Sterling (There Are 72 Hours in a Day, 2017, etc.) offers a practical, motivational manual for increasing one’s productivity.
Through daily lessons, this book aims to help readers increase their efficiency and organization, so that they can free up time for more meaningful pursuits. “Be productive in all your activities,” the author advises. “Be assertive regarding your aspirations. Don’t wander through life like a directionless butterfly, wasting time and effort.” The first task, he says, is tackling mental barriers. Sterling encourages inquisitive self-examination, instructing readers on how to recognize and eliminate time-wasting tasks and how to compose personal mission statements. He then urges readers to notice what habits work well, so that they may establish routines, develop and implement plans, and delegate tasks for maximum efficiency. The book recommends using organizational tools, including to-do lists, voice recordings, and Post-it notes. Being prolific is another one of the goals of the program, which “involves the ability to complete multiple tasks simultaneously or in rapid succession without compromising quality,” the author explains; this requires stamina, which, in turn, requires mental and physical conditioning. For the former, Sterling advocates making productivity a game by incentivizing one’s efforts; for the latter, he recommends a healthy diet and exercise. Improving one’s environment is also essential, he says, and he shows how one may do so by avoiding toxic situations, people, or surroundings. Overall, the tools contained in this book are all achievable, and the author’s many aphorisms, such as “Every option is not an opportunity,” are certainly catchy. A few tips may strike readers as odd, though, such as recommendations to learn CPR, wear seat belts, and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Others seem unnecessarily complicated, such as the “Implementation Matrix”—an extensive, color-coded document that lists every single step in a plan. Also, some sections, such as those regarding organizational roles, will apply only to those in supervisory positions or those who work in group settings.
A mostly inspirational kick-in-the-pants for people who want to make the most of their time.