Book Review: The Productivity Project

The staff at my municipality have started a leadership book club that meets monthly over lunch. It is a really neat idea, and this month I decided to participate.

The book of choice for this month was Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project.

image of the cover of Chris Bailey's book the producitivity projectFor the most part, I am a productive person, and don’t read books like this myself since I don’t have a lot of productivity concerns. That aside, this was a nice, quick read full of useful advice. I was able to read it in about two and a half hours, but that was without completing any of the activities in each chapter.

The author took a life-long fascination with productivity to an interesting extreme when he took a year to research productivity and run productivity experiments on himself. This book was written as part of that project (hence the title) and the author’s accessible writing style, and great set-up for the book made for interesting reading.

Many of the tips and advice in the book won’t be new to people who have been in the workforce for any length of time, or done any reading on organization, time management, or similar topics. It split most advice into 3 areas of concentration to be more productive: time, energy, and attention. All of the author’s tips worked on how to manage balance and focus in those areas to maximize productivity in both your work and personal life. I especially enjoyed his writing on procrastination.

I find, for myself, that the more time pressed I am at work, the better my productivity habits. When I don’t have hard deadlines this start to slide. To that end some of the habits that I hope to reinstate for myself are:

  • Drink more water
  • Take some time to meditate daily
  • Phone goes into a drawer at work
  • Take breaks
  • Update my lists: projects, projects, planning

And generally be more mindful when completing tasks and moving about my day.

I’d recommend this book for anyone interested in productivity since it is such an easy, quick read, as well as for the addition of activities.