The Make Time tactics

Make Time includes more than 80 tactics for finding focus and building energy, plus a four-step daily framework for finding the ones that work best for you. Each of these tactics have been tested by us or by readers of the Time Dorks newsletter. Some tactics are available for free online, while others are only in the book. And be sure to check back for new bonus tactics!


Bonus Tactics

These tactics aren't in the book, but we still think they're worth sharing!

• Stuck? Switch to "Play Mode" 

• Eat Fat for Breakfast 

• Make Every Day Thanksgiving

• Capture and Keep Going

• Try a Cave Day


Reader Tactics

We're sharing new tactics from Make Time readers and Time Dorks subscribers. Want to see your tactic here? Just email us.

Get a Dog — by Jane Doe

Social Networks: Choose One — by John Smith

Start an Old Fashioned Lunch Group — by Sam Samson



Choose your Highlight

1. Write it down

2. Groundhog it

3. Stack rank your life

4. Batch the little stuff

5. The Might-Do List

6. The Burner List

7. Run a personal sprint


Make time for your Highlight

8. Schedule your Highlight

9. Block your calendar

10. Bulldoze your calendar

11. Flake it till you make it

12. Just say no

13. Design your day

14. Become a morning person

15. Night time is Highlight time

16. Quit when you’re done



Be the boss of your phone

17. Try a distraction-free phone

18. Log out

19. Nix notifications

20. Clear your homescreen

21. Wear a wristwatch

22. Leave devices behind


Stay out of Infinity Pools

23. Skip the morning check-in

24. Block distraction Kryptonite

25. Ignore the news

26. Put your toys away

27. Skip the airplane Wi-Fi

28. Put a timer on the internet

29. Cancel the internet

30. Watch out for time craters

31. Turn distractions into tools

32. Become a fairweather fan

33. Trade fake wins for real wins


Slow your inbox

34. Deal with email at the end of the day

35. Schedule email time

36. Empty your inbox once a week

37. Pretend messages are letters

38. Be slow to respond

39. Reset expectations

40. Set up send-only email

41. Vacation off the grid

42. Lock yourself out


Make TV a “sometimes treat”

43. Don’t watch the news

44. Put your TV in the corner

45. Ditch your TV for a projector

46. Go à la carte instead of all-you-can-eat

47. If you love something, set it free


Find flow

48. Shut the door

49. Invent a deadline

50. Explode your Highlight

51. Play a Laser soundtrack

52. Set a visible timer

53. Avoid the lure of fancy tools

54. Splash your face

55. Notice one breath

56. Be bored

57. Be stuck

58. Stay in the zone

59. Go all in



Keep it moving

60. Exercise everyday (but don’t be a hero)

61. Squeeze in a super short workout

62. Pound the pavement

63. Inconvenience yourself


Eat real food

64. Eat like a hunter-gatherer

65. Central Park your plate

66. Stay hungry

67. Snack like a toddler

68. Go on the dark chocolate plan


Optimize caffeine

69. Wake up before you caffeinate

70. Caffeinate before you crash

71. Take a caffeine nap

72. Maintain altitude with green tea

73. Turbo your Highlight

74. Learn your Last Call

75. Disconnect sugar


Go off the grid

76. Get woodsy

77. Trick yourself into meditating

78. Leave your headphones at home

79. Take real breaks


Make it personal

80. Spend time with your tribe

81. Eat without screens


Sleep in a cave

82. Make your bedroom a bed room

83. Fake the sunset

84. Sneak a nap

85. Don’t jetlag yourself


One more

86. Put on your own oxygen mask first