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Chris LoCurto

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September 11, 2012

Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, And Get The Right Things Done

September 11, 2012 | By | 111 Comments">111 Comments

On today’s episode of the EntreLeadership Podcast, I interviewed author Peter Bregman about his book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done.

If you can’t see the graphic, click here.

Here are just a few things we discussed:

  • The importance of paying attention to positive people.
  • Your identity is not in your failures!
  • Helping leadership to loosen their resistance to change.
  • How do boundaries, or the lack of boundaries, affect your day?

As a bonus, Peter is also giving away five free copies of 18 Minutes. In order to qualify, you must first:

  1. Leave a comment below by answering the question.
  2. Fill out the contact form. Don’t put your mailing info in the comment.
  3. Tweet a link to this post. Click to Tweet. If you don’t have Twitter, you can use Facebook.

I will pick the winners on Sept. 14 based on the comments and promotion of the post. If you are selected, I will notify you by email. Thanks everyone!

Question: Why do you need Peter’s book?

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  • brandon

    When will the extra interview be posted here on chrislocurto.com? or if i have missed where it was posted please let me know.

  • Robby

    Our family could use it. My wife works from home and we have three kids under 6 (5,3&1). She also home schools. I work full time, starting a coaching business and I’m founder and director of a cycling ministry, so all the help I can get will help.

  • http://twitter.com/BryanSullo Bryan Sullo

    I need this book because I’m the employee Dave talked about who’s stealing time from the company. Problem is, I own the company. So, really, I’m stealing time from my customers and my team members. I hope looking at it that way will effect a change in my attitude. I hope the book will teach me how to put that new attitude into practice.

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      That is an awesome perspective! I’d almost take my name off the list so tou could have it!

  • Preston Dahl

    Why I need Peter’s book:

    As I open my email I am reading the headline of my favorite podcast Entreleadership, and the title blows me away. I had spent most of my morning prayer time over this very subject. My wife and I started our own business recently and I am working Business Development for a company part-time until the company starts generating an income we can live off of. I don’t even know where to spend my time right now or what tackle. All these tasks are screaming at me saying, “Hey I need your attention over here!” and “Don’t forget about me!”. I feel like I’m swimming sometimes. I have the vision that’s necessary for our success I’m just amazed at how easy I get off course.

    Why do I need Peter’s book? Because it’s my destiny! Okay, that’s a bit exaggerated, but seriously I have been looking for a practical tool to help me with my time management. This tool/book is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I can guarantee it won’t go to waste with me!

  • James Parsons

    As a new, young manager of team members 15-20 years older than me (I’m 27), I am searching for a book to share with my team to not only help them (and me) to be more be productive, but to be effective. If I get one of the free copies, it may turn into 4 more book sales when I buy copies for my team! Thanks for the consideration! And, thanks to you Chris for all the great material on each podcast!

  • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

    List Lady is back.
    1. I don’t even remember asking that question for Peter but I almost fell off my painting stool when I heard Chris say the question came from me!
    2. Love the idea of an Ignore List.
    3. Whenever I worked for other people, I was ALWAYS wishing for more to do. . . it was one of the motivators toward self-employment.
    4. Sitting and thinking midday (but not for too long) is great wisdom. “The pause that refreshes. . .” 8-)
    5. Chris, you are so right about having 17,000 things to choose from. EVERYTHING is available to us, right this very minute. No wonder we are all so frazzled and overwhelmed. The bright shiny objects are ubiquitous.
    6. I ordered Peter’s book from the library.
    7. Do you warn these interviewees that you will be asking them, on the air, if they can stick around for more questions? It would be so awkward if one of them said, “Sorry, Dude, you asked for 15 minutes and I gave it to you already!”
    8. Love those podcasts – thank you so very much!

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      I love #7! Becky would probably clip that part out if they did. Which makes me think, is there a blooper reel of unaired podcasts? Could probably monetize that!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Why do you need Peter’s book?

    I need it simply because I wish to set rid of all of my daily
    clutters and increase my productivity by reducing distractions and enhancing focus
    on right things in my life.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Why do I need Peter’s book? Because it is so easy to get distr….

