Online Tools Directory

"Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

Unlock the secrets to effective time management with practical tips and strategies that boost productivity daily.
"Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

"Make Time" is a practical guide written by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, both former Google designers, that offers strategies to help individuals refocus their priorities, boost productivity, and ensure that each day includes time for personal passions and goals. The book is rooted in their experiences of designing and refining productivity techniques that can be applied beyond the workplace. The core philosophy of "Make Time" is about breaking free from the constant busyness and distractions of daily life to make space for activities that truly matter.


To provide a detailed analysis of "Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, let's explore the concepts presented in the book and assess their effectiveness, practicality, and potential impact on daily productivity and personal fulfillment.

Core Concepts

1. Highlight

  • Purpose: To ensure the most important task of the day gets the attention it deserves.
  • Analysis: This approach forces prioritization, cutting through less important tasks that often consume disproportionate amounts of time. It is a practical method, especially effective for individuals who struggle with overwhelming to-do lists. However, it may be challenging for those whose daily tasks are unpredictable or dictated by external demands.

2. Laser

  • Purpose: To minimize distractions, particularly from digital sources, to maintain focus on the Highlight.
  • Analysis: The strategies here are critical in the digital age where attention is a scarce commodity. Techniques such as turning off notifications and setting specific check-in times for email and social media can dramatically increase concentration levels. The challenge is in consistent implementation, particularly in environments that demand constant connectivity.

3. Energize

  • Purpose: To keep energy levels high through physical health, nutrition, and sleep.
  • Analysis: Recognizing physical well-being as foundational to productivity is a holistic approach that many time management systems overlook. This is perhaps one of the most universally applicable parts of the methodology, as physical health directly impacts cognitive function and overall efficiency.

4. Reflect

  • Purpose: To adjust and improve one's time management strategy continuously.
  • Analysis: Reflection turns daily experiences into learning opportunities, promoting a growth mindset. While valuable, the effectiveness of this component heavily depends on oneโ€™s discipline to regularly assess and adapt their habits and processes.

Practicality and Usability

"Make Time" offers a structured yet flexible approach that can be adapted to a wide range of lifestyles and careers. Each strategy is actionable and designed to be integrated into daily routines with relative ease. The book benefits from the authors' experiences at Google, giving credibility to their advice through real-world applications.

Potential Impact

For individuals who can consistently apply these strategies, the potential impact is substantial:

  • Improved focus and productivity
  • Better work-life balance
  • Enhanced personal satisfaction and reduced stress
  • More meaningful engagement in both personal and professional activities


While the strategies are broadly applicable, their success depends on individual circumstances such as job type, personal responsibilities, and environmental factors. People in highly reactive roles or those with intensive caregiving responsibilities might find it difficult to strictly adhere to some of the prescribed methods.


"Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky provides a refreshing take on productivity that emphasizes quality over quantity and well-being over busyness. Its real-world applicability, grounded in the authors' tech industry experience, offers a solid framework for anyone looking to reclaim their time and focus. While not all strategies may suit every individual, the book offers enough flexibility to be beneficial for a wide audience. Its emphasis on reflection and continuous improvement encourages a sustainable approach to productivity that can adapt to changing personal and professional landscapes.

Key Takeaways and Insights

๐ŸŒŸ Choose Your Highlight: Each day, identify one main task that is your priority. This focus helps ensure that you accomplish what truly matters to you, even on busy days.

๐Ÿ”• Go Distraction-Free: Turn off unnecessary notifications on your devices to avoid constant interruptions. This helps you stay focused on your Highlight without being pulled away by every ping or buzz.

โฐ Time Boxing: Allocate specific time blocks to tasks, including your Highlight. This method helps manage your day proactively rather than reacting as things come up.

๐ŸŒฑ One Thing at a Time: Embrace monotasking rather than multitasking. Focus completely on one task at a time for more effective results and less cognitive overload.

๐Ÿ“ด Tech Curfews: Establish specific times when you disconnect from digital devices, especially before bed. This can improve your sleep quality and mental clarity.

๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ Energize Yourself: Regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep are essential to maintain your energy levels and enhance your focus throughout the day.

๐Ÿค“ Reflect Daily: Spend a few minutes at the end of each day reflecting on what went well and what could be improved. This habit helps you learn from your experiences and adjust your strategies accordingly.

๐Ÿ”„ Iterate Your Routine: Use your daily reflections to tweak and evolve your routines. Continual improvement can help you find the best ways to make time for what matters most.

๐Ÿง˜ Mindfulness and Breaks: Incorporate short breaks and mindfulness practices into your day. These can help reset your attention and reduce stress, making you more productive when you return to work.

๐Ÿ›  Tool Audit: Regularly assess the tools and apps you use for work and personal life. Keep only those that genuinely add value and help you stay focused on your goals.

These insights and advice from "Make Time" are practical and can be adjusted to fit various lifestyles and work environments, empowering readers to make more intentional choices about how they spend their days.


The audience for "Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky is quite broad, but generally, it can be identified as individuals interested in productivity, time management, and personal development. Hereโ€™s a more detailed breakdown of the potential audience for the book:

  1. Professionals: People in various careers who struggle with managing their time due to demanding schedules and constant distractions. They seek practical strategies to prioritize tasks effectively and make the most of their working hours.
  2. Entrepreneurs and Business Owners: Individuals who need to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities and are looking for ways to focus on what matters most for their business success.
  3. Students: Those who need to balance their studies with other activities and are in search of methods to optimize their study time and enhance focus.
  4. Busy Parents: Parents managing both home and work life who need strategies to carve out time for personal interests or family activities.
  5. Technology Users: Individuals overwhelmed by digital distractions looking for ways to minimize the impact of smartphones, social media, and other digital interruptions on their daily productivity.
  6. Self-Improvement Enthusiasts: Anyone interested in improving their daily habits, boosting productivity, and achieving a better work-life balance.

The book appeals to anyone who feels that their day slips away without accomplishing what they hoped, and who desires to take control of their time with actionable, tested strategies.

Alternative books

  1. "Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" by Cal Newport - This book emphasizes the importance of deep work in achieving success and offers practical advice for cultivating focus and minimizing distractions.
  2. "Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones" by James Clear - Clear provides strategies for forming good habits, breaking bad ones, and mastering the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
  3. "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown - Essentialism is about finding the true priorities in your life and eliminating everything else that does not directly contribute to improving your focus and commitment to those priorities.
  4. "The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich" by Timothy Ferriss - Ferriss offers insights on how to outsource your life and do more with less work, focusing on automation and liberation from the traditional 9-to-5.
  5. "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg - Duhigg explores the science behind why habits exist and how they can be changed to create more productive behaviors.
  6. "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David Allen - Allen introduces his productivity method that helps individuals manage their tasks with a less stressful approach and maximize productivity.
  7. "Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life" by Nir Eyal - Eyal delves into the psychology behind distraction and offers a practical guide to taking back control of your attention and your life.
  8. "The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play" by Neil Fiore - This book provides comprehensive strategies to overcome procrastination, promoting a more enjoyable and productive work life.
  9. "Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart" by Thomas A. Limoncelli - Although targeted at IT professionals, this book offers universal time management advice that can be applied in many other fields.
  10. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change" by Stephen R. Covey - Coveyโ€™s classic book is a foundation in effective personal and professional leadership, offering enduring lessons in personal change.

These books cover a range of perspectives and approaches to productivity and personal development, each with unique insights that can help further enhance your ability to make the most of your time.

About the author


Decoge is a tech enthusiast with a keen eye for the latest in technology and digital tools, writing reviews and tutorials that are not only informative but also accessible to a broad audience.

Online Tools Directory

Discover the Online Tools Directory, your ultimate resource for top digital tools. Enhance productivity, foster collaboration, and achieve business success. Subscribe for updates!

Online Tools Directory

Great! Youโ€™ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Online Tools Directory.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.