Blackad bookshelf: Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

Written by Rachel McCallion

Is it just us, or is working from home starting to feel suspiciously like living at work? We’re still figuring out how to juggle housework, hobbies, home-schooling and our actual jobs. This book seemed like the perfect choice to level-up our productivity.

We were not-so-secretly hoping it wasn’t a rehash of the old ‘get up at 5am and only check email once an hour’ advice we’ve all seen and failed to rebuild our habits around in the past. And, oh boy, it didn’t disappoint. 

What’s it all about?

Make Time titters in the face of other productivity books. Barely had we hit the third page before we were hooked. Co-written by friends and colleagues Jake and John, the tone is friendly, not preachy, as they talk us through their tactics for making more time in your day. There’s less focus on work, more on making time for the things that give you the warm and fuzzies. Maybe that means your job. Maybe it doesn’t.

Their methods are super easy to slide into your schedule. Nothing is unattainable. And that’s the magic of Make Time. Everything they suggest makes you think, ‘Yep, I can do that.’

Why we loved it

The writers started their careers at Google and YouTube, helping to create what they now call ‘infinity pools’ –which are basically anything you can lose hours sifting through. Social media apps, the internet and email all fall into this category. That they worked on the very programmes that hoover up a huge chunk of our time gives the book an optimistic edge – they know this software inside out, so maybe they know how to beat it.

Where it lost marks

Now, as much as we loved this book, there were a couple of examples which we thought just a smidge out of touch. Have a friend change your Wi-Fi password so you can’t log on at will? A bit much for us. Sometimes, you need your Netflix fix.

But these examples were few and far between. On the whole – the book’s advice is realistic and digestible. No complicated recipe for success, just bite-size changes that are easy to put into practice.

Our verdict

Vague agreement happens every so often at Blackad book club. But complete agreement on almost every point? Unheard of. Yet Make Time had us all nodding into our webcams. First, we gushed about how good it was, next we chatted about the productivity hacks we’d already put into action and then we gave it our scores. Which, this week, are brought to you by the number 5. 

In summary…

Chris: “I’ve been a lot more conscious of how I’m spending my time after reading it and I’ve been doing a highlight every day. We’ll see how long it lasts.”

Helen: “I’ve always thought I’m really good at time management. It’s the sort of thing I’d say in a job interview. After reading this, that is not the case. I found myself learning a lot.”

Sian: “This book had quite a profound effect on me. I think the juggling of home and work is something that we’re still figuring out and this book made me feel like I just need to shuffle a few things about and it’ll all be fine.”

Rachel: “I’ve definitely been thinking about the easy ways that their methods could totally change my time management. It made me feel really optimistic.”

Next steps

🛒 Order 'Make Time' from Amazon

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