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Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2012
I must admit to being a long time fan of Jason's approach to life and business. His idea of making "Your best, better" really resonates with me and I was interested to see how he would develop these ideas into this book. I was very impressed how Jason has synthesized all his ideas into a coherent whole, explained clearly and simply in this book. I'd highly recommend this book if you are at all interested in optimizing how you manage your time energy, focus and tools to take your performance in life up to the next level (and beyond).

Jason starts with a simple premise, but one that seems to be lacking in a lot of "time management books" and that is you need to identify your role in making your best better by identifying how you work, think and make things happen. Rather than giving you a list of things you must do, Jason provides pointers and guidance but then encourages you to identify and experiment with things that will work for you. I'd recommend keeping pen & paper close at hand whilst working through this book, ideas and exercises pop up at regular intervals and working through them will really make a difference to the way you approach life and work.

After reading this book and experimenting with the ideas Jason develops in this book I have already made some significant improvements in the way I manage by time and activities during the day and I feel I am certainly making my best better.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
Your Best Just Got Better is an incredible book with incredible insights on how to use your time more effectively, and how to change your behaviors to work smarter and think bigger. I shared this book with my 20 year old daughter who is a junior in college. She was experiencing the natural anxiety of "what do I want to do with my life", and "am I picking the right major to get to where I want to go?". The practical insights found in Jason's book regarding the Most Important Things and our Ideal Day were invaluable to her as she regained clarity and confidence in the direction she's headed...and how better use of her time and making small behavior changes will make all the difference. A must read for everyone who wants to be Better at any aspect of their life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2012
"Your Best Just Got Better" is full of practical ideas, concepts and action steps that, if implemented, will certainly move you forward and make your life and career better. Jason Womack has put his enthusiasm for life and ideas into this motivating and inspiring book.

Your Best Just Got Better is the result of Jason's many years as an executive coach and productivity consultant. This book is very readable and practical. It is not a time management book, but a way to look at many aspects of your life, analyze what is working and most importantly, how you can do things better.

Throughout the book, Jason shares his own experiences, as well as examples of his interactions with his clients and his mentors. In Chapter 7, Jason discusses the question, "Why do I do what I do?," as a way to help the reader clarify their purpose, so they can focus more on that. His answer for himself is: "I share information and activities with leaders so that they have more time and energy for the things they want to do.

In this book, Womack definitely accomplishes this goal. This book will move you forward, if you apply numerous concepts he presents. I highly recommend this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
If you want to improve your life, READ THIS BOOK!!! After reading Jason's book I saw an immediate improvement in my productivity once I began implementing some of his strategies. What started out as a goal to increase my productivity at work, has actaully spilled over and transformed my personal life as well. Because of the suggestions laid out in the book, I found that I was getting alot more done in a shorter amount of time leaving me with more personal time to do the things I enjoy. The MIT's and 15 block of time, have really been two very helpful tools in increasing my productivity. My thought process of how to attack the tasks for the day, week and months have completely changed. I am more efficient than ever at work, less stressed and feel more satisfaction after a day of work. And the added benefit is that as my productivity increased, so did my time with my family and friends. Thank you Jason for this wonderful template for success in life!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
This book is like a red bull in book form. Jason takes you through a transformative process that allows you see what you are good at and enhance those strengths. I would strongly recommend that readers take the book literally. What I mean by this is that when the books says write down 15 things about X - do it. Every activity is in the book at a specific location BY DESIGN. I believe that a lot of the impact that this book had on my life was because of the time that I invested in the activities and the decompressing what those ment in the greater picture of my goals, and strengths. Excellent read for entrepreneurs who need to find out what they should focus on, and what the need to hire for or outsource.

One more thing...

Email Jason - I was blown away how fast me got back to me when I asked him questions about his writing. A truly amazing individual who cares about his readers!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2013
It's a pleasure to review a book that has changed not only how I achieve results, but most importantly has affected the results that I choose to achieve.

This is a book that you can immediately gain from.

I blog about public speaking, and training to give presentations that make a powerful impact on audiences is akin to training as an athlete. It takes dedication, practice, the ability to execute on that practice, and above all it requires the drive to push beyond your comfort levels. It's an iterative process of strengthening skills and reaching for the next stage. If every presentation is just 1% better than the last, then you know you are improving as a speaker.

