Make Time: Focus On What Matters

A template to help you make time, find energy, and find focus in your daily life. Based on Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky.

About this doc

Watch a tutorial on how to use this template.

What is Make Time?

Whether it’s at work or in your personal life, we all want to make more time to focus on the things that matter.

Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky wrote a book called Make Time that’s all about this topic: making time. Jake and John both work in the tech industry and have experimented with all sorts of habits, routines, and tricks to make more time in their day. The main message behind the book is that it is possible to redesign how you spend your day so that you can focus on adding value to one thing and one thing only. It starts with the highlight.

Choosing Your Highlight

What is a highlight? It’s the answer to the question: “What’s the highlight of my day?” It could be a project you’ve been wanting to tackle at work, or an activity at home you’ve been wanting to do. The great thing about the highlight according to Jake and John is that even if your day is not going that well, your highlight gives you comfort that something went right that day.

During the workday, you may spend a lot of time reacting to other people’s requests, which leaves little time for you to be proactive with what you’re making time for. Trying to remove all distractions from your day is like saying tomorrow you will lose 100 pounds if you decide to go on a diet. Having a highlight is your north star so that if you do fall into bad habits during the day (checking social media, e-mail), mentally knowing the highlight can be the nudge to move the elephant in the right direction.

Laser, Energize, Reflect

After defining your highlight, Make Time discusses how you can optimize your environment to focus on your highlight:

  • Laser - Willpower is not enough to remove all distractions from your environment. Create physical barriers to allow you to laser in on your highlight (e.g. delete social media apps)
  • Energize - We are stuck in front of our computers all day, but for most of human history we moved around, talked to people, and ate natural foods. Apply these same concepts to give you the energy you need to focus.
  • Reflect - Make Time has 87 tactics for you to experiment with. Each day you can try a different tactic, and reflect on what worked and what didn’t work.

The Quantified Self

If you are a fan of the Quantified Self movement, this template is for you. This template allows you to put into practice the tactics discussed in Make Time. Set your highlight, tweak your Laser and Energy, try different tactics, and log everything daily in this template. Each day as you log your highlights, analytics will begin to appear showing you whether you made time for your highlight each day, along with the Laser and Energy you logged each day.


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About the Maker

Daniel Kamerling

Dan is a product manager that is always looking for new frameworks to try out and explore.

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