Friday, December 16, 2011

18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, And Get The Right Things Done By Peter Bregman

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

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

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Product Description

Based upon his weekly Harvard Business Review columns (which is one of the most popular columns on, receiving hundreds of thousands of unique page views a month), 18 MINUTES clearly shows how busy people can cut through all the daily clutter and distractions and find a way to focus on those key items which are truly the top priorities in our lives.

Bregman works from the premise that the best way to combat constant and distracting interruptions is to create productive distractions of one's own. Based upon a series of short bite-sized chapters, his approach allows us to safely navigate through the constant chatter of emails, text messages, phone calls, and endless meetings that prevent us from focusing our time on those things that are truly important to us.

Mixing first-person insights along with unique case studies, Bregman sprinkles his charming book with pathways which help guide us -- pathways that can get us on the right trail in 18 minutes or less.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #806 in Books
  • Published on: 2011-09-28
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.75" h x 1.00" w x 6.00" l, .86 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 288 pages
Editorial Reviews

18 MINUTES is an intensely smart, insanely readable, and eminently practical guide to boosting our effectiveness and deepening our satisfaction. I've already benefited from the ideas in is book in my own work. So will you.
(Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind)

Pick this book up and read it. Bregman's wisdom, humility, and ability to tell a great story run through every page of this gem. 18 Minutes is the best blend of a business book and a self-help book I have ever read.
(Robert Sutton, Stanford University Professor and bestselling author of Good Boss, Bad Boss )

Feeling in control of your time is a key element of happiness. In the thoughtful, practical, and often funny 18 MINUTES, Peter Bregman explains how to make sure we have plenty of time to do the things that matter most to us -- so that our lives reflect our true values and priorities. (Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project )

Bregman has taken the advice from his popular Harvard Business Review columns and turned it into a book for people who feel that they don't have enough hours in the day to do what they need to do. He offers straightforward advice: focus your priorities at the annual, daily, and moment-to-moment level; determine your goals; eliminate distractions that don't let you achieve those goals; and be firm regarding your boundaries. While the reader has no doubt heard this advice from other self-help books, Bregman's anecdotes are helpful and funny, his advice is sound, and his points are easy to grasp. Hopefully readers will find what he has to say useful and not just a retread of things they already know--multitasking is a myth, take time to refocus throughout the day, motivate your employees with fun--from other sources.
(Publishers Weekly)

About the Author
Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, a global management consultancy where he is the advisor to CEOs as well as to their top management teams on leadership and workplace issues. He is based in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful.
4An Inspirational Handbook for Improving Performance in Just 18 Minutes a Day
By Todd Cherches - BigBlueGumball
Having just finished reading Peter Bregman's new book, "18 Minutes," I am simultaneously invigorated and exhausted.

(Actually, "read" is not the right word - "devoured" is more like it.)

I am INVIGORATED in that this combination business book and self-help book has inspired me to start looking at, thinking about, and doing some things differently...starting with the simple reminder that we need to regularly stop -- to pause, reflect, recharge, recalibrate, and refocus - for just 18 minutes a day (5 minutes at the beginning; eight 1-minute check-ins during the day; and 5 minutes at the end).

Leveraging his engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking talent for storytelling (as exhibited regularly in his HBR blog posts), Bregman provides readers with a variety of tools, tips, and techniques intended to help us enhance our productivity and maximize our potential.

And why am I "EXHAUSTED"? Because, in addition to my head spinning from the numerous impactful and memorable stories that I want to remember, the refreshing new insights I gained, and a short list of simple-but-meaningful actions I now plan to take, I started reading the book around midnight last night and couldn't put it down until I finished the entire thing, in one sitting, at four a.m. this morning (luckily it's a Saturday).

Seriously, reading this book is like having a personal and professional life coach standing right beside you -- providing success tips, keeping you focused, and cheering you on along the way.

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful.
4Check in with yourself to make sure you're on the right path
By Tina
Drawing from his Harvard Business Review columns, Peter Bregman offers advice to those of us who have too much to do. He points out that paying attention to every single thing we come across takes time away from focusing on the things in our lives that truly matter. Many of his tips - such as not responding to things immediately - seem to be common sense, but how many of us truly apply this when we're caught up in our daily activity?

To focus on the "right" things, Bregman encourages us to slow down. By delaying reactions to demands, we can make sure we're reacting the right way and taking on tasks that align with our goals. Think through things carefully and react to the desired outcome instead of the event. What's the ultimate result you want?

Later in the book, he explains his title, "18 Minutes". We need a discipline to stay focused on our day. His 18 minutes refers to five minutes planning at the beginning and end of the day, and one minute per hour (assuming an eight-hour work day) to stop and ask if you're on track. Reflect on the day. Did you do what you expected? What needs to change? If you're not monitoring your progress and checking in with yourself regularly, it's hard to stay focused.

Many time management books focus on how to get things done in less time. I agree with Bregman that maybe what we really need is to do less. As we find our focus, our days can be more manageable. And I definitely agree that working 24/7 keeps us from living a balanced life since we're obviously not leaving space for the other parts of our lives. Whatever your goals, don't forget to enjoy the ride. At the end, no one wishes they worked more.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Hachette Book Group.

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful.
5A guide for planning your hour, your day, your year, your life
By Joyce R.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of Peter Bregman's new book. I'm a bit skeptical of the self-help genre in general, but what makes this book different from other time management books is the author's grasp of the big picture. Other books on getting organized are only useful if you're absolutely confident in what you want to accomplish. At the other extreme, find-the-meaning-of-life gurus generally don't have much to say on managing your inbox. The book follows a "zoom in" logic from the largest questions of life--Who am I? What do I value? What are my strengths and weaknesses?--to the most minute details. The titles of the four parts are: I. Pause, II. What Is This Year About? III. What Is This Day About? IV. What Is This Moment About? The idea is that by always keeping in mind what is important and what is not, you can avoid falling into the trap of mechanically checking off to-do lists without regard for the content. The stories that Bregman tells to make his points are beautifully written, genuine, and thoughtful. You will not find any gimmicky acronyms or corporate buzzword babble. My only criticism is that at times there seems to be a lack of recognition of how difficult it can be to implement change in one's life. Then again, it would be a bigger problem if the author of this kind of book wasn't optimistic. All in all, reading has been a thought-provoking experience that is helping me focus on my priorities and plan my days accordingly.


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