Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “4 Seconds: All The Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want” as Want to Read:
4 Seconds: All The Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

4 Seconds: All The Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by HarperOne
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 4 Seconds, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 4 Seconds

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  640 ratings  ·  80 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of 4 Seconds: All The Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want
Jay
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoughtful and Useful

Peter Bregman tells stories about his life to share ideas on productivity, performance, and life. The ideas are simple to understand though they may be challenging to implement. Each chapter focuses on one key idea. Some you may already do, some you may question. The others may be useful, at least for a while.

Some of the ideas are focused on productivity. For example, he recommends limiting the number of times you check email. The ones I found more valuable address the far
...more
Jon
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
I feel bad writing this, but this book was useless to me. Bregman comes across as a nice guy who is trying to give good advice to help people out, but after a while, he starts to sound like an older brother or unwanted mentor who constantly winds you through long personal stories to illustrate points that end up being obvious.

I don't think that I'm particularly astute when it comes to humans, but there wasn't a single point that wasn't common knowledge. These are blog posts in book form, as can
...more
TPK
Oct 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Four Seconds is filled with short, blog-entry-sized chapters, each one focusing on a specific bullet point of behavioral change. Some of these are not a big surprise -- the title refers to taking a four-second break (just long enough to take a deep breath) before making a course correction from a poor decision to a better one, an idea with which anyone who has heard the expression "take a deep breath and count to ten" is already familiar. Others might be slightly counterintuitive -- if you want ...more
Chique Balaga
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love it! Not only that Ive finished it in just for few hours but personally I've managed to focus with a little distraction from here and there and I made it! (Proud moment)
Sergey Shishkin
Personal anecdotes from author's life with his wise advice in the end. I didn't disagree with most of the advice, but it's just not what I expected from the book's title. I would rather title the book "52 things Peter Bergman wants to teach you about life". "4 seconds" was only one chapter of the book, not connected to anything else. Excellent books "Power of Habit" and "Willpower" cover habit forming and transforming with much more structure, in my opinion.
Nicole Cushing
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes. I agree with so much of this book. Take 4 seconds to orient yourself.
Jay
Thoughtful and Useful

Peter Bregman tells stories about his life to share ideas on productivity, performance, and life. The ideas are simple to understand though they may be challenging to implement. Each chapter focuses on one key idea. Some you may already do, some you may question. The others may be useful, at least for a while.

Some of the ideas are focused on productivity. For example, he recommends limiting the number of times you check email. The ones I found more valuable address the far
...more
Sean Goh
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: pers-dev, relating, biz
Since this is a collection of blog posts the bite sized chapters are never more than 4-5 pages long. The points are illustrated through examples drawn from Bregman's personal and professional experiences, and do serve to underscore the ideas expounded. Easy to read, easy to forget too.

Urges hold useful information. If you're hungry, it may be a good indication you need to eat. But it also be an indication that you're bored or struggling with a difficult piece of work. Meditation gives you
...more
Kelsey Jones
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
great book! way better than I thought it would be.
Kathryn Welch
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful and insightful book. I learned so much about business, relationships and life. I'll be buying it to lend to others. Great read.
Pete
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely opened some new thoughts. I liked the start with a discussion on the importance of meditation to build up resistance for other urges.
Carmen Sisson
Oct 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Not what I was looking for. I was hoping for concrete suggestions to change my personal life by replacing bad habits with better ones. It would have been wonderful to have some scientific studies or verifiable analysis.

Instead, we are left with predictable, blog-length entries that are long on anecdotes but short on substance.

The book begins OK but quickly becomes focused on leadership, management, and parenting strategies. I'm a freelance writer with no children. I don't care about navigating
...more
Greg
Four Seconds is a collection of short lessons oriented to helping people become more effective and efficient, whether at work, at home, or in other areas of their lives. The title comes from the first of these short lessons, urging the reader to create a four second time for reflection in what Covey called the gap between stimulus and response.

Each of these short lessons highlights something quick and (sometimes) easy to do that will make a difference. Some of them are things I already do, and
...more
Stefanie
Sep 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the title, I thought this book was going to be about personal productivity strategies, time management, something like that. Um, no. This reads like the personal journal of someone whose therapist is trying to help him get control of his emotional roller coaster. Everything upsets, frustrates, stresses, or angers him, from simple interactions with his family to coworkers, clients, even clerks in stores. He uses the words "feel" and "feelings" 213 times in this very short book, if that's ...more
JoAnne
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Let me try another self-help book to get me to brake my unproductive habits.

Peter gives 50 short stories (republished from his Blog ) to encourage me to reprogram my current reactionary habits. By using the theory that if I intentionally take 1 breath, which takes 4 seconds, BEFORE I say something stupid or hurtful, I may be able to change my 1) mental defaults, 2) my relationships, and 3) my work habits.

