Free to Focus – Michael Hyatt Book Summary

Free to Focus – Michael Hyatt | Free Book Summary

Free to Focus – Michael Hyatt

True productivity is about doing more of what is in your desire zone and less of everything else.

Rejuvenate: Reenergize Your Mind and Body

  • Sleep. 7-10 hours per night. Turn off screens an hour before bedtime.
  • Eat. Eat natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meats. Be mindful when eating out.
  • Move. Exercise itself is an energizer. Physical activity primes our brains to operate at a higher level.
  • Connect. Some people charge you, while others drain you.
  • Play. You need regular injections of recreation, exercise, and outright play into your busy schedule.
  • Reflect. Strive to make time for reflection every day by journaling or meditating.
  • Unplug. Create rules to help you disconnect during nights, weekends, and vacations.

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Delegate: Clone Yourself—or Better

Delegation means focusing primarily on the work only you can do by transferring everything else to others who are more passionate about the work or proficient in the tasks.

Some of us refuse to delegate by convincing ourselves we can’t afford it.

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But the hours you spend on Desire Zone tasks will always be more profitable than the time you’re wasting anywhere else.

How to Delegate

Decide what to delegate.

  • Select the best person.
  • Communicate the workflow.
  • Provide the necessary resources.
  • Specify the delegation-level
  • Give them room to operate.
  • Check-in and provide feedback as needed.

The 5 Levels of Delegation

Level 1. You want the person to do exactly what you’ve asked them to do—no more, no less.

Level 2. You want the person to examine or research a topic and report back to you.

Level 3. You’re giving the person more room to participate in the problem-solving process, but you are still reserving the final decision for yourself.

Level 4. You want the person to evaluate the options, make a decision on their own, execute the decision, and then give you an update after the fact.

Level 5. You hand the entire project or task over to someone else and exit the decision altogether.

Act: Consolidate and Plan Your Ideal Week

Design your work to focus on just one thing at a time.

Batching: lumping similar tasks together and doing them in a dedicated block of time

Mega Batching: organizing entire days around similar activities to enable you to stay focused and build momentum.

The 3 Categories of Activity

Front Stage. The tasks for which you’re hired and paid. The key functions, primary deliverables, the line items on your performance review. If it delivers the results for which your boss and/or customers are paying you, that’s Front Stage work.

Back Stage. Includes elimination, automation, and delegation plus coordination, preparation, maintenance, and development.  

Off Stage. Refers to time when you’re not working. 

How to Plan Your Ideal Week in 3 Steps

Stages. Decide for each day if you’ll be Front Stage, Back Stage, or Off Stage. Reserve at least two days for Front Stage.

Themes. Indicate what type of activities you’ll do on individual days during certain blocks of time. An easy way to start is to think of the morning, workday, and evening.

Activities. Group the individual activities that will fall into those themes.

Designate: Prioritize Your Tasks

You need to systematically decide what deserves your attention now, what deserves your attention later, and what doesn’t deserve your attention at all.

How to do a weekly review:

  • List Your Biggest Wins
  • Review the Prior Week
  • Review Your Lists and Notes
  • Check Goals, Projects, Events, Meetings, and Deadlines
  • Designate Your Weekly Big 3 Things to Accomplish
  • Plan Your Rejuvenation

How to design your day

  • Plan days solely focused on tasks and refuse any meeting requests for that day
  • Shoot for three, and only three, key tasks each day (your Daily Big 3). Let your Weekly Big 3 inform your Daily Big 3.
  • Schedule time to do your Daily Big 3 on your calendar

Defeat Distractions

  • Fight technology with technology. Example: Install an app that lets you customize what apps and websites you can access during dedicated periods of deep work.
  • Listen to the right music. Background music that’s familiar, repetitive, relatively simple, and not too loud can aid focus.
  • Take charge of your environment. Make your workspace work for you. Optimize your current workspace for focus by eliminating distracting items.
  • Declutter your workspace. Make an appointment with yourself on your calendar to organize your office.
  • Increase your frustration tolerance. Train yourself to focus with hard tasks.

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