A bible for how to design and live meaningful and productive every day. The creators of Google Ventures Design Sprint criticize two default modes of distraction that we live in today: “The Busy Bandwagon” describes our constant state of email reactivity and being efficient without getting done anything meaningful. “Infinity Pools” are all services with bottomless newsfeeds, recommendation systems, and autoplay defaults that suck our time.

The simple process to make more time and focus on what matters every day has 4 steps:

  1. Highlight: Choose a focal point every morning (either based on urgency, satisfaction, or joy – a 60-90 minute uninterrupted time block.)
  2. Laser: block distractions and adjust technology to find the time.
  3. Energize: Use the body to recharge the brain.
  4. Reflect: Adjust and improve.

The book is very easy to read and to follow. The tips given are easy to understand. One fun way the book works is that the two authors comment on each other’s tips. This element of style which makes the book more human and explains vividly how everybody is an individual and not all tips apply to all individuals.

So what?

The book helped me improve my everyday life tremendously. My favorite tips to be less distracted were #17- Try a distraction-free phone, #21- Wear a wristwatch, and #28- Put a timer on the internet. Since my phone has turned all notifications off, I check the wristwatch for the time and I get reminded every time I visit a distracting site on my desktop, I am more focussed and have more time during the day. Additionally, I found the tips #49 – Invent a deadline and #50 – Explode your Highlight very useful. I work well under pressure but without deadlines, there is no real pressure – therefore the deadline helps with execution. Also, I am prone to think about my highlight in an abstract way which makes it hard to be actionable. Using #50 to split one big task into smaller ones helps to get into flow easier and to procrastinate less.

And the last quote of the book really spoke to me:

“The world needs people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurmann

If the summary caught your attention, you can buy the book here.


I am reading A LOT of books lately, and to remember more of what I read, I summarize them and give my thoughts on them. I thought, why not share it with you. If you buy the book through the links at the end of the post, I might get a little bit of commission at no charge to you.

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