Book Notes

Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt

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This is a notes pages complied of my personal thoughts from the book and quoted material. Effort has been made to give proper credit to the author.

Informal Summary

Free to Focus takes you from defensive to offense with your tasks and commitments at the office. Further, it makes a strong case why unplugging from work is important and should be intentional. The system is comprised from Michael Hyatt’s years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience.


This book is how one would hope productivity would be taught at work. The Free to Focus system is covered in depth and the steps are easy to follow, which is especially important if you’ve never heard of the author before. There are resources online and at the back of the book, so you can get started right away. You’ll also notice the forgiving tone —“don’t worry about getting it perfect”— throughout the book.

I received my advanced copy and began to dive in. For long-time readers of the author, I still recommend the book because it’s Hyatt’s knowledge of productivity all rolled into one neat package.

Before learning about this system, I would spend my days trying to catch up thinking, “there has to be a better way ‘the people at the top’ know about.”


Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Business

Passages & Quotes

  • “…a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” – Herbert Simon.
  • “In fact, in a world where information is really available, focus becomes one of the most valuable commodities in the workplace. But for most of us, works is the hardest place to file.”
  • “To preserve time for the rest of days work, 80% check their email before going into the office…” – Adobe survey August 2013.
  • “The problem is, most of us have never stopped to define what success means.”
  • “Productivity should free you to pursue what’s most important to you.”
  • “Creativity depends on times of this engagement, which means doing nothing from time to time as a competitive advantage.”
  • “If we’re not careful, we can get stuck in the disinterest zone for years, maybe decades, simply because it’s what pays the bills.”
  • “Take a fresh look at the great accomplishment taking place around you and the individuals leading major change in the world. Remind yourself they have the same 168 hours a week that they do and you too can accomplish great things in the time you have.”
  • “Play produces creative breakthroughs.”
  • “You can serve only so many people also make sure you’re prioritizing the ones who really need your personal and direct attention.”
  • “Don’t give in to the pressure of finding a thousand other things to replace the ones you have said not to.”
  • “You want to build rituals and routines so you’re body knows what to do even when you aren’t consciously thinking about it.”
  • “Your daily rituals can be finally calibrated him for taking advantage of her range of limited resources: time (the most limited resource of all) as well as willpower, self-discipline. optimism.” — Mason Currey
  • “First, while many believe rituals squash creativity, the truth is that rituals free up creativity.”
  • “Second, rituals speed up your work.”
  • “Time spent organizing and staying up-to-date enables you to put your best foot forward it’s showtime.”
  • “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” — Dwight Eisenhower
  • “Great days don’t just happen; they are caused.”
  • “Every time we bounce off task, we’re teaching our brains to become even more distracted and shortening our own attention spans, making it difficult to cultivate a life of focus.”

Author Info

Michael Hyatt is an American corporate professional turned entrepreneur, author, and speaker.

Together with his team at Michael Hyatt & Company, he’s developed courses (like 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever™ and Free to Focus™), products (like the Full Focus Planner™ and LeaderBox™), plus this digital magazine and podcast for high-achieving leaders.

He currently resides outside of Nashville, TN. His main website is

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Writer and creator of a character called Subbie. I'm host of the Move Up Podcast, dedicated to all things that help improve your life, one step at a time. I enjoy reviewing blog tools and apps. I send a weekly newsletter with updates and tips.

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