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Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  541 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Feeling overwhelmed with work and life demands? Rushing, multitasking, or relying on fancy devices and apps won't help. The answer is to create the conditions for two awesome hours of peak productivity per day.

Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience, Josh Davis, director of research at the NeuroLeadership Institute explains clearly that our brains and bodies operate according
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by HarperOne (first published April 7th 2015)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Jeremy Lyon
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is one of a genre of self-help books steeped in a culture of doing more, faster, better. It's dedication to the relentless optimization of every minute in the unexamined pursuit of commerce triggers my latent inner anarchist and predisposes me to dislike it.

But I'm glad I successfully suppressed my instinct to set the book on fire. Because despite the fact that it employs all the hackneyed tropes you've seen before in books of this kind, it's key insight is a bit of finger in the eye to its
Anne White
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charlotte Mason educators need to read this book. There are many simiarities to Mason's writings on atmosphere and on the body-mind connections in education.
Sherry Elswick
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I picked up this book at the suggestion of a colleague. I begrudgingly gave it 3 stars. Here's why: Josh Davis is on to something in the first 1/2 of the book when he encourages you, dear gentle reader, to be intentional about your to-do list. He coaches you on the gazillion different seconds you have throughout your day to make better choices about what gets done vs. not instead of just reacting and ping ponging your way, unfettered and un-purposeful-- through the day. Great advice. For this re ...more
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Nothing revolutionary but Josh Davis from the NeuroLeadership Institute has caused me to do something that tons of other self-help books haven't and that is to make a conscious change.

The first 69 pages made a strong enough impression that I've now posted a note so I am always reminded of the principles of decision points:

" *Savor each decision point.
*Plan your decision points in advance.
*Don't start a new task without consciously deciding it's the right one."

Good stuff!
Alex Devero
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
You can harness at least two awesome hours of effectiveness every day by following five simple strategies: recognize your decision points; manage your mental energy; stop fighting distractions; leverage your mind–body connection; and make your workspace work for you. This way, you’ll provide yourself with the psychological and biological conditions you need for top performance.
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretty good book with solid ideas for improving productivity.
Wendi Lau
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
If concentration and decision-making are limited resources, then planning the ideal, productive workday is like managing an intellectual budget (argh, budgeting is my kryptonite!). This is the treasure in Josh Davis' general book.

This is a good case for taking mass transit or ride-sharing in order to leave more brain juice for the workday. Daily commuters squander brainpower driving themselves to and from work. Driving in traffic is mentally exhausting and leaves workers much less capable o
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
The concept of this book is simple. The author advises you to be stop being bothered about being productive for 10-12 hours every day but narrow down your focus to have two awesome productive hours of effective work.

A big disclaimer here, the author recommendation will large be applicable for white-collared workers. It does not have a universal appeal among working people. However, there are enough gems of information in the book for everyone to follow in their day to day life.

Basically, the au
Nopadol Rompho
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Five strategies presented in this book seem to be simple but they are quite powerful. We only need two awesome hours to be at most productive time and then we can get a lot of important things done. Strongly recommended.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: productivity
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some good ideas here about time management -- it's not as proscriptive as other books in this genre (you know, the ones that say "only check your email once a week"). Instead it describes how our understanding of human attention and effectiveness is changing, and how the principles of some research studies can be applied to our work life.

I've already tried some of the suggestions in the book, such as being aware of shifts in attention and decisions making, and also being more conscious about how
Dawn Trlak-Donahue
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I read this for my work literary circle. Not much new here- basically the same idea of working on most important first- combined with the idea that you need to pick the right block of time to work on the most important so that you are at your best. Easier said than done with competing priorities.
Mar 06, 2017 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Two Awesome Hours is not an ordinary book on time management. Its premise is that the human brain is not designed to exert itself 100% of the time throughout an eight hour day. The brain is like a muscle. It can only do so much work, and it requires a bit of rest in between periods of intense activity. Two hours is an arbitrary length of time that the author feels is realistically achievable for peak performance in any given day. This length of time is variable; it depends on the individual and ...more
Zourkas Lavrentiades
Despite the fact that I was a little bit excited reading this book, I honestly didn't find earth shattering ideas or thought provoking concepts.

Personally I believe nothing new was contributed to the self-help domain from this book that I already was not aware of. However "Two Awesome Hours" is an great start for entry level fellow humans who are curious about time and energy management.

I will keep one outstanding observation though that the author shares with us regarding human performance.

Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ok, first I would like to say you’re welcome. I read this book so you don’t have to. This book has been on my TBR for over a year. I figured this was a way to start the year “right”. No more procrastinating!

The title explains it all. I am not sure what I was thinking when I bought this book. Maybe it was on sale. I go crazy at used bookstores. I am not sure what was going on in my life at the time of this purchase. I'm currently judging the old me.

The book recommends giving into brief distractio
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick and easy read that provided me with some practical tips on getting to what's most important. I have already implemented decision points which allows me to choose what to do next once a task is complete rather than just automatically going to the next shiny thing! I discovered that our brains are wired to do most of what we do automatically. No more autopilot for me. I have found that I feel better about what I am completing and that I'm getting to focus on what's important to me not what's ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roy Wang
The book's overarching advice is to be more aware of our mental and physical states and leverage them for better productivity. More specifically, the author elaborates on 5 key to-dos: recognize your decision points; manage your mental energy; stop fighting distractions; leverage your mind–body connection; and make your workspace work for you. However, I get the feeling that the entire book could have been slimmed down into a feature-length article without losing much substance. That being said, ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
The chapter on decision points will actually be helpful and has stuff I haven't heard about before, and is totes worth the current price of $2 for the Kindle version of this book.

tl;dr when you've finished a task and are deciding what to do next, take extra long and decide on the right thing to do next, don't just automatically switch to something dumb/easy and waste hours on it.
Dalila Uncovers
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Useful, Brief, to the Point

The author offered some very accessible tools that just about anyone can use at their desk or in their workspace. He encourages the task-oriented person to be realistically, biologically and mentally effective by working with and not against our neurology. Worth every penny. Just read it again, on a Sunday morning whim, to refresh.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! It helps with multiple different problems including will power and time management. Loved this book and recommend for people who have issues with sugar addiction. IN FACT this book helped me curve a sugar addition that I have struggled with extremly for 15 years. For that alone this book goes above 5 stars
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
The author's suggestions come from a very specific perspective, and the book is a short read so only that specific perspective is provided. The tips and strategies are a good reminder that office workers have common struggles. So, the book largely offers the reader an opportunity to be more mindful of behaviors and surroundings rather than life-changing secrets.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book - it's a quick read, with five main points that are thoroughly backed up with a lot of research. I really recommend it if you want to leverage your psychology to become more effective with your time.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Great idea in principle and I think it's worth a try: Identify the most important tasks of a day and devote a hyper-focused two hours of the day to them. Yet, a lot of the other things in the book are a bit obvious.

I am still going to give this one a try, though. Experimenting it next week.
Lauren Collman
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some helpful & practical tips on how to approach life and your workday.

I liked how easy it was to read, the practical tips and the research behind each piece of advice. The anecdotes from historical and present figures were also intriguing.
Justin Decloux
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful guide on being happy with your productivity, that's real short, and boils down to five basic Maxim's (most which you are aware of but don't put into practice) that the author bakes into your mind with some common sense applications and real world examples.
Doreen Farrar
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly sensible advice on adding some sense of organization to the reader's work and personal life. I read it as a library book, but I may have to buy it for future reference.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing, and I recommend it for freelancers or anyone else working on their own schedule.
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