Make Time at Work

Helping leaders, entrepreneurs, and professional teams make better use of their time at work and become happier, more engaged humans.

You and your team have important work to do.

But these days, it’s difficult to find the time to really focus on the work that needs to be done.

Often, it feels like we spend all day reacting—to email, chat, interruptions, meetings, and busy work. The important work gets squeezed around the edges of these reactions.

Turns out it doesn’t just feel that way. Studies show that knowledge workers spend 40–60% of their day on administrative work. Not the work itself. Not the part that matters. Not the essential efforts that create value and make things better.

Most days, we spend less than half our time on real work that makes a difference.

If you’re an employee, contractor, or individual contributor, that’s a serious problem.

But if you’re a leader, manager, or executive, it’s a crisis.

Time is More Important Than Ever

In every industry, the nature of work is changing:

  • Technology is making jobs leveraged and automated. Your team’s uniquely human skills and capabilities are becoming more valuable as rote work is mechanized and scaled.
  • Companies are becoming remote. With distributed teams, you can’t enforce good work practices with office culture or physical presence. Everybody needs to manage their own time.
  • Business is speeding up. Rapid prototyping, just-in-time manufacturing, and digital marketing mean it’s more important than ever for your team to make good use of your time.
  • Soft skills are growing in demand. Hard skill requirements change and are relatively easy to train. Smart businesses are equipping and empowering their employees with abilities that never become obsolete.

We Can Help You Make Time for the Work That Matters

Over the past 20 years, we have helped more 200 organizations reset the defaults of business as usual so they can make time for the work that matters.

We have made these changes from the inside, as colleagues, managers, and entrepreneurs, and from the outside, as consultants, workshop facilitators, and keynote speakers.

At Google Ventures, we created the Design Sprint process, which helps teams focus together on solutions to their biggest problems and opportunities. We have run more than 150 Design Sprints with organizations like Google, Harvard University, and Slack. By changing the defaults of how teams work, we can help them explore and validate solutions in just five days instead of weeks or months. We wrote the global bestseller Sprint, and now the process is being used by thousands of teams around the world.

We translated lessons from the Design Sprint into a simple framework for everyday life. It’s called Make Time, and it helps busy professionals reclaim their time energy and attention so they can actually make time for the work that matters every day. Our 2018 book Make Time was a rallying cry for a new class of professionals who are rethinking the defaults of constant busyness and distraction.

We believe that the defaults of work are broken. We put reaction before action. We play defense, not offense. We spend too much time on work about work and not enough time on the things that matter.

Fortunately, you can reset the defaults and help your team structure their days around work that makes a difference.

How We Help

Based on our work with the Design Sprint and Make Time, and more than 20 years changing organizational defaults from the inside and out, we can help your team find better, smarter ways to work, too.

In-person events:

  • Design Sprint training: Experience the process, learn how it can be used, and gain the confidence to run your own sprints.
  • Opportunity Sprint: Cut through endless debate and indecision by evaluating strategic opportunities in a collaborative workshop.
  • Make Time workshops: A collaborative opportunity for your team to identify time wasters, choose their top priorities, redesign schedules, and make concrete changes to their devices and technology.
  • Keynote speaking: Presentations that shift thinking and inspire changes to defaults of how teams work.
  • Fireside chats: Casual, unscripted, on-stage conversations with your company. Topics include process, collaboration, focus, prioritization, technology, product, design, strategy, and more.
  • Team coaching: We can coach you through running a Design Sprint or help you adopt Make Time as your internal “operating system” for communication and collaboration.

Online programs:

  • The Highlight Course: Our 4-week program that teaches professionals how to make time for what matters every day.
  • Virtual keynotes and fireside chats: We’ll connect with your team from a high-quality studio. No travel required.
  • Video coaching: Schedule a cadence of check-in video calls for personalized help in resetting the defaults of how you work.

Each engagement is customized for the needs and goals of the event and audience. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for here, please send us a note and we can talk about it.

Client Testimonials

“John Zeratsky provided university faculty and staff with a highly engaging and immersive learning experience that shifted the defaults of how we work. John is truly one of the top facilitators we’ve worked with.”

Erik Skogsberg, Michigan State University

“Jake Knapp inspired an audience of 300 medical executives to rethink their approach to care transformation. It’s rare to leave a presentation with a new approach that can be rapidly applied to your work.”

Ralph Pascualy, Swedish Medical Group

“We worked with John to offer a unique workshop experience for our most valued clients. Participants left with a new set of tools and processes that will help them make good use of their time in the future.”

Lani Beer, King & Wood Mallesons

“We brought John in to coach our leadership team on how to work less, do more, and be happier. Highly recommended for leadership teams of all shapes and sizes.”

Jesse DePinto, Frontdesk

“Jake was by far our best keynote speaker in a long time. He brings so much value.”

Gartner Catalyst Conference

“Jake’s combination of first-hand experience, deep knowledge, and engaging humor is incredibly rare and incredibly entertaining.”

Nir Eyal, The Habit Summit

Start the Process

Interested in working with us? Get in touch below. We’ll respond within 24 hours and begin the process of designing an engagement to help your team make time for what matters.