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Book Summary – 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

By Kevin Kruse

I absolutely hate reinventing the wheel.  That’s the reason that I do book summaries – I’m able to capture the key points that the author makes and then revisit them on a regular basis.  Kevin Kruse must subscribe to the same principle as he has taken the input from 7 billionaires, 13 Olympic athletes, 29 straight A students, and 239 successful entrepreneurs and distilled down their lessons learned regarding time management.  The book is a quick and easy read.  More than that, the “secrets” that they reveal are easy to implement, and highly effective.  The secrets are:

  • Time is Your Most Valuable And Scarcest Resource
  • Identify Your Most Important Task (MIT) and Work On It Each Day Before Doing Anything Else
  • Work From Your Calendar, Not a To Do List
  • Procrastination Can Be Overcome When You Figure Out How to Beat Your Future Self, Who Cannot Be Trusted To Do The Right Thing
  • Accept the Fact That There Will ALWAYS Be More To Do and More That Can Be Done
  • Always Carry a Notebook
  • Email Is A Great Way For Other People to Put Their Priorities In Your Life; Control Your Inbox
  • Schedule And Attend Meetings As A Last Resort, When All Other Forms of Communication Won’t Work
  • Say No To Everything That Doesn’t Support Your Immediate Goals
  • Eighty Percent Of Outcomes Are Generated By Twenty Percent Of Activities
  • Focus Your Time Only On Things That Utilize Your Unique Strengths And Passions
  • Batch Your Work With Recurring Themes For Different Days Of The Week
  • If A Task Can Be Completed In Less Than Five Minutes, Do It Immediately
  • Invest The First 60 Minutes Of Each Day In Rituals That Strengthen Your Mind, Body, And Spirit
  • Productivity Is About Energy And Focus, Not Time

After going through the fifteen rules, Kruse suggests a system to implement these fifteen secrets that he refers to as “E-3C” - Energy, Capture, Calendar, Concentrate.  While he does not present it as such, his formula speaks to what he sees as the most important aspects of the fifteen rules.  His suggestions are:

  • Energy
    • You need to get the right amount of rest
    • You need to focus on your health via diet and exercise
    • You need to have successful morning rituals
    • You need to take breaks throughout the day
  • Capture
    • You need to capture all of your thoughts/idea via a system (he recommends a notebook)
  • Calendar
    • Scrap the to-do-list and use a calendar
  • Concentrate
    • Quit multi-tasking (it’s a myth!)
    • Focus on you MITs (Most Important Tasks)
    • Take regular breaks

The book would have been complete if Kruse stopped here.  However, he makes 100% certain that the reader gets value out of the book.  He includes a list of twenty time and productivity hacks that can be incorporated into the reader’s life:

  • Always Cook More Than One Meal At A Time
  • Off-Load Your Memory With Your Camera Phone
  • Mute Your Phone And Shut Off All Notivications
  • Drink A Healthy Protein Shake For Breakfast
  • Never Watch Live TV
  • Don’t Watch TV At All
  • Use Your Drive Time Wisely
  • Never Call People Without Setting An Appointment Ahead Of Time (Unless It’s Social, Of Course)
  • Avoid Busy Times Out In The Real World If At All Possible
  • Use Dual Monitors
  • Have A Stop Doing List
  • Remind People Of The “End Time”
  • Hang Out With Productive People
  • Tell People Around You To Leave You Alone
  • Buy Birthday Cards By The Dozen
  • Pay Bills Electronically
  • Never Answer A Call From An Unknown Number
  • Get A Business Coach, Mentor, Or Mastermind Group
  • Release Your Content Through Multiple Channels
  • Know That Done Is Better Than Perfect

Finally, Kruse shares the specific input of the  7 billionaires, 13 Olympic athletes, 29 straight A students, and 239 successful entrepreneurs that provided him the data he used to pull together his fifteen rules.  About the only criticism I have for the book is that this section is a bit repetitive – he’s already done the hard work of summarizing their input and you could make a case for skipping this final section to better manage your time!  That said, the final section is incredibly valuable for those that are willing to invest the time.  The specific stories behind the rules will help to imprint the fifteen rules in to the reader’s mind; and, in so doing increase the probability that they will implement some or all of the rules.

While I have summarized the key points, Kruse includes a HUGE number of links to resources that are invaluable in implementing his suggestions.  The book’s a great read and I strongly recommend picking up a copy of your own.

If you would like to download a PDF copy of this book summary you can do so by clicking here

At F5 Financial Planning we focus on helping individuals and families find balance between faith, friends and family, fitness and finance.  We make sure that they have the financial freedom to enjoy those things in life that are important to them.  And while we believe the left-brain facts and data are critical, we work with our clients to get them in the right state of mind to focus on the goals they want to achieve.

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Curt Stowers

Curt Stowers

Curtis Stowers helps individuals and families across the United States grow their financial assets, particularly in the Naperville, IL region. He is a Certified Financial Planner, holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois, and is the founder of F5 Financial.