I recently finished The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey as part of my latest read in a series of self-development books.
I have to start by saying this is THE most organized book in the genre that I’ve read yet and it was an absolute pleasure. In each chapter I knew exactly what I was getting into and I always came out with more, making me want to read the next immediately.
I’m currently in a routine where I spend 15 minutes a day reading and got through these 300 some pages very quickly despite it. I’ll admit to cheating at least twice and going over to squeeze in just a bit more before moving on with my day.
Productivity is one of the cornerstones to the entrepreneurial lifestyle, and arguably (which Chris made well in this book) great for everyone. Your personal and professional life benefits incredibly from being a productive person and in this book you will find the proof of that for yourself.
The basis of this book is a year-long dedication to productivity and all the tips, tricks, hacks, and voodoo there is on the subject. Chris leaves no stone unturned and instead of delivering you a blow-by-blow, the productivity-aware person would understand only sharing what works, and deep dives into those to bear out the proof, science, and experience of every topic.
Early on, you hit the tough introspection head-on. Where you might fall short on productivity and where the hidden pitfalls are that stymie your progress. Next, you come to terms with what time management really means, and where you could be fooling yourself. You will get an opportunity to track your time for a few days and get a look at where you are spending it. That might be pretty eye-opening, and maybe even a bit of a depressing realization. The good news is, you’re in the right place to get on track!
Once you have a basis of these key concepts and backgrounds, Chris takes you on his journey of incredible tools you can use to stay productive by identifying what is unimportant. Breaking down your tasks alerts you to what you might be repeatedly doing. With repetition is the opportunity for automation, and that can be much easier than you think.
Next, you’ll dig into the power of meditation – not as some woo-woo spiritual journey but as a tool to hone your mind and bring you focus. There’s an exercise where you just get away to a quiet place and let your mind wander and focus wherever it wants. You sit there and just write down every little thing. I found this one of the most powerful parts of the book – I learned more about my own brain than I ever really knew and knowing how it works is a huge step to knowing how to make it highly productive.
After that, chapters to bring up your productivity game through attentiveness, health and wellness, and getting good sleep. There really is such a thing as “brain food” and knowing what it is NOT adds so much power to what you can do with it. You might be worried that there’s going to be a health kick that takes away all the fun stuff, but that’s not at all true. Knowing what it is that dulls your mind and feeds your procrastination is incredibly useful – and allows you to plan ahead. This all take us to a wrap up that closes the book nicely.
As a bonus and one that I was really hoping for as I reached the end, a look at productivity 1 year after this project and to see where Chris is at after all this. I won’t give away anything but Chris deals with a horrific event through his year and his personal story is as inspiring at the Productivity Project is educational. The epilog is a great end to an amazing story.
Throughout, Chris pulls no punches and writes with an honesty that is rarely seen. I’m glad I got a chance to read this book and even more glad I have it in paperback as it can be a reference for years to come.
I hope you will pick up The Productivity Project today and get to reading it right away. You really can’t afford to needlessly lose hours of your life when you could be doing amazing things with the guidance from this little book.