Most helpful critical review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Some problems with this book - mostly presentation
on March 22, 2014
1. I seriously suspect that the publisher paid the author by the page. The text is incredibly verbose. For example, the author takes up an entire page (26 lines) to explain why the reader should have only one calendar. He couldn't say that in fewer than 26 lines? A few pages later, he mentions it again. Section introductions are printed in typeface that would qualify for large-print books for the visually-impaired. Or perhaps the author is one of those people who love to talk, talk, talk, and keep repeating their messages even if their audience is intelligent enough to understand the point the first time they state it. Perhaps he wrote the text the way he is used to speaking (and as a consultant and public speaker, he is paid by the hour, after all). Either way, why would you take the advice of someone who cannot communicate concisely? Does the author not see how he sabotages his professional image by babbling instead of communicating?
2. In all the excitement, neither the author nor the publisher shelled out for a proofreader. The grammatical and formatting mistakes in the book are annoying. Again, they contribute to an unprofessional look (hint for the author here). Even the glaringly obvious - a person used as an example is referred to alternately as "Shelly" and as "Shelley". Please decide what her name is.
3. The author advocates keeping paperwork related to your active tasks in a stack on your desk. Seriously? You've never heard of a three-ring binder with tabs? The reality of the workplace today is that many of us are on the move, and cannot realistically keep our active tasks in a stack on a desk somewhere. Suggestion for the author: Invest in a three-ring binder and some dividing tabs. Total cost: $15. Yes, you can still refer to it as a turtle if you want to (don't ask).
4. The author's arguments against to-do lists (page 175) are weak and illogical. Perhaps he is simply not familiar with *effective* lists. And his assertion that "A To-Do list may work for people who don't have a lot to do" is silly and insulting. Here are his three arguments against them:
(a) "People who use them have a tendency to think of the first item on the list as the most important, but it might not be at all." That is just nonsense, and insulting to the millions of people who use lists. But I suppose the author has met all of us, so he knows how stupid we are.
(b) "If you fail to complete the first item on the list, you may be deterred from moving on to the remaining items." Right. If I failed to load the dishwasher this morning, I will be deterred from calling my mother, ordering a textbook on Amazon, and attending a doctor's appointment.
(c) "A To-Do list has no flexibility; to reprioritize, you have to rewrite the entire list." Sounds like the author has never heard of a small trick by which you put little letters next to each line item to denote priority - A, B, C. How hard is it to scratch out one letter and replace it with another?
On page 91, the author provides an illustration of his idea of the perfect layout for your office. The trash can is placed prominently in a location that all but guarantees you will trip on it every single time you get up from your desk. Enjoy the bruises.
If you are reading this review, you are either the author, or an Amazon customer who is looking for a book on improving his/her efficiency and productivity. My advice to both of you: Buy David Allen's book, "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity". THAT'S a game-changer.