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18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done [Hardcover]

Peter Bregman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 28 2011
Based upon his weekly Harvard Business Review columns (which is one of the most popular columns on HBR.com, receiving hundreds of thousands of unique page views a month), 18 MINUTES clearly shows how busy people can cut through all the daily clutter and distractions and find a way to focus on those key items which are truly the top priorities in our lives.

Bregman works from the premise that the best way to combat constant and distracting interruptions is to create productive distractions of one's own. Based upon a series of short bite-sized chapters, his approach allows us to safely navigate through the constant chatter of emails, text messages, phone calls, and endless meetings that prevent us from focusing our time on those things that are truly important to us.

Mixing first-person insights along with unique case studies, Bregman sprinkles his charming book with pathways which help guide us -- pathways that can get us on the right trail in 18 minutes or less.

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Product Description


18 MINUTES is an intensely smart, insanely readable, and eminently practical guide to boosting our effectiveness and deepening our satisfaction. I've already benefited from the ideas in is book in my own work. So will you.

-- Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind (

Pick this book up and read it. Bregman's wisdom, humility, and ability to tell a great story run through every page of this gem. 18 Minutes is the best blend of a business book and a self-help book I have ever read.

--Robert Sutton, Stanford University Professor and bestselling author of Good Boss, Bad Boss (

Feeling in control of your time is a key element of happiness. In the thoughtful, practical, and often funny 18 MINUTES, Peter Bregman explains how to make sure we have plenty of time to do the things that matter most to us -- so that our lives reflect our true values and priorities.

--Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project (

Bregman has taken the advice from his popular Harvard Business Review columns and turned it into a book for people who feel that they don't have enough hours in the day to do what they need to do. He offers straightforward advice: focus your priorities at the annual, daily, and moment-to-moment level; determine your goals; eliminate distractions that don't let you achieve those goals; and be firm regarding your boundaries. While the reader has no doubt heard this advice from other self-help books, Bregman's anecdotes are helpful and funny, his advice is sound, and his points are easy to grasp. Hopefully readers will find what he has to say useful and not just a retread of things they already know--multitasking is a myth, take time to refocus throughout the day, motivate your employees with fun--from other sources.

--Publishers Weekly (

About the Author

Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, a global management consultancy where he is the advisor to CEOs as well as to their top management teams on leadership and workplace issues. He is based in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have been following Peter Bregman's HBR blog posts for several years and consider him one of the most thoughtful and most eloquent of commentators on the contemporary business world. You can thus understand my eagerness as I began to read this book.

Others have their own reasons for admiring this book. Here are three of mine. First, Bregman is a diehard pragmatist with an insatiable curiosity to understand what works, what doesn't, and why so he that can then share what he considers most important with those who read his columns and now this book. He suggests (and I agree) that "we steal time from ourselves constantly" because I do every day. He offers practical advice that I began to follow as I proceeded through the narrative. All of his advice makes sense but it will work only if I give it a fighting chance. For example, slow down the pace at which I proceed from one task (completed or not) to another (completed or not). I now sprint for 12-15 minutes, then stop for 3-5 minutes and listen to selections from my favorite classical music from CDs such as "The Only Classical CD You'll Ever Need" and Pachelbel Canon and Other Baroque Hits," selections that have a calming effect. Bregman also suggests starting over in the sense that, if I could, would I commit to [fill in the blank] again? Reconstructing one ill-advised decision helps to avoid making another.

I also appreciate Bregman's heavy emphasis on improving the process by which to ask questions. Only then, when answering them, can priorities be determined, goals and deadlines set, and non-essentials eliminated. For example, what is really important in each domain of my life (i.e. personal, domestic, career, and community)? What must be done within the next hour? What must be done by noon? By day's end? By week's end?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really good book and examples June 29 2014
By walid
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really good book and examples. I like that the author likes to experiment and wonder why are the way things are. I think the only problem with this book is for me I am more dynamic and scheduling stuff just does not work for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool April 27 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recommend this book to my clients who have "too much on their plate". It is easy to read, quick to implement and the worksheets are useful. The process helps with decision making and prioritizing and makes it much easier to say "yes" to the important things and "no" to the unimportant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This works and it can change your life March 27 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Peter Bregman is a genius. Check out his web site and be inspired.
He is practical in a way we can put to work right away but most of all motivation to take action.
Changes happen right away in a way that is a life change.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Narcistic delirium Jan. 16 2014
By baram
This book is about how author loves himself. There are scientific researches, no deep thought, nothing. All book is kid-like stories about how it is important to save your time. Weasting time book.
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