplied that is very handy for keeping track of your daily reflection. https://maketime.blog/bonus-pack/
The book contains 87 tactics that can be used interchangeably for each section. The beauty is the pick and choose quality to this method, some days I'll try something new, other days my tactic will fail, and that is totally fine because there is always another day to have another go.
As you can see I am a huge fan of this book and plan to give out a few copies as Christmas gifts, it saved my butt in my first few months in the professional world and I cannot recommend it enough.
you can find more info at https://maketime.blog/ and purchase online.