    How about them Phillies?

  • http://twitter.com/apence10 Alicia Pence

    I need this book due to the simple fact that boundaries and failures are a couple of things that I truly struggle with in my life. As a young, development professional, I struggle with how to prioritize and figure out how to manage it all and that causes my productivity to decrease because I become like a deer-in-the-headlights looking at my to-do list! :) I would totally benefit from this book! Thanks!

  • Jason Hurley

    I’d love to have Peter’s book because I’m a BI specialist and I am always looking for new insights on how to stay focused and get more done! I’ve loved everything he’s done that I’ve come across – blogs, podcasts, and books. I look forward to reading this one whether I win it or not!

  • http://christopherbattles.net/ Christopher Battles

    Chris,

    I drew out the words “If your work matters, your time matters…” when listening to this episode. The words work and time could be changed also. Our time matters and therefore we should do work that matters. I recently read Wisdom Meets Passion by Dan Miller and his son Jared and this seems to fit right in. Finding that passion and using the time we have wisely with our passion. Seems like these two ideas create spark that could create heat quickly and grow.

    Thank thee for this episode Sir.

    K, bye

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Listened to the podcast. Wow. Speechless. My takeaway: “Don’t work so hard on trying to do everything right. Work hard on doing the right things.”

  • Laura Johnson

    Why do I need Peter’s book? Let me count the ways… Is this a competition to prove who’s the busiest? ;)
    Just like everyone else, I have too much on my plate: job, blog, marathon training, attempting to write a couple books, three business ideas, to name a few.
    Just last night my husband was talking to me about prioritizing. It’s hard to think of being productive in a short span of time, on a large project. So yeah, I’d LOVE the book!

  • Laura Johnson

    Why do I need Peter’s book? Let me count the ways… Is this a competition to prove who’s the busiest? ;)
    Just like everyone else, I have too much on my plate: job, blog, marathon training, attempting to write a couple books, three business ideas, to name a few.
    Just last night my husband was talking to me about prioritizing. It’s hard to think of being productive in a short span of time, on a large project. So yeah, I’d LOVE the book!

  • Laura Johnson

    Why do I need Peter’s book? Let me count the ways… Is this a competition to prove who’s the busiest? ;)
    Just like everyone else, I have too much on my plate: job, blog, marathon training, attempting to write a couple books, three business ideas, to name a few.
    Just last night my husband was talking to me about prioritizing. It’s hard to think of being productive in a short span of time, on a large project. So yeah, I’d LOVE the book!

  • Laura Johnson

    Why do I need Peter’s book? Let me count the ways… Is this a competition to prove who’s the busiest? ;)
    Just like everyone else, I have too much on my plate: job, blog, marathon training, attempting to write a couple books, three business ideas, to name a few.
    Just last night my husband was talking to me about prioritizing. It’s hard to think of being productive in a short span of time, on a large project. So yeah, I’d LOVE the book!

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    With all the mudslinging going on right now, I need a daily bath in Positive Thoughts. That;s why I, and everyone else needs the book.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    With all the mudslinging going on right now, I need a daily bath in Positive Thoughts. That;s why I, and everyone else needs the book.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    With all the mudslinging going on right now, I need a daily bath in Positive Thoughts. That;s why I, and everyone else needs the book.

  • http://twitter.com/EOdorczyk Eric Odorczyk

    Man would it ever help me to read this book. Im always loosing focus and jumping from task to task thinking that im saving time by juggling 20 things at once. After doing all those things for a little while I loose focus and none get complete. As I write this I was check 2 different email accounts instead of finishing this comment. Help me please!

  • http://twitter.com/EOdorczyk Eric Odorczyk

    Man would it ever help me to read this book. Im always loosing focus and jumping from task to task thinking that im saving time by juggling 20 things at once. After doing all those things for a little while I loose focus and none get complete. As I write this I was check 2 different email accounts instead of finishing this comment. Help me please!

