The Free-Time Formula by Jeff Sanders

The Blurb On The Back:

How many hours have you worked this week? When you’re working, do you constantly feel stressed, rushed, and under pressure?  Has it reached the point where you delay restroom visits because three minutes away from your desk will throw everything off-schedule?  You, my friend, are overworked – and you’re not alone. We are all being asked to do more and more with less and less, and it’s all so vitally important and has to be done ASAP.  Lacking a magic wand, we work at a furious pace for hours on end, only to collapse into bed so we can wake up and do it all again tomorrow.  There is always more to be done, but the days aren’t getting any longer; something’s got to give, but don’t let it be your sanity.

The Free-Time Formula is your lifelines back to happiness, focus, and true productivity.  Action-packed and to-the-point, this sanity-saving guide will help you reclaim your days as you discover just how much power you have. Prioritising is key, but deprioritising is even more critical – and this book gives you a clear and workable framework for becoming the focused, efficient achiever you’ve been trying to be for so long.  You’ll begin with a time assessment that gauges your current levels of stress, strategies, and output, then you’ll work step-by-step toward a new daily routine that will reawaken your spirit as you start to get it all done – with time left over!

  • Gain an extra hour of free time – every day – to read, exercise, or spend time with friends and family.
  • Double your productivity without feeling overworked or overwhelmed.
  • Ask the right questions, clarify what matters, and cut out the nonsense to reclaim your day.
  • Predict and prevent distractions in order to stay on track with the important stuff.
  • Formulate a seven-day action plan for revamping your calendar and revitalising your life!

Productivity is not about cramming more “stuff” into each day.  It’s about focusing on what matters to you and your current goals, and building the habit of saying “no” when you want to.  It’s about never again missing a deadline or being late for a meeting, but also attending every single one of your kid’s recitals.  It’s about climbing the ladder while building a life, and feeling absolutely a-okay about leaving your phone in the hotel room on vacation. Life is what happens outside of work, and The Free-Time Formula helps you reformulate your day to enjoy more of it. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Jeff Sanders works as a productivity coach and in this book (read in conjunction with exercises available on Sanders’s website) he provides strategies to work more efficiently and productively.  It’s a very American book with a way of looking at life and work that I found difficult to relate to in places and much of the advice is common sense but the use comes from having it in one place and there were tips I found useful.

My main issue with the book is that it’s very American with Sanders talking about working very long days and trail running and training for marathons in a way that I found exhausting.  There is a grandiose-ness in some of the things Sanders talks about doing once you’ve freed up your time and although he does mention more down-to-earth activities like spending time with your family it’s a book that definitely has that over-the-top vibe that’s more American than it is British and so you need to bear that in mind.  You also need to keep in mind that this is very much a book that’s linked to Sanders’s own brand and business as a productivity coach so there’s cross-referencing to his website and he uses his own life as an on-going case study, which will either work for you or it won’t (I, personally, found it interesting and it gave the points some human context).

As regards the strategies themselves, Sanders puts forward a 7-step programme:

  1. Find out what’s really going on
  2. Clarify what matters
  3. Flex your muscles
  4. Cut the nonsense.
  5. Schedule what matters.
  6. Prevent future nonsense.
  7. Solidify your ideal rhythm.

He devotes 2 chapters to each step and there’s a lot of good advice here, such as analysing how you’re actually spending your time, purging the activities that aren’t important, boosting energy and focus and scheduling what matters.  Some of the points are common sense such as analysing how you are spending your days (and he has exercises on his website to assist with this) and eradicating bad habits but he makes suggestions that I also found useful (such as offering up meditation as a way of clarifying your thoughts) and minimalizing your life. There is a lot of repetition but then that’s the nature of self-help books because humans need to see something repeated several times for the message to sink in.

All in all, the amount of use you’ll get from this book depends on what you’re looking for and how much effort you put in.  I found parts of it to be irrelevant to me but got something from other parts and as such, I think it’s worth taking a look at.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s