Recent college graduate, Chris Bailey, had two awesome full-time job offers. But like many recent grads looking to delay their foray into the real world, he took a year off instead to delve into a project he hoped would change his life forever in a good way.
Like many others before him, Bailey started a blog to chronicle his experiences. But unlike many other blogs that start off with lofty goals and fall flat somewhere along the way, Bailey channeled his experiments and lessons into shareable advice and the blog AYearOfProductivity.com became a book called The Productivity Project
In it, Bailey offers tips on how to make the most of your time, even going so far to give estimates on how much time you should set aside to read each chapter (I loved timing myself and beating the estimate).
Bailey talks about the Pareto principle – 80 percent of your overall productivity comes from about 20 percent of your total effort – and which items from your To-do list you should focus on to make the most of your day. It’s not about doing more things, it’s about doing the right things.
Expect to find topics in the book like:
- why you might be going to lunch at the wrong time of day
- how to decide what you work on when
- how to figure out how much your time is really worth – is it valued at minimum wage or a consultant’s fee rate –
- what should be on your “Waiting For” list.
I’m a chronic procrastinator. I often put off tasks until the last minute. I’ve studied my habits so I know I don’t procrastinate everything. In fact, most tasks, I enjoy doing right away. But I do a lot of the easy things so time runs out on the hard stuff. Bailey says this is common.
The tasks we are most likely to procrastinate are:
To trick yourself into wanting to do them instead of putting them off, you have to make the task more fun. Or simply, list the cost – what is procrastinating actually costing you. If you don’t file your taxes on time and have to pay a late fee, that’s the cost of procrastination. Writing down those costs can help you view challenging tasks in a more positive light and might help you moving towards doing it. Great advice, right?
The most important lesson Bailey shares about productivity, however, is in a quote on page 16:
The absolute best place to start is determining the right things to become more productive on. Your effort toward taking control of your time, attention and energy will be fruitless when you don’t first take stock of what tasks are the most valuable and meaningful to you.
The Productivity Project is chock full of diagrams and tables and tips. It’s no secret that I read a lot and that I always have several books that I am reading or are waiting to read but The Productivity Project makes me excited. I have several Post-its all over the book marking tips I want to incorporate into my time management and goal-setting exercises. I don’t know if I’m more accomplished yet but I feel more productive just having read the book and isn’t it all in the mind anyway?
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Note: I received a free copy of The Productivity Project from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
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