Many times while working with a client I’ll see that s/he has one or more books on being more organized and productive or improving time management. Having a book on the subject indicates an interest in kicking things up a notch in terms of productivity or organization skills. But it doesn’t mean that book actually made a difference.
Which book is the one that will provide real, actionable ideas for the change you want?
If you were to search on “workplace productivity” on Amazon, you’d find 2,593 book choices. Search on “organized at work,” 22,550 book choices. And if you search on “time management ,” 92,416 book choices. Criminy. How in the world do you pick? And why are so many out there?
A particular book was written because the ideas worked for the author, and probably a good number of other people the author trained, coached or otherwise taught the methods. Will those methods work for you? Maybe.
For a good portion of book buyers one of the reasons the methods don’t work is that the book was never read. I’m not casting stones here – I’ve done it myself. (For “research purposes” I once bought The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Overcoming Procrastination. My sister saw it in my office and asked me what I thought of it. Had to admit I hadn’t read it. Yet.)
Books on organization and time management are often like the treadmill bought in January. Well-intentioned but under- (or never) utilized. Buying the book is way more fun than doing what’s in it. I get that.
But let’s say the book does get read, the suggestions implemented and yet the desired outcome is still elusive? The ideas were sound. The concepts should have worked for you.
Or should they have?
While there are thousands of ideas about how to approach organization, productivity, time management, etc. There’s no single correct way or one single book will ever provide all the answers.
How about this test to determine whether a book is worth your time. If you get one really solid, actionable idea, it’s time well-spent. You can save yourself some money, too. Books with one solid idea are helpful but maybe not ones you need to own. Use the library as much as possible.
Don’t be discouraged if you buy a book, read it, implement the ideas and still don’t meet with the success you wanted. Tweak the suggestions to work with your habits, preferences and environment, or ditch the idea altogether and try something else. Trial and error is part of the process.
If this provided some insight you can use, you may want to sign up for the Minute Shift. It’s a weekly tip that takes 60 seconds or less to read. Manage time and people better, little bits at a time.