My Favourite Productivity Book of All Time | Summary and Q&A

June 23, 2020
Ali Abdaal
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My Favourite Productivity Book of All Time


"Make Time" presents a four-part framework and 87 tactics for prioritizing and focusing on the things that matter most to us in a world of endless distractions.

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Key Insights

  • šŸŒ± Taking a holistic approach to daily routines and priorities is essential to focusing on what truly matters in life.
  • šŸŒ "Make Time" offers a four-part framework for prioritizing and protecting the important things in our daily lives.
  • šŸ“± The "busy bandwagon" and "infinity pools" contribute to the constant busyness and distractions in our lives.
  • šŸ’” Relying on willpower alone is not effective in countering distractions and staying focused. Habits play a significant role in productivity.
  • šŸ” The four steps of the framework are: highlight, laser, energize, and reflect. ā° Setting a daily highlight helps to prioritize and protect a specific activity each day.
  • šŸ’Ŗ Creating barriers and increasing friction around distractions allows for greater focus and efficiency.
  • āš” Paying attention to our mental and physical energy is crucial for productivity. Reflecting on our daily habits and experimenting with different techniques is key to personalizing our own time management system.


  • In the modern world, we've all got an endless list of stuff that we could be doing. The more we get done, the more we have to do, if we wanna make time for the most important stuff, the stuff that actually matters, we can't just do it by spinning our gears faster and faster. Instead, we need a more holistic approach to our daily routines, priorit... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the concept of the daily highlight help in prioritizing tasks?

The daily highlight is a single activity that is prioritized and protected in the calendar, allowing individuals to focus on and make time for their most important task of the day. By setting a daily highlight, the authors argue that individuals can avoid the distractions of endless tasks and infinite content.

Q: What are some examples of tactics for managing distractions?

The book provides 87 different tactics for managing distractions, including skipping morning check-ins, being mindful of time-consuming activities, turning distractions into tools, resetting expectations, maximizing focus on the daily highlight, and fully immersing oneself in a task. These tactics aim to create barriers and increase friction to make distractions less accessible.

Q: What is the significance of the energize step in the framework?

The energize step emphasizes the importance of taking care of one's physical and mental energy. By adopting healthy habits related to sleep, nutrition, exercise, and managing caffeine intake, individuals can enhance their overall energy levels, leading to increased productivity and focus on meaningful tasks.

Q: How does the reflection step contribute to personal productivity?

The reflection step encourages individuals to look back on their day and take notes on what worked for them. This allows for a personalized adjustment and adaptation of the framework and tactics. Regular reflection helps individuals understand which strategies are effective for them and make necessary changes to further optimize their productivity.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • "Make Time" is a productivity book by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, former Google employees, who share their insights on how to prevent distractions from taking over our lives.

  • The book presents a four-part framework (highlight, laser, energize, reflect) and 87 different tactics to help readers focus on what matters most to them.

  • The authors emphasize the importance of finding a personalized approach to productivity and experimenting to determine what works best.

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