Book Review: Make Time By Jake Knapp And John Zeratsky

Book Cover Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
Book Cover Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky Image from

Somehow there is never enough time to do everything you need to do. This is further complicated when you add in the things you actually want to do and enjoy doing. Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky is a book about how to focus on what matters every day. It works because it does not just focus on the things you have to do like go to work and stay at work doing all the things you may passionately hate but also includes ways to get things you actually love doing done, like learning how to play the guitar, write that novel or spend more time with your family. Make Time is about liberating people from this constant busyness and helping them rescue up some time for the things that actually have value and meaning to them.

Meet the authors

Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky are both former Google employees. Jake was involved in the building of products like Google Meet and Gmail. John was involved in the design and launch of YouTube Channels. They use the insider information they have about how they designed the technology to be addictive to help people wean themselves off of social media’s addictive elements and reclaim their time for better things. The fact that they worked in such high-performance super-productive settings, running teams and experimenting on what works to keep people focused and productive comes through in the many strategies they put forward.

Make Time

The book shares both of their experiences in creating habits and routines that helped them optimize their energy, focus and time. They offer pages and pages of tactics including what worked for each of them and what worked for other people so that each reader gets to tailor their own routine and habit without feeling like they have to do it exactly the way a certain person did it. It also helps that their habits and routines are not the same and what works for Jake does not necessarily work for John. This gives the reader freedom to customize and test out different options on the road to finding what works for them. There are over 80 tactics to choose from.

Make Time is incredibly relatable with practical advice and small shifts in mindset, your environment and your habits to liberate yourself from constant busyness and distraction. It is a forgiving and friendly put-it-together-yourself system in which if you find you did not do what you set out to do yesterday, there is always tomorrow to try again. The different ways to plan out your week were particularly helpful to me as was the system of picking out a daily highlight from the list of everything you have to do. The highlight is the priority of your day and it varies from day to day, today it may be something at work that you need to urgently get done, tomorrow it may be something that just makes you happy.


Make Time by Jake Knapp And John Zeratsky is a wonderfully practical book that will remind you to make time for what matters to you. Sure, it has its limitations having been written by wealthy white men in Silicon Valley who have more control over their time than most employed people can even dream of. Jake and John had some control over their hours’ even while at work.  Most workers have the majority of their time controlled by their bosses and when they leave their workplaces are too exhausted physically, emotionally, mentally from a full day of exploitation to do something else. Not to mention if they are female they may have more work waiting for them when they get home.

Even so, Make Time has a wonderful variety of tactics to choose from to focus whatever little energy and time you can muster towards doing things that are meaningful to you for people lucky enough to be able to. Definitely a book worth your time and energy for people looking to build more productive habits and routines. Here’s to making time for the things you truly value and what brings you joy.

Check out these hacks to level up your productivity during quarantine. Also, check out Lifestyle: 5 Time Management Hacks For Achieving Your Goals

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