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On this page you'll find books and references to
increase your personal business productivity.

Getting things done

Allen, a management consultant and executive coach, provides insights into attaining maximum efficiency and at the same time relaxing whenever one needs or wants to. Readers learn that there is no single means for perfecting organizational efficiency or productivity; rather, the author offers tools to focus energies strategically and tactically without letting anything fall through the cracks. He provides tips, techniques, and tricks for implementation of his workflow management plan, which has two basic components: capture all the things that need to get done into a workable, dependable system; and discipline oneself to make front-end decisions with an action plan for all inputs into that system. In short, do it (quickly), delegate it (appropriately), or defer it. While an infomercial for the author's consulting practice, this road map for organizational efficiency may help many who have too much to do in too little time, both professionally and in their personal lives.

Ready for Anything

Author David Allen lists 52 basic principles for productivity, including: write everything down, do the jobs that nag you, focus on the matter at hand and so on. As he notes, the principles are both simple to understand and difficult to implement. The book is essentially a collection of gleanings from the author's previous writings, so it does not present a systematic or unified approach to time and productivity management. However, Allen's straightforward tips are handy, if sometimes duplicative. The number 52 suggests that you might find one helpful tip to use each week in a one-year program of self-improvement and productivity management. In that case, repetition is probably a good thing, since bad habits tend to spring up again like weeds and require the same remedies often. The author is relentlessly upbeat, optimistic and witty, like a motivational speaker. That might be hard to read in a big chunk, but it is easy to digest if you spend a little time every week reading a recommendation and implementing it. We recommend this book to anyone who urgently needs help with time management and productivity.

Improving performance

Long before James Champy made "Reengineering" a buzz-word, then a management fad, then finally a tired cliche, Rummler & Brache broke the code on how businesses can do work better. Instead of looking at the jobs people do, they focused their attention on the work being done, and how those work objects meander through different departments and functional organizations in most companies.

What Rummler & Brache might have lacked in marketing prowess, they more than made up for in insight. "Improving Performance" is short on jargon and the evangelical fervor many other works on Reengineering, Business Process Management, and Third Wave (or fourth wave or whatever wave we're up to) seem to revel in. It is focused and pragmatic, giving both the theory of process management and how to apply it. Very basic and very useful diagrams help illustrate their concepts throughout, making this a field guide for anyone involved in process management in the real world, be they consultants or internal change agents.

After 15 years in the space, it's still one of the best I've found. Could not recommend more highly

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Stephen Covey, an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this book is a manual for performing better in both arenas. His anecdotes are as frequently from family situations as from business challenges.
Before you can adopt the seven habits, you'll need to accomplish what Covey calls a "paradigm shift"--a change in perception and interpretation of how the world works. Covey takes you through this change, which affects how you perceive and act regarding productivity, time management, positive thinking, developing your "proactive muscles" (acting with initiative rather than reacting), and much more.

This isn't a quick-tips-start-tomorrow kind of book. The concepts are sometimes intricate, and you'll want to study this book, not skim it. When you finish, you'll probably have Post-it notes or hand-written annotations in every chapter, and you'll feel like you've taken a powerful seminar by Covey.

The 80/20 principle

I read this book about a year ago, and still regularly think of it and apply it's concepts in my life and business.

I have worked in sales for years, so I am very familiar with the 80/20 concept as relates to business. Simply stated in my field of real estate it's a proven fact that in different markets of the country and over time 20% of the agents make 80% of the income. This is true in other types of sales as well. Of course the flipside of this is that the large 80% of the agents only make 20% of the income. Basically a small number of people make most of the money. Why this is has been debated, but it seems to be a consistent rule that holds.

Koch points out how 80/20 is seen in other areas. For example 20% of taxpayers account for 80% of IRS revenue. What Koch does then is expand this rule to all aspects of life. He says that the 80/20 rule holds for all kinds of activities. He says that 20% of your work activity is responsible for 80% of your productivity on the job. And that 20% of your leisure time is responsible for 80% of your happiness. When I read this I just knew intuitively that it is true. So the next step is to figure out what the 20% activities are that are paying off the 80% returns in your work, or personal life, or anything. And then devote your energy into those activities and receive huge returns. He says that we're better off focusing on our strong suits where we're most effective rather than focusing our attention on the areas where we think "we need to improve". This idea alone is priceless.

This is practical, useful material that you can put to use today in your business and personal life. Koch has some seemingly offbeat ideas about playing with time unconventionally, boosting happiness, productivity through being "intelligent and lazy", and more that I loved. It really opened my mind to a range of possibilities.

Koch is a successful businessman who says he researched and could find no other books written on this subject.

Would it surprise you to learn that to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem, you need to get up and leave the room? A walk in the woods will help you finish your novel? Humming can make you a better tennis player? Or completely giving up is the way to succeed?

In The Breakout Principle, the bestselling author of The Relaxation Response delivers the ultimate self-help principle -- simple instructions to activate a powerful biological trigger that converts conflict and confusion into clarity and extraordinary performance, a state athletes refer to as "the zone."