This is the approach that Jason Womack takes in his personal productivity guide "Your Best Just Got Better". I've read many such books, and this is the first one that has made a permanent change to the way that I work.

The story starts with what Jason calls "MITs". MITs are your Most Important Things. Across the course of "Your Best Just Got Better" he urges you to consider these areas in close-up. What are they? Why are they important? To what outcomes are they leading you?

He then sets out a number of ways to keep you on track (or in my case: get yourself back on track) towards hitting those goals.

Here are just a few of the things that I do differently, every day, as a result of reading "You're Best Just Got Better".

15 minutes: Set a timer
I now set a timer for work activities. I decide upfront how long I'm going to spend on a task, set the timer on my phone, and then concentrate completely for that allotted period. There's a timer running right now for example. 30 minutes to complete this review.

Jason encourages you to work in 15 minutes blocks, so this is a two-block activity.

The running timer enables you to establish what your daily productive base-line looks like. From that point of awareness you can then find ways day-by-day to increase the number of 15-minute blocks that are truly productive for you. Each day you get to see how your best just became that little bit better.

Team You
Another idea from the book is to be highly aware of the people in your network that you rely on in order to do your job effectively, and to help you move to the next stages in your career. Those networks are wider and richer than we might initially realize. I now consciously schedule "Team Peter" time to make sure I'm identifying and building those relationships. This one exercise alone has already made my life as a travelling presenter into an easier and more emotionally rewarding experience

ABR - Always Be Ready
A great deal can be achieved with those little 15 minute Lego-blocks of time, so long as you can utilize them when unexpected delays such as late flights or late meetings disrupt your schedule. One simple idea in the book is to carry in your bag a small number of ready to mail Thank You cards. Having those cards at the ready, means that when delays hit, you can use the time to send a hand-written thank you to somebody in your network. Foot-tapping time becomes team-building time.

Know Your Tools
This was another one that has really helped me. I'm notorious for buying software and learning just enough functionality to get me out on the road. At that point my learning stops, and I limp along with the product as best I can.

I now use another of those 15-minute blocks, just once per week, to learn something new about my software tools. Gradually. Iteratively. Week-by-week. Take Scrivener for example, the professional writing software that I treated myself to last year. Just one 15-minute block per week to learn new Scrivener skills has made a huge difference to my productivity.

Jason Womack
Finally we have the author himself. Jason Womack gets very involved with his readers. He has a formidably active blog, twitter presence, and a weekly podcast. There is a lot of information out there to support you as you read the book, and if you fire Jason a question, he'll send you back an answer.

My timer tells me that I've now been writing for 29 minutes and 15 seconds. Time to sign-off, other than to say:

Presenting is a rewarding and challenging skill, and it takes a focus that "Your Best Just Got Better" can prime you to achieve.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
In the film What About Bob (1991), Richard Dreyfuss plays the role of Dr. Leo Marvin, a psychiatrist and author of a bestselling book, Baby Steps, in which he discusses emotional disorder theories and how he treats his patients and their phobias. I thought about that film as I began to read this book because both Leo Marvin and Jason Womack believe in the value of steady, consistent, sharply-focused incremental progress. They also believe in the importance of concentrating on what is most important while ignoring any distractions that threaten that concentration.

The business world is a busy world in which many people confuse activity with productivity. They need help and in the Introduction, Womack offers this assurance: "Your Best Just Got Better shows you how to gain clarity, develop structure, and build momentum as the Architect of Your Experience. It will lead, inspire, and motivate you to walk the oath of persistence, moving you toward a better you. I am confident these experiences will support you along the work." I think the material [begin italics] can [end italics] be very helpful. However, whether or not it [begin italics] is [end italics] helpful depends entirely on a reader's ability -- and willingness --to apply effectively the information, insights, and counsel that Womack provides in abundance.

