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

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  5,289 ratings  ·  373 reviews
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 fro
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 28th 2011 by Business Plus (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Dec 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Peter Bregman is an author and business consultant whose book 18 Minutes provides a good way to focus on your life in the year ahead. Some of my key takeaways from this book.

1. Find your focus for the coming year by leveraging your strengths, embracing your weaknesses, asserting your differences, and pursuing your passions. Bregman says to focus on around 5 goals for the coming year, with a mix of professional and personal goals.

2. Prior to each day, you should review your plan to be sure you'l
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
I know I've had this on my currently reading shelf forever, but I swear I'm going to finish it, because it has some great ideas on how to stay focused on goals and not get off into the timewasters that will destroy the best-laid plans. Plus, a lot of it reinforces what I already do, which I enjoy almost as much as the new ideas.


What did I take away from this book?

Mainly that I'm already a focused individual, and I'm on the right track. Really. But it's because I wandered around lost
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
**Getting the right things done**

Who hasn’t struggled with trying to accomplish a crazy amount of to-do’s into one day? And, it often seems as if the list just keeps getting longer as the day progresses...and the frustration inevitably increases.

What if the solution wasn’t doing more, but doing more of what really matters to you?

That’s exactly the approach that Peter Bregman offers with 18 Minutes:
“18 Minutes provides a solution to these struggles and frustrations. It’s a comprehensive approac
Dominick Quartuccio
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Totally misled by the title of the book.

By my account, the "18 minutes" strategy was first mentioned on page 110. It was mentioned again on page 146 and concluded on 147...never to be referenced through the remainder of the book.

In short, here's the 18 minute system:

1) Your Morning Minutes (5 minutes) - Reviewing your to-do list for the day.

2) Refocus (1 minute every hour) - Set a timer to go off every hour to check in with whether you've used the last hour productively, and how to set yoursel
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A terrific book to motivate and organize yourself. I loved it so much I read through it twice, then bought it for two of my friends.

My favorite part of it dealt with not only understanding your strengths, but also taking a much kinder view of your "weaknesses," which might actually be just quirks that make you uniquely suited for particular types of business, art, and other activities. Recognizing those quirks and emphasizing them, rather than hiding and apologizing for them, might be exactly w
Nanette Bulebosh
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
I sought this book after hearing a radio interview with the author. The interview was great. The book? Not so much. I don't understand why so many writers of self-help books feel compelled to write in short, choppy, and annoyingly grammatically incorrect sentences. Do the publishers mandate this? Do they presume that readers of such books are illiterate morons with short attention spans? I start such books with such (admittedly naive) hopes: This will be the book to END all my PROBLEMS! But a fe ...more
Rob Fulton
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
18 minutes my oh my...

This book at first look was another TimeMangement book. I didn't want to read another time management book. The best way I can save time is not reading a book in the first place.

However. There are some great takeaways from this book. It's worth the read just to get the system down. It works immediately.

Step 1. Work from a world of having 3-7 goals (max) each year.
Step 2. Spend 95% a day on your goals, and 5% a day on that crap you have to do, like emails and calls.
Step 3.
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distractions, and Get the Right Things Done is a worthwhile read, especially for people who need not only to manage their time better, but also ensure their time is being spent on the right things. Too often, wisdom about the proper priorities of work, family, volunteerism, and so forth is won at the expense of years (even decades) of misdirected labor and focus. A thoughtful read of this book won't tell the reader what to do, but may cause the reader to think ...more
Emma Sea
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pn-library
1.5 stars
Mara Shaw
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 steps:
1) Zoom way back and look at the big picture. Slow down and see yourself as you really are (sounds like The Road Less Traveled at this point). Figure out your potential, your dreams and goals.
2) Identify five main priorities for the next year. Stay aware of what draws you away from these primary priorities.
3) Plan daily toward your priorities (He quotes Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird).
4) Check in hourly to make sure you're on track. He sets his watch to go off every hour so he checks to se
Chung Nguyen
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fahad Shaikh
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I expected more from this book but it was more of an article than a book. The teacher teaches 3 steps that you must do every day to stay focused and avoid distractions:
Step 1: Spend 5 minutes beginning every day (before starting work), in planning your day

Step 2: Set an alarm at the last minute of every hour to reflect on how you spent the last hour and what needs to be done in the next hour. Also, scan your task list again

Step 3: 5-Minute Review

At the end of the day, shutdown all devices and r
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a good book, from a daily inspirational perspective through its stories. However, definitely not the daily workflow management guide that I thought it would be. I also found the cut up sections to be distracting making the book difficult to follow. Though the stories a had point they intended to make, I didn't always connect them to their section of the book. Perhaps if I took the time to sit down review the section I am reading, and relate the story to the section I may have benefited ...more
Gopi Krishnan
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found Bergman's book to be an easy read, practical and doable in a world full of distractions with the associated struggles in keeping one's focus. In some ways, this was a more palatable (due to its bite-sized chunks nature) compared to Cal Newport's Deep Work that I read last year. The examples are anecdotal, many times personal and quite relatable. What helps is the fact that like any book of wisdom, holy or otherwise, you can go back to the book by skimming through a chapter at any point a ...more
Nishant Bhagat
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent and a practical book. One you can buy and keep referring to as and when you work.

