First things first, by the end of this post you should know why I haven't posted in so long.
Second things second, yes, I know no one cares when I post and no one reads this blog anyways.
The following is my (very brief) review of the book No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy: I like it.
Key aspects that stood out about this book:
- Finally a time management book that doesn't try to sell you a sensational too good to be true story.
- He emphasizes two key things: 1. No interruptions 2. Discipline.
- When he doesn't know something he admits it. For example, when talking about working from home he admits that some say this puts work on your mind more and he admits that maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, he doesn't know.
- He walks the walk.
- Interruptions - Dan Kennedy is absolutely militant about his time. He is also old skool. No cell phone, no email. Yup. Landline? He answers that "live" only an hour or two a week. He works at his home office, by himself, no interruptions. So how in the world does he get in touch with anyone ever? Fax. Yup. He loves the fax and has everything faxed to him. He is a self-employed marketing expert/writer/business consultant/speaker etc. His "clients" get in touch with him almost exclusively through fax. So the question begs to be asked WHY ONLY FAX?! Let me step aside and let him answer that:
"With each easier, faster means of communicating, the quantity of dumb, junk communication has multiplied. Because sending an email is so easy and doesn't even require the labor of walking over to the fax machine, people send emails any time they have a brain fart...Again, you may or may not want or need to mirror me. But if you're like many people, and you jump up every time the fax machine beeps, you can't possible be productive....If you're checking your email constantly, compulsively, or worse, if you're responding to messages as they arrive -- you're headed for an early grave...For somebody in an office, I think a good system is to take the hour after lunch to look at the morning's faxes, emails, and phone calls, deal ONLY with those that are genuinely urgent, and set the others aside."No B.S.
What I like most is the fact that it applies maybe 10 fold to those of us (myself included, or I like to think not anymore) that have elaborate GTD systems to deal with incoming anything and we are so enamored with our fancy system that we do jump anytime anything beeps because we want to use the system. Get away from that, get very far away from that. Some people say, oh, that only happens at the beginning pretty soon you don't even realize you're using it. Nope. Not in my experience, and not from what I've read on the countless productivity blogs in Web 2.0 land. Feeling productive is fun. Being productive is hard. That's the simple truth and Dan Kennedy urges us to discipline ourselves to let the latter statement be true in our lives. I applaud this.
- Discipline - Chapter 5 is devoted to discipline and titled "The Magic Power that Makes You Unstoppable". Here he tells the story of a super-disciplined jockey and his own story of discipline. When's the last time you read a time management piece that told you straight up BE DISCIPLINED. It's not the comforting too-good-to-be-true candy we want to hear. But it's reality. If we could read GTD once and actually have our productivity come "stress-free" there wouldn't be a world of people online blogging their heads off about this stuff, finding new tools, every few months saying they "finally got the right one" (again, myself included). Dan Kennedy has one assistant, in an office in another state, that takes his faxes, mail, phone, and any other input he receives, sorts through it, and gives him only the most urgent pieces of communication. He reads through this stack only when he wants, not when it arrives. We may not all have secretaries or assistants, but we should let our productivity systems be our secretaries and filter useless crap away from us, not the other way around (deal with useless inputs because we've created a system to deal with them). We should have the discipline to start the day off not checking email, and starting off on our most important and most critical tasks and projects, not the ones on our GTD next actions list that are the quickest, most fun, and easiest to check off.