18 Minutes

by Modabits


Posted on 2017-08-18 08:27:29


The brainchild of Peter Bregman, 18 Minutes is a system of self-reflection that encourages users to manage their time hour by hour.

Too many people fall into the trap of allowing time to slip by unaccounted. Similar to how a serious budgeter may sit down each week and account for every cent spent, 18 Minutes is accounting for time. Its key principle is that lost time is lost productivity, which in turn costs money. By taking 18 minutes per day, adherents will be constantly analysing, reassessing and refining their approach to work.

The process is one of planning and reassessing across the workday. It breaks down as:

  • Five minutes in the morning
  • One minute per hour
  • Five minutes in the evening

At the start of the workday, sit down and think about what you need to do for the day to make it successful. Spend the first five minutes assessing what you can realistically accomplish to feel productive and successful.

From there, set an alarm for one hour and get to work. Once the hour is up and the alarm sounds, spend a minute reflecting on how you spent your time. This approach is a way to manage every hour and not have them manage you. Accounting for each hour allows you a greater understanding of where the time went and what you achieved.

At the end of your day, take another five minutes to review how the day went. Ask yourself questions – How did the day go? What did I learn? Individually, each hour will have its own set of interruptions and misused minutes that when viewed over a full day or a set of days, will begin to reveal patterns in your work habits. This will help you get to the root cause of why you don’t have enough time. Once you can see the issues, then you can start to do something about them.

Taking the time to plan your workday will enable you to eliminate distractions and analyse your own procrastination. The key stages are the five minute spells spent planning and reflecting. Decide where you want to devote your time, then assess how well you did at achieving your goals, which will enable you to get better at maximising your productivity over the course of your work day.


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