More than three decades ago, Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School began research into why some people are devastated by stress while others thrive, turning it into brilliant achievement. Now The Breakout Principle reports the discovery of an easy-to-access inner switch that increases mental function, enhances creativity and productivity, maximizes athletic performance, and enriches spiritual life. The same internal mechanism that improves a tennis serve or golf putt strengthens your speaking skills, makes you a better negotiator, and fosters inner peace and belief.

Dr. Benson and coauthor William Proctor explain the cutting-edge science behind the phenomenon in accessible language, clearly describe the four distinct phases of the Breakout, and provide simple, step-by-step instructions on how to activate the Breakout "trigger." Compelling case histories and information on how to incorporate Breakouts into daily life are woven throughout the book.

Dr. Benson's previous discoveries have helped millions reduce the harmful effects of stress. The Breakout Principle now reveals how to maximize your untapped abilities and powers.
Organizing Your Workspace

I was able to read this book in one night and still had time to make a game plan for tackling the organization project at the office for the next morning. There were a few ideas that were easy to implement; some so simple I can't believe I never thought of them before. (The Tickler Files!) After two work days, I had changed my work process enough to feel better, and thus have some relief. Not to mention, on day two, my director stopped mid-sentence when she saw the top of my desk and praised me for how clean and organized I was.

This book is a great place to start for some easy, immediate results. However, I need much, much more on PDA's, e-mail, case management, and paperwork flow. The success I had from the small investment of time here will keep me motivated to move on to books tackling the larger picture.
 

Health and productivity have a complex interdependence in the modern workplace. As the nature of work changes, it becomes crucially important for effective management to redefine productivity in a way that takes into account the health of workers. In this conference volume, experts from the biomedical, social and behavioral sciences review current knowledge of the complex interrelationship between health and productivity in the workplace. The book places concern for the worker's health in a social and economic context, examines changing inputs to the workplace such as technology and new lifestyles, describes the physical nature of the work environment and its psychosocial aspects, and concludes with a discussion of management for improved health and productivity.
Personal Productivity with Information Technology was developed to fit the specifications for course IS97.2 of the Information Systems Curriculum Model developed as a joint effort by the ACM and AITP (formerly DPMA).


The text is designed to help students learn to work more effectively using computers and information technology. It is geared towards use in a variety of college or university courses and should be useful to students majoring in diverse subjects. The text combines a discussion of concepts and methods with practical exercises. Author Gordon B. Davis is a leading professor and well known author in the field of MIS.

 
Leave the office earlier

Quoting a 2003 workplace study by COGNA Behavioral Health called "Worried at Work: Mood and Mindset in the American Workplace," Stack argues that workers are stressed to epidemic proportions. Building on the platform of the acronym "PRODUCTIVE," Stark, who holds an MBA and gives inspirational speeches, introduces 10 quizzes and consecutive chapters based on the productivity factors: preparation, reduction, order, discipline, unease, concentration, time mastery, information and equilibrium. By combining fill-in-the-blanks charts and lists with her established techniques, Stark presents a method of organization that can be individualized and effective. Thankfully, her didactic tendencies are muffled by her straightforward style and effort to target each individual organizer. Her book is thorough, and although the payoff is a good one, readers who are truly swamped may not have the time to complete all of the exercises.
 

Surviving without a secretary

This book will show how you can develop skills that will give you a competitive edge.
Basically 50 tips to improve your way of working.

Personal Productivity

Readers will learn how to become better readers...understanding more of what they read and putting it into use on the job, remember important details more readily than ever before, and organize their work to juggle multiple tasks and projects more efficiently.
 

In business and in life we often find ourselves facing the same challenge Roman gladiators faced--act or be acted upon. In his new book, The Modern Gladiator Smith shows how success today depends upon our training and tools, just as it did in the time of the Romans. To conquer his or her battles today, the modern gladiator must acquire training and experience as a shield and the tolls of personal productivity as the short sword that was the key to the rise of the Roman Empire. The book will take you to a higher level of balance and increased personal productivity.
 
Time Management in no time ...
Focal Point is author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy's latest guide to professional and personal development. Combining the basic principles of career success and life balance he has advocated in the past with anecdotes for inspiration, the book proposes a unified approach to simultaneously achieving improvement at work and at home. The crux is finding the "focal point" in all pertinent areas--business, family, finances, health--and then launching a seven-step "personal strategic plan" that "helps you identify exactly what is most important to you ... identify what you need to do to achieve your most important goals (and) determine the steps you have to take to get from wherever you are to wherever you want to go." Tracy shows quite explicitly how to incorporate the specific phases of the process, including Values, Vision, Goals, Knowledge and Skills, Habits, Daily Activities, and Actions, into a drive for long-term growth and overall advancement. Not all who follow Tracy's program will find their incomes doubled and work hours pared while their personal relationships blossom, of course, but anyone who applies it diligently should see definite improvement.

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Productivity Booster Info Center

Everything you need to increase your productivity

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