  • http://twitter.com/EOdorczyk Eric Odorczyk

    Man would it ever help me to read this book. Im always loosing focus and jumping from task to task thinking that im saving time by juggling 20 things at once. After doing all those things for a little while I loose focus and none get complete. As I write this I was check 2 different email accounts instead of finishing this comment. Help me please!

  • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

    I love this subject and can’t wait to read it!

    This was another great interview and I can’t wait to hear the bonus material!

    I have actually put together a Sunday School series based on this thought. I taught it years ago, and I’m getting ready to teach it again. It is based on Joshua 11:15 (“As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.”) It says that “he left nothing undone.” But not just getting “everything” done – just the most important things!

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      By the way, my reason for NEEDING it is so I can have some more material to help others as I teach this again!

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      By the way, my reason for NEEDING it is so I can have some more material to help others as I teach this again!

    • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

      Like that – “he left nothing undone” – in terms of “all the LORD commanded Moses.” Wonder how many of the things on my list weren’t commanded by the LORD? Food for thought…

      • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

        One of the interesting points is that he did what God commanded Moses. It was an indirect command, and Joshua inherited it.

        • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

          Good point. i would like to sit in on your SS class. just sayin.

          • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

            You might not be old enough- my class is teenagers :) I’m thinking about formatting it into an ebook.

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              Haha! Charmer :) Sounds like a good plan on the ebook – I’ll buy!

  • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

    I work at a nonprofit with 17 other paid staff and 200 volunteers per week, so needless to say, there are a LOT of interruptions, and I wear a lot of hats. I need this book to help ground me and find a way to actually accomplish the things I need to instead of putting out fires and doing busywork all day because I lost track of what I was working on.

    I’m also balancing work, blogging, blogging class and 3 different responsibilities at church – so very overwhelmed. I look forward to insights on how to be productive again!

  • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

    I don’t really need Peter’s book, but I want it! (not eligible to win it because I don’t tweet or book my face)

    Chris, I don’t know how you keep coming up with such WINNERS! I just read about Peter, and I am very impressed with his ideas and wisdom and credentials. Looking forward to the podcast, which I’ll listen to while painting tomorrow.

    • Laura Johnson

      “book my face”. Haha! :)

      • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

        Thanks for noticing, Laura. I was fairly pleased with myself for that turn of phrase. 8-)

    • Laura Johnson

      “book my face”. Haha! :)

    • Laura Johnson

      “book my face”. Haha! :)

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    I need this book more now than in any other time in my life. I’m having difficulty maintaining my blog, fulfilling project commitments, and home projects—WITHOUT stealing from family time.

    Getting up early, going to be late, and alternating 12-16 hour shifts with my wife is beginning to make my desk and all subsequent projects pile up.
    I make plenty of time for my wife and 2 boys, but when your kids are ages 2 and 5, even just 15 minutes on the computer is time “..you’re not playing with me, Daddy!”
    I have never felt more disorganized in my life! Can’t wait to hear this podcast today….between diaper changes, haircuts, and doctor appointments!

    • Mark Sieverkropp

      Haha. I so hear ya Scott! I couple play with my 4yo daughter every waking minute for 2,498 days and if at the end of it I got o the computer she’d say that “no one” would play with her haha

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        Totally! After chasing around my 2 year old for an hour and throwing him around, I sat down and checked emails and he said “Daddy, put the iPod down.” Seriously. I love Louis CK’s bit where he says, “…no 5 year old is going to ever say, ‘No, no. Go ahead and finish. I’ll wait until you’re done.”

        • Mark Sieverkropp

          Haha. Ya. I think he’s right. I don’t forsee my daughter ever saying those words!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      I need a book titled “How to add 12 hours to your day”. I’m pretty sure I’d fill up those extra hours too. Demands from full time work, spouse and two young kids can wear on you pretty fast. Our weekends are spent cleaning and grocery-shopping. Kids spend the day with the babysitter and the two and a half hours we get with them in the evening, they want to play and spend time with us; they don’t care if we have projects or chores to get to. I wish I had an answer for you, but at least you get 100% of my empathy. On the other hand, what brings me comfort is what we are teaching our kids by working hard and making good decisions. I’m sticking to what I’ve read somewhere “Good moms (and dads) have sticky ovens and happy kids”.

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        I know the answer…get up at 5am. However, my wife and I only get about an hour together at night 2-3 nights per week, so we wind up going to bed at or after midnight. No way I’m getting up at 5am the next morning….voluntarily, anyway.

        I know that’s what it takes, though.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          I don’t think there’s a magic formula. I get up at 4:45. By 9:00 PM I’m wiped out!

  • Mark Sieverkropp

    Well Chris, I don’t know that I NEED Peter’s book, but I’ll tell you why I would like it.
    I have laser like focus…for like 6 1/2 minutes. Until the shine comes off or I…ahem…reach level 3 or 4 (joking, rarely play video games anymore!). I’ve written out so many summaries of business ideas I’ve lost track, but I never get further b/c I get distracted, either by a new idea, or fear, or an “emergency” etc.
    I would like this book I help me channel my self-diagnosed ADD and assist me in achieving my goals and dreams.
    …and b/c it’s like a national pastime to compete for “free stuff” ;)
    (c’mon, you didn’t expect my ENTIRE comment to be serious did you?? Haha)

    • http://www.dadrenaline.com/ Christopher Pilon

      Ha! Your crack me up, Mark! “Laser like focus…for like 6 1/2 minutes”. Not sure I can even make it that long right now. I am right there with you, though. It’s difficult to stay focused, especially when you have a bunch of ideas where one leads to another.

      • Mark Sieverkropp

        And your mind shoots down a lot of the ideas as soon as they show up! I’m glad I bring a smile to your face ;)

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers


      I have laser like focus…for like 6 1/2 minutes.” Tweeted :)

    • Laura Johnson

      “free stuff” I thought that was the only serious part of your comment ;)

      • Mark Sieverkropp

        I feel burned I think….

      • Mark Sieverkropp

        I feel burned I think….

      • Mark Sieverkropp

        I feel burned I think….

      • Mark Sieverkropp

        I feel burned I think….

    • Laura Johnson

      “free stuff” I thought that was the only serious part of your comment ;)

    • Laura Johnson

      “free stuff” I thought that was the only serious part of your comment ;)

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    Productivity is just busy work if you are working on the wrong thing.

    • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

      Hmmm, this makes it sound like I don’t need the book. I assure you, I do. :)

      • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

        I knew something about this book sounded familiar: I already have it on my Kindle, sitting in my ‘EntreLeadership’ folder! Ha! Talk about productivity!

        • Mark Sieverkropp

          I move that Erik’s name be removed from the contest due to already having the book. Do I have a “second”?

          • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

            I second it myself! All in favor, RT my quote. :)

            • Mark Sieverkropp

              It’s been moved, seconded and RT’d. Motion carries. Now I move that Matt’s name be removed, simply b/c of our ongoing friendly feud…

              • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

                Wow.

                • Mark Sieverkropp

                  Ya, thats right, walk away! Haha

              • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

                Ha!

          • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

            absodiddly-doodley! Sorry, Simpsons on the brain today.

    • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

      That’s a tweet-worthy quote if I ever heard one!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Agreed. So tweeting.

    • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

      That is brilliant! Did you just come up with that?? I hope I can remember it. . .

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        Woohooo you got your question in the podcast!!!

  • http://seekoutwisdom.blogspot.com Joseph Iliff of SeekOutWisdom

    Why do I need Peter Bregman’s book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done? Because the difference between doing the few “right” things and doing the numerous “everything else” things is so large. Someone can spend all day working and doing, expending energy and time in a way that doesn’t produce nearly the same result as a focused, intentional effort on the right things. The ability to focus on the the things that I need to do, the things where my gifts make the critical difference, allows me to unlock the unique potential God made me with to do His work for His kingdom. Since there is only one me, if I don’t do what I’m supposed to do, it doesn’t get done, and everyone misses out.

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Chris, I suppose that answering your question by saying “because I am reading your blog instead of updating a database that I really don’t want to” is not a good idea?

    But it’s true. I have a hard time doing the really hard things.

    That and…ooh shiny object.

    Most days I haven’t even identified what the right things are, let alone knowing how to do them.

    By the way, this is pretty much an epic podcast. The story from Dave about the formation of minutes and seconds is pretty cool. Helps me view them differently.

    • Mark Sieverkropp

      Ahhhh you’re tricky!! ACTING like you’re just reading the log to avoid doing something else to demonstrate your great need to implement this material!! I know your tricks Dewey!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Nana nana boo boo.

        That’s all. Thanks for reading.

        • Mark Sieverkropp

          Haha. That made my day. I tweeted it!

          • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

            I try.

            I may or may not have RT’d it.

            • Mark Sieverkropp

              Haha. Political speak eh? Sort of like “I can neither confirm nor deny…”?

          • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

            RT! :)

    • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

      Matt, I’ve got “shiny object” syndrome myself. Did you ever see the Simpons episode where he is distracted by the bird? That’s me! (http://youtu.be/Umd0TbZuIGg?t=5m14s
      It’s the whole episode, but watch from 5:14-5:25)

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        That, in and of itself, would be a shiny object Scott :)

        • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

          Got me on that one. You know I wound up watching 1/2 the episode!

  • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m finding the podcast! Last one I see listed is the Q&A with Dave. I’m so needing to listen to this today!

    • Mark Sieverkropp

      It wasn’t on iTunes when I last checked either.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Was for me at about 10:00 am ET

        • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

          Awesome – thanks for the heads up. Will listen during lunch.

          • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

            It’s not on the EntreLeadership website yet. Will check on my iPad next.

            • Laura Johnson

              I don’t see it either…

            • Laura Johnson

              I don’t see it either…

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              Found it in iTunes – it ROCKS!

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              Found it in iTunes – it ROCKS!

              • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

                Me too. Just got done listening!!!

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              Found it in iTunes – it ROCKS!

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              Found it in iTunes – it ROCKS!

        • Mark Sieverkropp

          Thanks for rubbing it in! While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice in it! (name THAT movie!)

          • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

            Going with Good Will Hunting in the NSA scene. Probably wrong, but I have had that scene in my head lately for another reason about which I will be blogging.

            • Mark Sieverkropp

              Can we give him “Good Will Hunting?” errrrrrrr sorry, the correct answer was “What is The Princess Bride” it’s now Sean Connery’s turn to choose a category… (I’m not sure why that evolved o Celebrity Jeopordy…)

              • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

                Hmmm only seen that 7 times. Yes I remember now.

                My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

                Good day.

                • Mark Sieverkropp

                  Great flick.. One of the best! “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!”

            • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

              What is it with men and memorizing movie scenes? I don’t get that…

              • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

                Read your Bible. It’s in there somewhere. Around Genesis 12 I think.

          • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

            Or movie quotes… don’t get that either.

            • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

              Watch out for my blog post today, then: The Matrix :)

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              definitely a guy thing, right?

              • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

                Right!

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              definitely a guy thing, right?

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              definitely a guy thing, right?

            • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

              definitely a guy thing, right?

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      I got it in Sticher

  • http://www.dadrenaline.com/ Christopher Pilon

    I need this book because my life has never been more busy. My three kids are in three different schools and my wife just went back to work as a teacher and is at an even different school. I am in the early stages of my blog, I will be adding four new stores to my area of responsibility in the coming two months, and we will be coordinating our first FPU class starting on Sunday. I need help! Any help! Please! :)

    • Mark Sieverkropp

      Here’s the help I will give you: you rock and you’re gonna kill it! You don’t need no stinking book( I heard that in a movie somewhere…)…give it to me instead :)

  • http://twitter.com/patrickh Patrick M. Hodgdon

    Why do I need Peter’s book? My life has never been busier! I need his book to help me prioritize everything after just having my second child, being promoted at work, working to launch my own blog on excellence, and starting a new fitness routine. I need to find my focus and master distraction to get it all done!