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18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done Kindle Edition
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|Length: 272 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Another reason I put it in the "bathroom book" category is that there are not a lot of interactive exercises or challenges. It's just "Hey, think about this concept."
I've rated it three stars because, while it's not an awful book and the writing is quite good, the concepts tend to be platitudes on the level of "follow your passion", and there's not much actionable in it. Plus, I knew almost all the jokes used to start chapters, and I'd heard similar stories too. Combined with the platitudinal nature of the concepts, I just didn't feel like I learned much. If you have not read other self-improvement books, you might not have that problem. This one wouldn't be horrible as your first one, but you would want to get others for some depth to really get benefit, I think.
If you want something more substantial, I'd suggest either Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life if you want something general about ramping up your success, or The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism if you are more interested in the public sides of your career.
However. There are some great takeaways from this book. It's worth the read just to get the system down. It works immediately.
Step 1. Work from a world of having 3-7 goals (max) each year.
Step 2. Spend 95% a day on your goals, and 5% a day on that crap you have to do, like emails and calls.
Step 3. Follow the daily regimen to check in with yourself each hour, at end of day ETC.
Overall the value of the book comes to help RECENTER you. That's the gift you receive from reading it. If you're a fan of this topic, the 2 other books that I found were super valuable was 12 weeks, and Manage Your Day To Day. SUPER VALUABLE!
The best part of the book seemed to be the subtitles of the parts of the book:
1. Pause (to slow down and think)
2. What's this year about?
3. What's this day about?
4. What's this moment about?
I like to the subtitles because they followed a clear, time-oriented structure that proceeded from the big picture (a year) down to the micro picture (the current moment).
But I can't really say nice things about the rest of the book. The whole book had the flavor of one of the usual books that is written by consultant who probably likes spending time with his ideas a little too much. There's a big pile of little ideas - often vague, banal, or trite - that are not organized into any cohesive structure or model, with each one of the little ideas given its own chapter and accompanied by several cutesy stories or anecdotes.
It seemed to me that the endless list of cutesy stories and anecdotes really dragged on after a while, making reading tedious and difficult, and that they caused enough communication clutter to interfere with the many little messages of the book (whatever they were, I've forgotten them already).
It always puzzles me how (and why) professional communicators produce books like this. I always expect well-organized, clean-cut communication messages from professionals, messages that should just leap off the page (like the four subtitles above). So I'm always disheartened to have to wade through dozens and dozens of little vague messages and cutesy stories that don't collectively build up into anything larger or more significant.
Here are just two examples (of many possible examples) of what I mean:
"Stay alert and adapt to changing situations. Keep your eye on the ball, whichever ball that maybe."
"If you're playing basketball and suddenly you find yourself on a football field, using more forced to bounce the basketball in the grass doesn't make sense. You need to drop the basketball, pickup of football, and run with it." Huh?
Probably the very best part of the book was the authors method of categorizing all to-do list items to fit under the titles of the key areas that you want to focus on for the year. He shows a tabular form where each cell has the title of the key area. When you try to place your to-do items into the key area cells, it becomes immediately obvious which to-do items do not fit with your yearly plan. At that time, you can decide to toss them to preserve your focus for the year, or put them into the Other (catch-all) category on the form.
No doubt the author makes a few good points here and there, but they seem to be buried in a wash of extra text. I think the book could be easily compressed into something one quarter of its current size, without losing anything in the way of messaging.
I'm sorry to say I would not recommend this book to anyone. I don't understand all the 4 and 5 star reviews, but clearly lots of other people found the book useful.
I think a much better book on the topics of getting focused and becoming more productive is Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (Really dumb and irrelevant title, I know. But a good book with high density of good material, nonetheless.)