3 things I got from Make Time

Kurtis Dane
3 things I got from Make Time

Free Make Time Notion template included below

I just finished reading Make Time by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky. I was a huge fan of Sprint and was able to apply a lot of those ideas directly to my job as a product designer at a startup.

Make Time is less about work and more about life in the 21st century. I have been having this recurring conversation with my best friends over the past couple of years, which goes something like this:

Me: “Do you remember when we trained for that triathlon*?”
Friend: “Yeah, I can’t believe we actually had the time to do something like that.”
Me: “I just have no idea where the time goes. And how long ago was that anyway?”

*I chose to highlight a productive, respectable memory here, but this could just as easily be replaced with “Do you remember when we cut a bunch of match heads off to make a bomb in your backyard?”

Then we’d spiral into observations (and occasional complaints) about our day-to-day and how we feel like there’s never enough time to do the things we want to do. We tend to get a little existential from there and start analyzing the angst and uncertainty that comes along with that feeling. If we’re not doing the things that we want to do, then what are we doing?

This question doesn’t arise just because we spend our time in different ways than we used to. These days, time spent starting our families and working at our grown-up jobs is incredibly meaningful and rewarding. Yet the anxiousness remains because life’s default setting is to be busy, connected, and always “on”.

For me, the cause of this discomfort is the fact that the human experience has changed a lot over the last 10 years. It’s been gradual, but as phones got cooler, apps got smarter, and content got better, we just accepted all of this extra stuff into our lives without hesitation.

Make Time is an important book because it acknowledges this and forces introspection about the ways we spend our time in the Information Age. Here are the 3 most valuable things I got out of the book:

  1. Simple terminology and a shared language to have better conversations about this topic. (Notably the “Busy Bandwagon” & “Infinity Pools”)
  2. Validation that others in similar circumstances to me (knowledge workers in first-world countries) feel the same way that I do.
  3. Actionable tactics to address the root causes of some of these first-world problems.

Battling the “defaults” of the 21st century will take introspection and considerable effort at the individual level. You have to decide whether the effects of these environmental changes on your time and emotional well-being are significant enough to address.

The alarming truth is that as a civilization, we’ll likely never regress in the adoption of technology. It will continue to invade pockets and homes while vying for our time and attention in creative new ways.

If you’re having similar conversations in your circles or any of this is hitting home, you’d probably benefit from checking out Make Time or at least reading some of the authors’ articles.

And if you’re looking to start testing and tracking some of the tactics from Make Time in your life, check out this Notion template I made to help with the reflection step. It’s basically a digital version of the daily notes sheet at the end of the book.

👇 A little demo of the Notion template. Duplicate here

If you haven’t heard of Notion yet, then you’re in for a real treat. They call it an “all-in-one workspace” and it has definitely become that for me.

A sincere thank you for making it to the end! 🎉

This first appeared on Medium