Most of the stories are quite humorous and all make good points, which are summarized at
...more
Chris Haley
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read Four Seconds after listening to an HBR podcast featuring an interview with Peter Bregman. The podcast included enough thought-provoking suggestions to justify borrowing the audiobook for the daily commute. Going into the book, it wasn't clear what Bregman's expertise or credentials were - after finishing, it's still not clear (and no, I haven't taken the time to Google his name and find out). The beginning of the book highlighted the importance of pausing before responding, allowing your ...more
Ana
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
I didn't read the author's previous book, 18 Minutes, but this felt like a thin followup. Not a ton of new ideas here, kind of a mishmash of thoughts.

I did like and appreciate the story of the woman who wanted to be viewed as more senior, and what she needed to do. And I liked the part about when people are awful, to realize they are showing you who they actually are. But there wasn't much that felt actionable her and very little that was new to me.

As a side note, I listened to this as an
...more
Mike
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The conclusion of this book is what really saved it for me. At the beginning, the author talks about how setting goals is counter productive and recommends against doing it. in the VERY NEXT CHAPTER he gives examples of setting specific goals to help yourself accomplish things. But then, at the very end, he says something very important that most books like this do not acknowledge. The author says that most solutions are really only temporary and he encourages the reader to not try to apply ...more
JP
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked up some useful ideas along the way, but they were mostly reminders. Walk away from arguments. Focus on what gives you energy. These I already knew. The concept of agreeing with someone you disagree with, by finding common ground, in order to initiate some rapport - that was useful. I've developed a growing preference over time that books in the self-help genre should have plenty of stories where the author isn't the central figure. Maybe that bias is unfair, as many people have plenty ...more
Ashley
Did not love the reader on this audio... And didn't love the content either. Some of it was good, but he spent a lot longer than he needed too... Just saying.

I did really like the idea that often we think we have a problem with motivation, but really we have a problem with follow through. This makes a lot of sense, and because it changes your approach to a problem, it might actually be the most helpful piece of information I got out of this book ;)

I've read several self-help type books lately,
...more
Bookstakeaway
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you're someone who's looking for strategies, ideas, or tactics on becoming more productive, then check out this book by Peter Bregman. He's got a plethora of ideas on how you can increase your productivity in both your personal and professional life. I actually had the chance to interview him. If you're interested in the review with him, here's a link to the review: https://youtu.be/vErd8tS-Gmc
Gabrielle Wonnell
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good follow up to 18-minutes. I am excited to put these tips into practice as I develop my year of focus. Though I plan to start at my birthday, rather than the usual calendar year start. Mr. Bregman provides valuable and easy-to-implement lessons in leadership, as well as reminders to be kind to yourself and others.
Austin
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Not a bad work but not groundbreaking for me either. There are a number of short "guides" (I'm not really sure what to call them) and some are quite helpful. It's a useful book to have as a casual reference and I'll use a number of the concepts here where I can.
Lakshmanan Ramanathan
I've not time to think - Scariest words from a leader. Pause/reflect for 4 seconds and act. Resist the impulse to write-off people. No power-point rule has the greatest impact because it keeps the energy where it should be: solving problems together
Srinivas
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good book on how can one manage impulsive reactions & get better at that. The book is in the form of short stories which the reader can relate better to than a dry theory content.Thats what makes the learning interesting.
Kat
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has a lot of good tips on how to adjust your thinking and behavior in just about every area of your life. I listened to the audio book and will eventually read the ebook to reabsorb everything.
Bryan Carty
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every manager should read this book. Whoever does will certainly change their approach to management. Do yourself a favour and try it
Chad
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of good ideas, some of which I'll incorporate. The 4 seconds seemed to be the first 1 or 2 chapters and the rest were a bunch of good productivity ideas. Recommended.
Andrew Dag
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great! I love it. So many advices I liked.
Oscar
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I follow his podcast and wanted to read one of his books, it presents a good tool an examples to apply this 4 second rule.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Myth of Multitasking: How "doing It All" Gets Nothing Done
  • Rescue Your Money: Your Personal Investment Recovery Plan
  • Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace
  • Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most
  • Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose
  • Getting to Yes with Yourself: And Other Worthy Opponents
  • Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence
  • Stick with It: The Science of Lasting Changes
  • My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired
  • Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior
  • Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
  • Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing
  • The Pomodoro Technique
  • The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child
  • How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
  • Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want
  • Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected
  • Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness
See similar books…
57 followers
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
...more
“Saying thank you is never a waste of time.” 1 likes
“Being bored is a precious thing, a state of mind we should pursue. Once boredom sets in, our minds begin to wander, looking for something exciting, something interesting, to land on. And that’s where creativity arises. My” 0 likes
More quotes…