Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky (Sprint) are quick to point out that Make Time is not a productivity book. It's not about "getting more done, finishing your to-dos faster, or outsourcing your life." It is about prioritization, about focusing in on what matters (friends, family, health, hobbies, work, passion projects) and learning to let go of the rest (endless Facebook feeds, e-mail responses, the 24-hour news cycle). The two lay out an overarching strategy for making time (highlight, laser, energize, reflect), coupled with 86 individual tactics that can be cherry-picked, combined and otherwise manipulated to make the system work for individual readers.
 
That's the beauty of Make Time, especially when compared to so many other productivity and business books: Knapp and Zeratsky are the opposite of prescriptive. While their thinking is influenced by their tech backgrounds--they created Google Ventures' "design sprint" process--they are neither for nor against technology for its own sake (Knapp has mostly bricked his iPhone, for example, while Zeratsky can't imagine a phone without e-mail). They make no recommendations--or judgments--about what an individual might focus on or what tactics may work best. Instead, they offer suggestions and guidance to shaping a more meaningful, less distracted kind of life. While their methods are not entirely original (and they respectfully give credit where credit is due), Make Time is a thought-provoking guide for anyone who's tired of living on the "Busy Bandwagon," sure to inspire at least one new habit in the reading. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm