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

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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111 thoughts on “Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, And Get The Right Things Done”

  1. 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!

  2. 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! 🙂

    1. 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 🙂

        1. 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!)

          1. 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…)

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. 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.

          1. 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…

  5. 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)

    1. 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.

  6. 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!

    1. 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

      1. 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.”

    2. 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”.

      1. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

    1. 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…

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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. . .” 😎
    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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

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