In this how-to book, an emergency physician provides strong rationales and helpful instructions for maximizing efficiency in many aspects of day-to-day life.
Sterling (Behind the Curtain, 2015) is both an accomplished health care consultant with extensive experience in emergency medicine and a business owner. This varied experience forms a solid foundation from which he shares insights on how to “discover ever-increasing levels of efficiency.” His tone is logical, straightforward, and encouraging, allowing room for readers who may have different definitions of personal success. His book contains specific strategies that are, on the whole, easy to understand. They address how to make work, organizations, health, recreation, finances, and relationships more efficient, with an emphasis on “working smarter, not harder.” One example suggests multitasking while watching a sports event on television: “Have you considered taking advantage of that adrenaline rush and walking a treadmill or otherwise exercising while you’re watching sports?” The guide’s usefulness is heightened by such examples, which also include several emergency room stories, but it could have used more of them. For instance, when the author talks about using an implementation matrix—a type of project plan—he describes the difficulty of figuring out how to organize and execute its components but provides no examples that apply it to an actual situation; instead, he refers readers to the separate 72 Hours in a Day Workbook (not reviewed) for matrix samples. Also, although the book provides excellent rationales for becoming better organized and using time more wisely, it pays little attention to how to handle the emotions that might get in the way of achieving particular goals.
An often clear and credible read that looks at how to clear space for one’s priorities.