How to be a Productivity Ninja, has the subtitle of ‘Forget time management: How to get things done in the age of information overload’ which is an impressive boast! I’m pleased to say that the book delivers on its boast, at last I’ve found a productivity manual fit for the technology age we live in today.
The author Graham Allcott explores the modern issues that affect your productivity in the ‘internet’ age and provides some guidance and strategies for the modern office warrior to get things under control and become a productivity Ninja instead, more focused and less chaotic .
The books contents.
The book is broken up into the following sections.
- The way of the Productivity Ninja.
- Why we get stressed.
- Attention Management.
- Ninja Email.
- Ninja Productivity: The CORD productivity model.
- The Capture and Collect habit.
- The Organise Habit.
- The Review Habit.
- The Do Habit.
- Ninja Project Management.
- Ninja Meetings.
After each section there are some exercises that help you create an action plan based on where you are already, it’s a handy way to pinpoint the ideas of the chapter that resonate with you.
The book draws some inspiration in parts upon many of the best productivity books that have been released over the past 20 years, but updates the sound (and proven) methodologies they bring with twist from the author. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot of great original idea’s packed in the book also, and this where the book excels for me.
Zen like inbox The section on Ninja Email has really helped me grasp just what inbox zero could be. Some simple changes to my own inbox zero workflow after following the advice in the book has advanced my own email control even more.
The book introduces it’s own workflow system called CORD.
- Capture and Collect.
Pssst… Want to buy some Productivity Porn?
The whole book is very software agnostic, it mentions a few that you can use but does not insist on any one in particular. The recommendation is to settle on one and use it, not to be swayed by the next pretty todo application that comes along! (Yeah it’s an addiction I’m sure, but I myself am a reformed productivity porn addict!)
The systems presented in the book work just as well on paper as they do in any todo app, splitting your tasks into;
- Daily To-Do list
- Projects List
- Master Actions list
There is some guidance on how to label your tasks to keep things manageable that would work with any of the productivity apps I’ve used over the past 3 years, so whatever you own now you can be fairly sure that the books ideas and workflows will fit with your software!
Ninja Meetings section
Meetings are a bane of my life as much as yours I imagine. The book has an excellent section on how meetings can be tamed to be productive and useful. Im actually really looking forward to brining some of the idea’s presented in the book into my own meetings! (And now I know the secret to avoiding them also!!!)
Be Lazy… and change the World.
How to be a Productivity Ninja is one of my favorite books on Productivity. It covers the main problems facing us all in this modern age and offers some great strategies in dealing with them. I’d recommend this book to readers that are new to the productivity ‘movement’ and to the seasoned GTD guru as even the guru’s will find something new and exciting that they could use.