Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Manage Your Day To Day

For some workers, measuring their productivity is easy. If you went from 12 widgets a day last year to 11 widgets a day this year, you know you're going backwards. For knowledge workers, however, it's not that easy to tell if our productivity is improving or getting worse. With the proliferation of e-mail/sms communication and the growth of social media, I'm pretty sure my productivity was going backwards for a while there. I thought this problem of getting constantly interrupted was a problem unique to me, but it's not. With the help from others who have written on this subject, I believe I was able to take some steps to not only reverse this problem, but also create more productive time for myself. Glei's Manage Your Day To Day is useful for anyone looking to get a head start on conquering this issue.

The book is a collection of essays written by knowledge workers in a number of different areas. They each detail techniques they themselves use to ensure maximum productivity. One very common theme is that most, if not all, of these people purposefully start the creative process as the first thing in their days. The natural thing to do is to get back to people before you start your real work, and deal with interruptions as they occur. This is absolutely the wrong approach, and if this is what you do, you probably aren't nearly as productive as is your potential.

Myself, I didn't find the book enormously useful, but that's only because I've read other books on the topic, so there wasn't a whole lot new here. In particular, I have already been influenced by Peter Drucker's works. Though Drucker lived in a time before social media and e-mail, he saw that the knowledge worker's most important resource is time, and that he must organize himself so that he optimizes it.

As you might expect from a book written by a bunch of different people, there are some contradictions. But there are enough commonalities that someone new to the subject will have enough to get started in tackling this problem. Plus, it's cheap, so it costs you very little, especially compared to how much your productive capacity may grow as a result.


Investing Sidekick said...

You obviously manage your time well, I'm always surprised just how many books you review given you also are a fund manager. Maybe if I watched less TV I'd find myself reading as many :p

Whats the best single book you'd recommend for managing time better?

Saj Karsan said...

Hi Sidekick,

I think this is the only one I've read that is totally dedicated to that subject. But I believe it to be an important topic so I have plans to read more in the coming days, and I will post reviews on this site as I get through them.