What works well with this book is that the language is simple, to the point. The chapters are nice and tight. Every aspect is expressed with a good example from personal life and then moves into the professional zone.

A must read for people who do want to get more out of their work day & life in a structured manner.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed this book as I agree with the content. I can relate to the content and this is when information makes sense. It has helped me think of loved ones and encourage them too and it agreed with my dear friend Leah - be deliberate! :-) I recommend friends should read this book.
Andrea Josipovic
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not too deep but explains the basics perfectly.
Good for people who are already organized helps filling the blanks.
Even better for the ones who have a problem with focusing and want to accept a little change in their daily and yearly routine (or help create one assuming they don't have it).
Jacob Runyon
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the practical advice is short simplistic chapters.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provides a lot of good tips on eliminating distractions and focusing on critical tasks. However, it needs a framework so readers would understand the progression of the guidance. The 18 minutes that the author refers to (what readers expect to be the purpose of the book) don't even appear until halfway through:
* 5 minutes in the morning to go through the to-do list
* 1 minute after every hour of the workday (8 minutes total) to take a deep breathe and refocus
* 5 minutes in the evening t
Jun 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
could have been way shorter. seems like the only takeaway was to set an alarm for every hour and evaluate if that hour was productive...
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I am starting to notice that there is a lot of overlap in business/time management books. This one referred to several studies that I was familiar with from other reading (Jonah LehrerandMalcolm Gladwell particularly).

Some of Bregman's advice fits in with Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, some of it is challenging the premise that you can get everything done. I think the strength of Bregman's argument is in the area of choosing priorities. He suggests that 5 areas of focu
Tatiana Kim
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great! Simple and clear, good examples, easy to practice. I really like it.
Paul Baldowski
One of those books where you feel a lot of good ideas flow over and around you, but at the end you're not quite sure what you're going to do about it. Solid read, mind you - and recent enough that it reads with topical references. I like what it's saying about no overstretching, not multi-tasking, keeping focus, blocking out the noise of too much to do by setting sensible To Do Lists and not saying Yes when you mean No.

I can recommend it --- but suggest that, unlike me, you make a To Do List of
Ariane Trelaun
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really the only problem I had with Peter Bregman's 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done was that I kept expecting it to only take me 18 minutes to read it. I was impatient with some parts of the book, wanting him to get to the point already, so I could move on to other books in my list, to all the essential work this book was making me want to tackle. That said, I definitely think it was the right read for me at the right time and am recommending it in th ...more
Kristen Rinaldo
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have been in a self-help kind of mood lately when it comes to non-fiction. This book is quite useful in focusing your efforts and time management.

I found that list making, not multitasking, and not being a perfectionist to be the most applicable advice from this books. There is a lot more in this book, but that is what I took away from it. I think that there is something for everyone and that each person will take away something useful from reading it.

I would recommend this to anyone who feels
Donna Blaber
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing. This book really spoke to me. As an author I found it extremely useful to help focus my mind on what is important and exactly what I need to achieve. It also makes you look at your weaknesses in a new and refreshing way. I highly recommend this book, it's the best I've read of its kind. ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-again
I don't subscribe to many blogs, but Peter Bregman's is one of my favorites. I have gotten some great insights into time management there. This book provided even more... It was a good read and will be a read again...
Beth Gaston
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I'm not a fan of self-help books, but this was an engaging, quick read, from which I hope to take away some good pointers. It's not applicable to every career, but almost everyone can learn something from it about dealing with distraction and striving to be one's best self. ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The best I can say is that you can read it on a flight from Vegas to Tampa and still have time left over to knock out a couple of other books. The chapters are short and borrow heavily from other authors.
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wisdom
focus on what matters and use your time wisely cause you usually have one shot at it.
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Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a global management consulting firm which advises CEOs and their leadership teams. He speaks, writes, and consults about how to lead and how to live.

He is the author, most recently, of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, winner of the Gold Medal from the Axiom Business Book awards, named the best busine

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
5 likes · 1 comments
“To get the right things done, choosing what to ignore is as important as choosing where to focus.” 8 likes
“1. Leverage your strengths. 2. Embrace your weaknesses. 3. Assert your differences. 4. Pursue your passions.” 7 likes
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