Family & Education

Book Review: ‘Free to Focus’ by Michael Hyatt

Why this productivity read should be on every mom’s bookshelf
BY Barbara Danza TIMEJuly 13, 2019 PRINT

This spring, leadership expert Michael Hyatt released his latest book, “Free to Focus, A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less.” Surely, Hyatt had entrepreneurs and business executives in mind when creating this guide to a distraction-free, meaningful life.

It’s clear, however, that a much wider audience can benefit from this practical and insightful read. In fact, one group that likely is not considered part of the target market for this book is moms. 

It’s a book that should be on every mom’s radar. Many moms, whether they are working moms or stay-at-home moms, play the role of household executive. They are in charge of overseeing all major projects and activities, managing schedules and finances, directing education and maintaining facilities, in addition to formulating big picture visions and goals for their families. 

Much like corporate executives and small business owners (which some moms also are, of course), they dream of, as Hyatt puts it, “starting each day with clarity and ending with a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and energy to spare.”

However, the same challenges that inflict their business counterparts prey on moms as well. Distractions from every possible source, including digital devices, other people, and oneself; the inability to say no to overcommitment; the inability to identify what matters most; the hesitance to delegate or drop commitments altogether; the lack of attention on energy and rest—all of these get in the way of mothers’ ability to focus on what’s most meaningful in their lives, and their families’ lives.

Practical Steps

“Free to Focus” walks the reader through the mistakes we all make and the elements in our lives that derail our focus on what matters most. It walks the reader through practical steps to eliminate the nonessentials and gain clarity.

This isn’t a productivity book peppered with business jargon. It’s accessible to anyone who would like to enjoy more freedom in their lives by pruning their garden (so to speak) significantly so that the most vibrant plants can thrive. Indeed, Hyatt calls for doing less. 

The process Hyatt prescribes in “Free to Focus” is broken down into three simple steps: stop, cut, and act. 


The first step, stop, calls for introspection. You first need to pause and reflect, according to Hyatt, on what you want, what activities can best help you get there, and how you’ll efficiently manage your own energy to do so. A message I know many moms need to hear is found within this section—that rest, nutrition, exercise, healthy relationships, and even play are essential to rejuvenating your mind and body.


The second step, cut, calls on readers to “flex (their) ‘no’ muscle.” Among other things, in this section, you’ll learn how to say “no” well and how to leverage systems and rituals to introduce more automation in your productivity, along with the art of delegation.


Once you’ve clarified what’s important and eliminated, automated, or delegated any activity that you can, you should be left with the essential activity that you’ll dedicate your focus to. The third step, act, shows you how to organize and plan your schedule to most effectively and manage various distractions. This section is chock-full of practical tips and advice to managing the stuff of life.

In all, if you’re a mom who feels like you’re running on an endlessly spinning hamster wheel, if you’re stuck on “busy” at all times, or if you’re consistently overwhelmed with life, you might just find the insights in “Free to Focus” to be the guide you need to a road that’s less busy and more meaningful. 

Epoch Times Photo
“Free to Focus” by Michael Hyatt.
Barbara Danza
Barbara Danza is a mom of two, an MBA, a beach lover, and a kid at heart. Here, diving into the challenges and opportunities of parenting in the modern age. Particularly interested in the many educational options available to families today, the renewed appreciation of simplicity in kids’ lives, the benefits of family travel, and the importance of family life in today’s society.
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