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I just finished reading this book and WOW, what an eye opener, I've read a few books on Productivity and Time Management but nothing quite like this.hits the nail right on the head. Very well written with lots of great insight.
The best book I've read on time management. It's very practical with lots of time saving ideas. It's a book that I'll use as a reference tool for years to come. Laura also shows you a number of ways of how to gain more time in your day. Great book I highly recommend that you pick up a copy!
5.0 out of 5 starsA 6-step programme for improving time management skills
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 January 2013
What To Do When There's Too Much To Do is sub-titled Reduce Tasks, Increase Results and Save 90 Minutes a Day. An attractive title if you're feeling over-worked, put upon and stretched thin! The book covers 6 steps to improving your time management skills to benefit your performance at work and enjoyment of life. It is written with our times - a recession where people are putting in longer hours just to hang on to their job - very firmly in mind.
The author calls this the Productivity Workflow Formula, or PWF:
- Step 1 - Reduce your to-do list (study your work requirements closely; triage your to-do list; and decide to do only what really matters)
- Step 2 - Reduce your obligations (assign time slots and durations appropriately; say no when appropriate; and control your meetings)
- Step 3 - Reduce your distractions (hone your concentration to razor sharpness; shut out distractions; and avoid multitasking)
- Step 4 - Reduce incoming information (process new information; research effectively; and quickly handle incoming email voicemail and paper)
- Step 5 - Reduce inefficiences (close the loop - determine what does and doesn't work; solve people problems and bottlenecks; and tighten up systems as you go)
- Step 6 - Reduce energy expenditures (manage your capacity; focus on the physical factors affecting your energy; and manage sleep, diet, and exercise)
There are no amazing insights, just a thorough, practical plan to work through, chapter by chapter. The advice is all common sense, but it helps that someone else has organised it in an accessible way when you don't have time to think about all the things yourself.
The author's website has links to various freebies. One item that looks useful is the free weekly webcast - one minute a week for 52 weeks, aimed at reinforcing the concepts in the book so you can gradually work towards saving your 90 minutes a day. There's also a helpful section on forming a reading group to work through the book with other like-minded people at weekly meetings over a couple of months.
However, some of the bonus material appears to be marketing for other authors. And, if that's not enough, at the back of the book there's a link to a companion online product - a workflow assessment - at an additional cost. I'm not sure how much my productivity will increase if I keep on getting new material to work through!
5.0 out of 5 starsGet off the internet and do some work....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2013
I really enjoyed this refreshing book by Laura Stack. Unlike some time management books which simply propose rather complex sounding systems for organising your time, Stack does this but ALSO offers golden advice for timewasters such as myself: stop chatting to your office colleagues, stop taking so long to make tea, stop reading rubbish on the internet and turn off social media sites.
In fact i ended up taking far more from the simple suggestions about not wasting time than I did any of the complicated algorithms for deciding what to work on next. From handling micromanagement (a real generator of extra emails) to her funny take on the four hour work week to questioning how much your business blog is costing you in time... to just turning your chair away from the door.... A really good, energetic, energising book. Well worth a read, really really.
This is one of the best business-related books that I have ever purchased. You can say that essence of this book is a common sense to be a highly effective individual. However, today's busy work environment would often make you forget that essence from our mind. In addition to reminding us the rules to be effective, the author also shows practical examples (I started following to-do-lists she suggests in this book, and it really does work well!). I temporally stepped back & suspended multi-tasking. Within a few weeks, I could show one block of progress to my boss, and I believe that I can slowly bring other tasks back together. This book may saved my career. It is also funny to read 'bad' examples described in this book. I have seen many disorganized managers/employers that exactly match to what Laura says!
The world did not need another book on time management. It needed a book that actually works. This is it! I read it in a sitting and immediately started putting the ideas to work. I would say more but want to follow Laura's advice and "focus my attention" on my "key activities." Thank you.
Not preachy, just practical. Very helpful - I will enjoy the productivity help for years to come. More broad-reaching in its subject matter than I had anticipated, but she takes a broad interpretation of what "productivity" is.
Well laid out & easier to follow than implement! Once one gets good at using the system--had to force myself--things really get done! She gives lots of encouragement & if you can get in the habit of using this system, you DO end up with more time to do personal/family/fun things.