Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Extreme Productivity

Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your HoursExtreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours 
by Robert C. Pozen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a collection of tips and techniques rather than a plan for productivity (a fact that he explains in the introduction). It has some useful insights. Like most productivity books, however, there is an assumption that someone else (like your wife) is dealing with all the issues of domestic life and you have only to focus on the important goals of your brilliant career. There is also an assumption that you can foist off all the insignificant tasks on your staff. I have to imagine that lots of folks don't have a 'staff' and that many who do still have a lot of junk they are expected to deal with themselves. I liked Pozen's writing style which is clear and not overly formal in tone. I also found the insights from his career at Fidelity interesting though not overly applicable to my job in state government. Some of the sections were more useful than others and the one on writing was extremely basic. His advice was helpful to my neice--she is 9--who was struggling to figure out what should be in the introduction to her report on black bears while I was reading this. 
Overall I think this book was worth reading if only because it made me think more carefully about some of the things I do. It might even be worth re-reading in a few years as the same re-thinking could be valuable again.

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