[Book Review] How to be a Productivity Ninja

Julia Gifford 23.07.2012
How to be a Productivity Ninja

Since productivity is our favorite topic, we were thrilled to learn about a new book on productivity by Graham Alcott, founder of Think Productive, a productivity coaching company in the UK.

 The average book on productivity will load you down with theory. And while it will sound great while you’re reading, when you’re done you’ll be left wondering where to begin. You’ll be overloaded with information, and will end up never implementing any of it. The great thing about Productivity Ninja is that it gives you exercises as you read, so once you’ve finished the book, you’re already starting off with concrete action plans, that are specifically designed to your needs (because you wrote them!).

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Possibly the biggest impact this book has had on my productivity is the notion of attention management. A concept that I hadn’t ever considered before, has lead me to make the most of my attention peaks during the day, and manage the more mundane tasks during the dips. Of course this was only possible because of the different tools and exercises in the book that helped me identify them. This will of course be different for each person.

Some general observations of the book:

  • Short, sweet, to the point. This book won’t waste your time.
  • The author really knows the average working person, absolutely relatable for the reader
  • Practical – great workbook aspect that sets you up for your own ninjafying
  • Challenges you – I’m having trouble implementing the “ruthlessness” aspect that Alcott defines as a characteristic of a productivity ninja – I’m a sucker for helping others with their tasks when I know I can do it better/faster/easier
  • The productivity ninja isn’t always an ethical worker – suggestions like scheduling false meetings to avoid colleague interruptions, gets the job done, but I’m not sure if it’s morally acceptable in every office

This book was all in all a fantastic read. I suggest it, but only on the following conditions:

  • You’re looking to make practical changes in your life to increase your productivity (things like managing your inbox, managing everyday tasks, how to make to-do lists that you’ll actually to, have productive meetings etc.);
  • You’re willing to challenge yourself;
  • You’re open to changing your daily routine;
  • You’ll actually dothe exercises in the book as you read along.

There were many practical suggestions, and we look forward to a guest post by author Graham Alcott to give us some more insight to the characteristics of a productivity ninja.

If you’re interested in the book itself, you can buy it online here: http://www.amazon.com/How-Productivity-Ninja-Management-Information/dp/0956689310

Want more productivity inspiration? Think Productive run 21st century time management courses for organisations as diverse as eBay, the UK Government and the National Trust.

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