These are among the passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the range of subjects that Womack explores with rigor and eloquence:

o Focus on Making Your Best Better (Pages 9-11)
o Maximizing Your Limited Resources (19-23)
o Slow Down to Speed Up and Create Lasting Change (31-35)
o Three Influences on Our Productivity (65-70)
o How Do You Build Self-Efficacy? (79-80)
o You Are Your Network (98-102)
o Three Kinds of Conversation (104-106)
o If You Can Track It, You Can Change It (110-113)
o Maximize our Limited Resources (Re-read 19-23, then read 117-120)
o The Layering process (140-142)
o Is Your Approach to Work Working (157-159)
o Creating Big Feedback, Quickly (167-169)
o Key Ingredients of Effective Feedback (177-178)
o Focusing on Making More (182-184)
o Three Decisions That Change our Focus, and, The Real Reason to Focus on Completion (196-200)
o What Is Important to Practice (218-221)

I commend Womack on his skillful use of various reader-friendly devices that include dozens of bullet-point checklists of key points as well as step-by-step explanations of various initiatives that, over time, can achieve incremental progress. Womack aptly characterizes this process as "iterative improvement." In this context, it is worth noting that Alice Schroeder selected Snowball as the title of her biography of Warren Buffett because when he was a child, he observed a ball of snow becoming larger as it rolled down a hill. It was then that he recognized the power of compound interest. What Womack advocates is compound personal development and in this book, sharing just about everything he has learned about how to achieve it.

No brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the scope and diversity of material in Your Best Just Got Better but I hope that I have at least suggested why I think so highly of it and its author. Also, I hope that those who read this commentary will be better prepared to determine whether or not they wish to read the book and, in that event, will have at least some idea of how the material provided by Jason Womack could perhaps be of substantial benefit to them as well as to their own organization.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2012
Jason pokes a finger in what I thought was a well-hidden ouwie:: I'm a MESS behind this curtain/facade of greatness. Really. I'm operating my business at what is conservatively 60% of my "Best". Sometimes folks ask me, "you are doing it "all", aren't you?" Well, NO, I'm not doing it "all" and what I am doing is, well, half-assed. So, much to my chagrin (at first), when Jason saw right through that--it stung.

Look, I'm a non-traditional sort of person, so there's no draw in the conventional status of "This Dude Works with Fortune 100 Companies so do what he tells you to do" line. What DOES move me is the idea that we can take down the curtain that we THINK is hiding our haphazard approach to staying in the game, live through it AND find a way to WIN in a way that satisfies us AND is a BETTER level of excellence than we thought possible.

Explore the "freedom of boundaries" that Jason teaches. He is not always gentle and he is not going to tell you that you are perfect just the way you are. He is straight forward and shares himself while he shows us ourselves. I'm on my second pass through Your Best Just Got Better and I have changed two patterns that were not serving me:
1. I set a higher value on my down time; and
2. I challenge opportunities against a higher set of qualifiers before I say yes.

Those two alone have led to:: three new clients; two incredible media opportunities and, yes, better down time (which I didn't even know was possible). Enough said?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2013
I read this book by Jason Womack as the monthly selection of the 12 Books Group with the expectation that I will write a review and post it in several places. This book is about managing your time to be more productive and includes several exercises on building and sustaining workflow habits that will help the reader accomplish the goal of the book. He points out that there are only 96 fifteen minute segments to each day and managing these blocks of time are critical.

The book is divided into three sections titled: Work Smarter, Think Bigger and Make More. Each section contains chapters that lead you through a process that Jason has developed based on his own experiences of what worked or didn't work for him. Each chapter focuses on a specific improvement area filled with lots of thought provoking exercises where you need to stop, think and conduct the exercise in order to obtain the full value from the chapter. The chapters build on each other so that it is useful to complete the exercises as Jason refers back to them at different times. The approach that I am used, after trying some of the initial exercises, was to read through the entire book to get a feel for it and I am now going back and reading a second time and focusing on each of the exercises as they arise. Others may find it useful to pick a chapter and work on it, but I caution that many of the chapters refer to exercises completed in other chapters so it may be a little more challenging to do it this way.

This YouTube link will take you to a number of videos of presentations by Jason on the sections contained in the book.

This is a well thought out and presented book that I recommend to anyone who is looking to be more productive with the amount of time that they have each day. It is not only informative, but an interesting and entertaining read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
Just finished reading Jason Womack Your Best Just Got Better- Wow! I knew Jason was smart but from now on I'll refer to him as Mr. Smart. I say that because I learned something new in ever chapter and to say that in today's business world is huge. For example chapter 10 `Improvement and Practice' - I personally hate to practice. I really, really hate it, but the author explained practice as something that makes you feel comfortable and I got it. In fact that one chapter had a profound effect on my relationship with practice. I replaced my meaning which was (practice is boring) with the authors concept of practice which is to make myself comfortable. Great job on the book! I gave it five stars, and would recommend it to anyone up to something big in life who wants to make that something happen.
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