I discovered the book while researching Highrise, the contact relationship manager (CRM) by 37signals. There were some very intriguing testimonials that caught my attention so I checked Amazon to see if there was a Kindle version, and there was. Better yet, they offered the first chapter as a sample. Well, I bit (even though I know all about the techniques they’re employing to get me hooked).
I read the sample chapter, immediately purchased the full book and read the first half right then. Right about the chapter where they talk about the importance of sleep, I decided to take their advice and get some. The next night I read the rest of the book.
I was inspired to rework some things I do right away and I’m proud to say I’ve already seen some success.
The first thing I am reworking is to stop getting bogged down in details at the beginning of projects. I took a huge Sharpie marker instead of a pen or my computer to map out a presentation I was working on and stopped trying to write it out from the beginning. Lots of paper and a new Sharpie later, I had a clear vision of how things would go and what details I needed to sweat. I was also able to stop worrying about some details I wouldn’t have considered dropping, and I’m much better for it! I love the Sharpie instead of pen idea.
The other big revelation was how many interruptions I cause and am affected by every day at the office. I don’t mean to interrupt others and often it’s cloaked as ‘collaboration’ or ‘quick questions’ so I don’t even think about how I might be affecting their day.
From now on, I’ll ask my ‘quick questions’ in an email so the other person can respond when it’s convenient for them. How often do you really need an answer right away? Usually, there is still a lot you can do while you wait for a response. Also, when I think I need to discuss something or collaborate with someone in person, I’ll try to do so via email first. If we really do need a face-to-face, I’ll schedule a time to do so.
I’m going to read the book again and take note of the other things I want to rework and get it done. I definitely recommend this book but if you can’t get around to reading it, at least consider how you might disrupt the productivity of your employees or co-workers and how you can make changes to prevent this. And make sure you take measures to protect your productive times as well!