and other ramblings of a small business owner
How To Be Really Productive by Grace Marshall is an in-depth look at what you can do to make sure you are productive. It’s not a step-by-step ‘do this, try then do that’ guide, but instead takes you through different areas where you can make changes to how you approach things.
It’s starts off very high level, talking about your values and purpose. Personally, I find that when I’m in the middle of chaos with so much to do that I don’t know where to start, having to think about values etc is pretty impossible. I guess from that point of view I prefer a bottom up approach, rather than top down, but I do completely take on board that you need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
The next chapter is all about dealing with the chaos. This was much more up my street and gave some practical techniques to try out – like an excercise for getting everything out of your head so that you can begin to organise it, and the CORD productivity model (Capture and Collect, Organise, Review, Do). This really struck a chord with me (no pun intended), particularly the explanation that when you are suffering from chaos the hardest thing is the feeling of loss of control, and that everything demands your attention at once. That pretty much sums it up for me!
Each chapter takes a different subject with a discussion of how it affects your productivity and what you can do to improve things. As I said it’s not a step-by-step, but you can take the sections that interest you and pick out ideas for what you can implement. I did find that when I got to the end of the book I felt a bit lost in an ‘erm, what do I do now’ kind of way. But this was solved by reading through it again with a pen and notepad handy to pick out the bits I wanted to use. So, for me it’s not a read once and change my life book, but instead a guide which I can dip back into to pick out different bits every now and then.
What I really liked about the style of the book is that you really feel that there is a real person behind it. Grace talks about her own experiences which makes it a very enjoyable read and helps get the message across.
Not my absolute favourite when it comes to productivity, but definitely high on the list of books that I will turn to.
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