Productivity and Simplicity

A great article on the productivity surge of the past 2 quarters suggests that companies—particularly those in the service sector—are finally beginning to realize the payoff from investments in information technology. And that people are beginning to work differently—more productively, as it were—as a result of the wired world. I’ll add a trivial factor to this trend: the increase in books and other guides helping individuals improve their personal productivity. Granted, most such products are actually time-wasters, but I’ll mention two recent books of this genre that I highly recommend.

The first, Ready For Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work & Life, by author David Allen, draws insights from newsletters available at this excellent website of this productivity guru. Allen elaborates on simple thoughts such as: Your power is proportional to your ability to relax. Surprises, expected, are no surprise. The value of a future goal is the present change it fosters. His book examines the essence of productivity, i.e. what happens in the present moment when you stop worrying about doing things that you aren’t. The second, The Simplicity Survival Handbook: 32 Ways to Do Less and Accomplish More, from Bill Jensen, is an extremely well-made book that practices what it preaches. Short, visually-oriented chapters tell, and show, how to leave shorter and action-oriented voice mails, shift work back to the people who should be doing it, and eliminate the vast majority of work that wastes time. And try his website as well.

Posted by tom at November 9, 2003 10:02 PM

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Book cover



Read or print the Intro and Chapter 1 .

Read some book reviews at Inc, 1-800-CEO-READ, and the Miami Herald.

Read the publisher's press release.

Visit the companies that Tom discusses in the book

Hear a recent lecture by Tom on the Startup Garden


Read about other books and web sites about starting your own business.


Just Managing – articles that Tom wrote for The Industry Standard and some Business Articles written for Inc., Fortune Small Business, Harvard Management Update, and other places.



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