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In "The Principle of Relevance: The Essential Strategy to Navigate Through the Information Age," Stefania Lucchetti tackles the problem of information overload by addressing the questions, "What is worth knowing?" "What is worth doing?" and "What is worth responding to?" It's a quick book to read with large font size and extra spacing between lines, but the answer Lucchetti provides to determine relevance is not as quick. It will take some practice to use Lucchetti's strategy to breeze through information for those items of relevance. And this is something the author acknowledges as she encourages you to use your time on those things determined by you to be relevant.

The author has practiced law for over ten years, and I could sort of see that in the writing. It was a bit more formal than some self-help texts, and was outlined in a very logical and systematical manner. Maybe I saw it because I've been a lawyer almost ten years now. Regardless, I think it helped solidify the message, and it makes it easy to go back and reference parts you want to review.

Again, the book is a quick read, but you'll want to take a little time thinking about what Lucchetti wrote, and how best to incorporate her strategies into your own workflow. After a preface and introduction that provide a short road map of the book, the first part covers the principle of relevance and sums up why relevance is important. The opening quote by Stephen Covey sums it up well, "Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant." The author then briefly goes over five elements of her principle of relevance. These include: 1. clarity of purpose. 2. situational awareness. 3. pattern discernment. 4. attention. 5. self-knowledge and self-mastery.

Part two of the book then goes into some tools to train your brain to recognize relevance. One of the tools is a modified four-quadrant diagram from Covey's time management teachings. In this diagram, the four quadrants are: Significant but not on purpose, Relevant, Not relevant, and On purpose but not significant. Finally, part three covers some applications of the Principle of Relevance.

These tools are more aimed at the knowledge worker who must determine relevance from all of the information available at our fingertips. I don't see people using these tools for the bulk of e-mails and such flooding the in-box. With that said, I don't know how much I'll actually use the tools as laid out in the book, but by reading over them, thinking about what Lucchetti wrote, and how I can apply the strategies to my own situations, I believe I've picked up some wisdom and reinforced other ideas I'd known to better tackle the information I need for my purposes. I especially liked the short chapter on attention. It made me stop and think beyond what was written, and that is something a good book will do, make you think!

And that is what I believe is the key to this book. Many people who read this book won't connect with the examples provided, and that's okay. I believe the reader should read and absorb what is useful to them, and think about how to apply the concepts presented in this text in their own jobs and lives. If a person does that, I'm sure they will determine that this book was "Relevant."

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of the Lock On Joint Locking Essentials series.
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on May 11, 2010
I liked this book. It had some problems, but I liked the subject matter. And I am not aware of another book that has tried to tackle the subject matter. This book takes a stab at providing a framework for improving the competencies and performances of knowledge workers. You know, the people who do research of all kinds (including on the Internet) and consolidate and condense their findings into white papers, reports, booklets, books, business plans, marketing plans, or whatever else requires research, critical thinking, and time management to create.

Knowledge workers can be amateurs, professionals, or best of all superstars at what they do. They can be incompetent (a novice), competent (merely skilled), or fluent and operating on auto-pilot while making a difference in the world and producing things of value. Some can go to a public library with the intent to research and write a term paper and spend two weeks just trying to find the correct books that are RELEVANT regarding the paper's topic. While other people can go into the library and find all the relevant books, articles, and other sources within 30 minutes and write the paper in the next 30 minutes. We are told in the instant book being reviewed that finding sources on the shelves of a library is one thing (and not all that difficult), but compared to researching online (using the Internet) where the availability of resources to the knowledge worker is unbelievable.

It's one thing to want to be a good knowledge worker who has some grasp of time management skills, research skills, and writing skills. Such a person can be a competent professional. But the author seemed to have written this book to let the reader know how to become fluent and operate on auto-pilot as a knowledge worker so they can tackle that research paper project in just an hour. Read this book and you might see the light on how to take the leap from mere professional to that of a superstar.

Of course, if this book really could deliver it would be priceless. And I don't think the book is priceless. For one thing, it probably should have included a self-assessment test the reader could use to see where he stood with regard to being a knowledge worker. Is he an amateur, professional, or superstar? Then the "curriculum" included in the book would be easier to use. I also had problems with the organization of the book, the length of the book, and the length (or lack of length) of the chapters within the book. Don't expect to pick up this book and have a firm grasp of its message when you finish reading it. It's not a spoon-feeder. But I think it covers all it needs to if you dig to get the appropriate message and pointers to practice regarding what it takes to become a fluent and highly skilled knowledge worker. 4 stars!

PS. Take a look at the Search Inside feature offered for this book on Amazon. You can examine the book's Table of Contents there to learn more.
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Stefania Lucchetti has created a must-read for everyone who works.

There is simply too much stuff coming at you. As Stefania sez, it's not enough just to keep up and get through it all -- you need to reeducate yourself to be able to find what's valuable and useful, and ignore all the clutter and crap.

Her three core skills: 1.) Identify what the options are in all that's coming at you 2.) See patterns among the chaos 3. focus your attention and self-knowledge as power ...are critical in today's overloaded work environments.

