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The Instant Productivity Kit: 21 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Your Job, Yourself and Your Life, Immediately Paperback – July 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402203306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402203305
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Len Merson is the founder and CEO of Productivity Concepts, Inc., a consulting firm that teaches companies, such as The Whirlpool Corporation, Sun Microsystems, the Los Angeles Times and American Express, how to improve their employees’ working habits. He is an awarded member of the National Speakers Association, international trainer and consultant, and conducts self-esteem workshops in public, private, and parochial schools as well as juvenile homes and teenage abuse shelters all across the country. He currently conducts more than twenty-five corporate workshops and thirty speaking engagements each year.

About the Author

Len Merson is the founder and CEO of Productivity Concepts, Inc., a consulting firm that teaches companies, such as the Whirlpool Corporation, Sun Microsystems, the Los Angeles Times and American Express, how to improve their employees' working habits. He is an awarded member of the National Speakers Association, international trainer and consultant, and conducts self-esteem workshops in public, private, and parochial schools as well as juvenile homes and teenage abuse shelters all across the country. He currently conducts more than twenty-five corporate workshops and thirty speaking engagements each year.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 35 customer reviews
I reluctantly started reading the book and after the first couple of pages I was hooked.
Linda King
It all starts with the "Clear 180", keeping your desk clean and your eyes focused on one task and one task only.
Jim Tenuto
Now I am organizing the rest of my work flow according to his brilliantly simple system.
Neil Tepper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jim Tenuto VINE VOICE on August 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
Len Merson has crafted the perfect companion piece for his outstanding seminars and training programs. "The Instant Productivity Toolkit" is a no-nonsense handbook that will make you more organized. Merson makes a simple, intuitive observation that borders on the brilliant: No one really taught us how to deal with the new media...e-mail, voice mail, electronic files.

It all starts with the "Clear 180", keeping your desk clean and your eyes focused on one task and one task only. The use of seven "terminals" for all information will give you the tools to instantly retrieve critical data while mercilessly dealing with the mountains of junk that either cross our desk or assualt our electronic in-box.

It took me longer to read this book than I anticipated. It's hard to read when your busy rearranging your desk, organzing files, preparing a "Turtle pile" and designing a pending system that really works.

If you do nothing else follow Merson's pointed and practical advice on dealing with e-mail. The power of going home each evening with this message in my e-mail is worth the price of admission: "There are no items in this view."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. S. Hamilton on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am an Architectural Intern with project management experience.

I knew that my work load would continually increase with more and more projects coming at me. I knew I would have the added responsibility of leading more people.

I also knew that my present method of handling information (although organized) would not be as effecient or as error free as I needed it to be. I needed to find a better way to handle the information that would be coming at me.

I found it here.

I have always been "neat" and "organized". Yet, somehow, I still couldn't keep up with the information and tasks that were coming at me.

I thought being organized alone (having a detailed filing system for both email and papers, and having a "neat" desk top) was all I could do to battle the onslaught of information.

Then I found Mr. Merson's book and that all changed.

His techniques for dealing with the information thrown at you allows you to keep an E M P T Y desk in front of you. And yet, you still know exactly what tasks you have to do...and you still know exactly where all the information needed for those tasks are located when you need them (even though they are out of sight...).

It's incredible the feeling of control you will acquire over your workload.

And as my title says...you will no longer write "To-Do" Lists! I almost thought this was crazy when I first saw that...but I was open to new techniques. And this works SO MUCH BETTER. I knew that my list making was something that was dragging me down but I didn't know what to do about it...Mr. Merson has the answer.

And his technique allows you to PRIORITIZE your work almost effortlessly. This is something that I have been struggling with trying to do...
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nadia Koligman on May 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have read numerous books on productivity but found this to be one of the better ones out there. Although the book presents 21 separate techniques, they all come together to create an integrated system.

The biggest "take-away" for me was the concept of seeing one's physical space/desk as a productivity tool in itself. Setting it up a certain way will not only help control the level of clutter but also enhance one's focus and workflow. The author uses the analogy of routing traffic at an airport to explain these concepts, which makes them easy to understand, visualize and remember.

Another clever idea is the use of what he refers to as the "Turtle", which is a stack of "prioritized, active-task paperwork". Up until now I had numerous piles of "to-do" items all over my desk. Now I can consolidate and organize these items so that they can be efficiently and effectively handled with minimal stress.

Although I've just started implementing some of the ideas in this book, they are already helping me regain a sense of control and sanity in my workspace.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carol Youmans on August 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
I purchased "The Instant Productivity Toolkit" book just 3 days ago and I can't put it down! I am in the mortgage business which is fast paced and very hectic. I've used several different productivity systems and computer programs but none of them have given me the piece of mind that this book has. I like that I can apply the concepts right away. The ideas are not nebulous and the author is very specific in his instructions. After reading just a few chapters I told my husband that this was JUST WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR! I was so excited I could hardly sleep and was excited to start work the next day and implement what I had read. I read a lot of books - and I keep very few close at hand for reference. This book will be on the top of the stack. I am impressed with the time and detail the author took and highly recommend this book and plan to re-read it again myself!

Carol Youmans

Auburn, CA
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donna H. Drecksel on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought your book after listening to a local radio station personality interview you about the Instant Productivity Tool. WOW! What a transformation. After many ineffective years of attempting to become organized by struggling with Franklin, Covey and a myriad of other organizational/motivational systems, stuff from the local office supply houses, etc --you came along to prove there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am applying your principles to home management. Since I read your book and personally spoke with you I have sifted through years and years of overwhelming peace destroying clutter accumulated while raising six kids, managing personal accounts for three disabled family members, and assisting with several facets of a family business. Additionally there are those bulky mounds of paper collections one deals with associated with participation in numerous church and community activities.

I find your principles to be the foundational building blocks to organizational sanity that the time management, character enhancing programs do not successfully incorporate into their format. Thanks for putting first things first in such a straight forward manner.

Forever grateful,

Donna Drecksel
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