Insights from Make Time by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky
Two forces are eroding your time: The Busy Bandwagon and Infinity Pools.
When you ask someone at work how they're doing, they'll probably tell you, "Busy! Really, really busy." People wear
their busyness like a badge of honor. You and I feel pressure to join the ‘busy’ club and spend the day responding to
emails, running from meeting to meeting, and adding tasks to our to‐do lists.
If we step off the Busy Bandwagon to relax, ‘Infinity Pools’ are waiting to pull us into their vortex.
“Infinity Pools are apps and other sources of endlessly replenishing content. If you can pull to refresh, it’s an
Infinity Pool. If it streams, it’s an Infinity Pool.” – Make Time
Infinity Pools, like Instagram, YouTube, and Netflix, are powerful because they track our behavior, know what we
like, and make it effortless to consume their content.
“While the Busy Bandwagon defaults to endless tasks, the Infinity Pools default to endless distraction. Our phones, laptops, and
televisions are filled with games, social feeds, and videos. Everything is at our fingertips, irresistible, even addictive. Every bump of
friction is smoothed away.” – Make Time
“With the average person spending four‐plus hours a day on their smartphone and another four‐plus hours watching TV shows,
distraction is quite literally a full‐time job.” – Make Time
To prevent the Busy Bandwagon and Infinity Pools from turning our daily lives into a blur of meaningless activity, focus on daily highlights.
The Daily Highlight
If you answer 100 emails and complete 20 errands but don't have a big win or a peak moment (i.e., a highlight), your
days and weeks will be a blur (like a dream you can hardly remember).
To define your daily highlight, imagine that a friend calls you at the end of the day and asks:
"What was the highlight of your day?"
If you can answer that question at the start of the day, you give yourself the best chance to experience a peak moment. To help you define
your daily highlight, authors Jake and John provide three highlight categories:
Find a highlight in the ‘urgency’ category, by asking yourself, "What's the most pressing thing I need to do today?" This might be a
proposal you promised a client or a test you need to study for. I find it helpful to ask, “Of all the urgent things in my life, what would
provide the greatest sense of relief?”
When searching the satisfaction category for a potential daily highlight, ask yourself, "At the end of the day, what would give me the most
satisfaction?" Maybe that's drafting 2,000 words for your next book or completing the first module of a computer programming course
you’ve wanted to start. Satisfaction highlights are things you want to do but don't necessarily need to do.
Find a highlight in the ‘joy’ category, by asking yourself, "When I reflect on my day, what experience would give me the most joy?" Stop
searching for things you can accomplish, and start identifying the people you enjoy and activities that bring you joy (i.e., activities you do
for the sake of doing them). A joy‐based highlight may be going to the playground with your child, or having a guitar jam session with your
friend, or taking a cooking class with your spouse.
Select your highlight
1. Write down all the potential highlights on a blank piece of paper (call it your “might‐do” list). Each highlight should be bigger
than a task but smaller than a major project, and each highlight should take between 60 to 90 minutes to complete.
2. Rewrite the top three potential highlights on a new sheet of paper, then circle the one highlight you want to focus on today.
Now write that highlight on a Post‐It note and put that Post‐It note in a place you’ll see throughout the day.
3. Block out a 60 to 90 minute chunk of time in your calendar to dedicate to your highlight.
That's it! By identifying and focusing on one highlight each day, you'll pull yourself away from the Busy
Bandwagon and Infinity Pools, and start living more intentionally.