Get this book so you can "get it" and get on with living and working smarter, not harder.
-- Bill Jensen, Mr Simplicity
Author of Simplicity, What Is Your Life's Work, and Hacking Work (Sept 2010)
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on January 6, 2013
Imho a mishmash of subjects, written in an overintellectualized style. Not applicable in real life. Most subjects are covered much better in other books. Kind of 'me too'. Very wide layout and big character print. Could thus be about 1/3 of the size, making it an expensive read.

Read instead books by Stephen Covey, David Allen, David Schwarz, Michael Gerber, Robert Maurer, James Prochaska, Harv Eker, Leo Babauta, Tim Ferriss, Neil Browne, Neil Fiore, John Hammond etc.
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on December 29, 2010
I found this book to be very helpful. It is filled with real life, practical strategies & skills which will benefit anyone who is looking to maximize their focus & production.

As someone who often gets caught up in the daily activitires of running a business I often get distracted and as a result my effectiveness decreases. The author does a great job at helping the reader see how this lack of focus often leads to less than desireable results. The author does a fantastic job at offering skills & solutions so that the readers can know which actions to focus on and which to avoid.

If you are the type of person who often gets overwhelmed and overloaded due to the numerous possibilities and distractions in your home or work you will find that this book will be a valuable and practical guide to help you know which areas are relevant and require your attention & which must be avoided.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to get laser focused and increase their level of effectiveness & productivity
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on February 9, 2012
As I was watching the stock market jerk around last night, it struck me that a book I had just read was most appropriate: The Principle of Relevance by Stefania Lucchetti.

Although the book title suggests that the book has little to do with trading, the principles are very relevant.

Stefania defines the principle as expanding our informational base by investing the right amount of energy at the right place and at the right time. In short we 'see the big picture with awareness priorities'. She recommends the use of 5 elements:

Clarity of Purpose
Situational Awareness
Pattern Discernment
Attention and Focus
Self-Knowledge and Self-Mastery.
Think about what I have written for a moment and you'll soon work out why I say the book is relevant to trading.

This is another book that deserves a place on your shelf.
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on May 14, 2010
As a former corporate director now in the consultation business, I have been perplexed but the issue of why our managers and employees are becoming more and more activities driven rather than results based. This book went to the very heart of my problem. We have entered into a totally new age of information. The majority of us, me included, believe we have the tools and skills to negotiate this terra incognito. But a quick analysis of our effectiveness in comparison to the amount of information we receive reveals the correlation is negatively skewed.

Beginning with the trials and tribulations of an average office worker named "Chris", the author focuses the reader to look at their own work-a-day life. That is, we are no different than the ineffective Chris.

This is disturbing because the knowledge that is now at the fingertips of the average Joe should be drastically improving our effectiveness and decision making. It is not. As the author states, "We have finally come to a time in which wealth, time and resources no longer constitute a barrier to knowledge and learning. What a great time to be alive! Yet how sadly we squander this gift of knowledge.

Using real world examples, bullet lists, charts and bits of wisdom from the past, the author presents a compelling view of the holistic problem and provides clear, concise advice. The clarity of the information issue and the resulting sound advice for taking on this problem is best dealt with in Chapter 8. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book. The distraction and interruption of emails and our current mindset of feeling the overwhelming need to respond timely to each and every message diverts our time and energy from the tasks at hand while giving us a false sense of productivity.

As an executive management consultant, I plan to incorporate the Principles of Relevance into my workshops and training courses. Not because this is simply a good idea, but because to achieve a state of excellence, managers must be aware of and master these principles.

I hope you find this opinion and review helpful.

Michael L. Gooch, SPHR
Author of Wingtips with Spurs: Cowboy Wisdom for Today's Business Leaders.
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on March 14, 2011
Stefania Lucchetti's 'Principle of Relevance' is very well-written and breaks down often hard-to-grasp issues into meaningful, tangible, and easy-to-implement pieces. I highly recommend the book and have leveraged several suggestions into my daily habits. A powerful and poignant read.
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on October 29, 2010
I used to be a techno-phobe and never wanted to touch anything to do with cell phones, e-mails, computers, etc. All it did was sap my time from the important things in life. Now, after being introduced to Stefania, I can utilize these items for my benefit without giving up the quality of my life. It's like being able to take back control of something that has gone terribly wrong. It's a great feeling to know that there is someone like Stefania who cares enough to help. Thanks Stefania - keep up the great work! I'm a huge fan!
Randy 'Positive G' Ganther; Author, Artist, Speaker.
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on November 15, 2010
I can not begin to express in mere words the tremendous insight that Stefania has, the clarity of expression in this book and the impact it will have on you. I wish that Stephanie could have written and published this book eons ago (when I started in business), it would have saved me innumerable hours and helped me focus on what was important on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

I bought the e-book and plan on buying hard copies for people I know that are just starting in business. I will encourage others that are electronically inclined to download this book from Amazon or wherever so they can read it and supercharge their day.

Thank you Stefania and all that supported her publication of this pathway to success.
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