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How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do

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In the age of information overload, traditional time management techniques simply don’t cut it when it comes to overflowing inboxes, ever-expanding to-do lists and endless, pointless meetings. Thankfully there is a better way: The Way of the Productivity Ninja. Using techniques including Ruthlessness, Mindfulness, Zen-like Calm and Stealth & Camouflage you will get your inb In the age of information overload, traditional time management techniques simply don’t cut it when it comes to overflowing inboxes, ever-expanding to-do lists and endless, pointless meetings. Thankfully there is a better way: The Way of the Productivity Ninja. Using techniques including Ruthlessness, Mindfulness, Zen-like Calm and Stealth & Camouflage you will get your inbox down to zero, make the most of your attention, beat procrastination and learn to work smarter, not harder. Written by one of the UK’s foremost productivity experts, How to be a Productivity Ninja is a fun, accessible and practical guide to staying cool, calm and collected, getting more done, and learning to love your work again.


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In the age of information overload, traditional time management techniques simply don’t cut it when it comes to overflowing inboxes, ever-expanding to-do lists and endless, pointless meetings. Thankfully there is a better way: The Way of the Productivity Ninja. Using techniques including Ruthlessness, Mindfulness, Zen-like Calm and Stealth & Camouflage you will get your inb In the age of information overload, traditional time management techniques simply don’t cut it when it comes to overflowing inboxes, ever-expanding to-do lists and endless, pointless meetings. Thankfully there is a better way: The Way of the Productivity Ninja. Using techniques including Ruthlessness, Mindfulness, Zen-like Calm and Stealth & Camouflage you will get your inbox down to zero, make the most of your attention, beat procrastination and learn to work smarter, not harder. Written by one of the UK’s foremost productivity experts, How to be a Productivity Ninja is a fun, accessible and practical guide to staying cool, calm and collected, getting more done, and learning to love your work again.

30 review for How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do

  1. 4 out of 5

    Zoffix Znet

    I wanted to like this book. The Ninja theme and the drawings on the cover and on the initial pages were fun and they dragged me into reading this book up to page 90. It is at that point I realized I still haven't learned a single useful thing from this book. All it did was introduce meaningless and vague metaphors and make ludicrous and simplistic assumptions. The Ninja is Ruthless, The Ninja is Mindful—well, that's freakin' great, but isn't helpful in the least. The assumption that we have a sta I wanted to like this book. The Ninja theme and the drawings on the cover and on the initial pages were fun and they dragged me into reading this book up to page 90. It is at that point I realized I still haven't learned a single useful thing from this book. All it did was introduce meaningless and vague metaphors and make ludicrous and simplistic assumptions. The Ninja is Ruthless, The Ninja is Mindful—well, that's freakin' great, but isn't helpful in the least. The assumption that we have a static rhythm of when our attention is high or low is overly-simplistic and asinine—you can't make schedules based on that, as the book proposes you should do. Several of the things the book recommends I outright disagree with. It advocates you deliberately let all calls go to voicemail, under a premise that when you call back, you'd be midway into the conversation already. Utter nonsense; advice not grounded in reality. Not only you'll be annoying everyone who tries to reach you, by the time you navigate your voicemail system, write down caller's info, and call them back, you'd have wasted a load of time—both yours and the caller's—not to mention most voicemails would be just names and numbers, so there'd be no midway conversations. The "boss/worker mode" (another stupid metaphor) attention use is also nonsensical. The book argues you should spend your most active, most energetic, most aware, most awake moments of the work day making schedules and lists and planning what you're supposed to be working on, instead of actually using that energy for getting down and doing quality work. I flipped through the rest of the book and saw pages about "meditation," "second brain," "5-milestone model," "emotional fallout," a 5-item list of the types of lists you're supposed to have, and a full-page productivity model chart. It's clear to me the rest of the book will contain more awkward and meaningless metaphors and more "productivity" ideas that do more damage than good. The positive reviews for this book rave about all the tips the book provides that you can use straight away. All true, but my question is: do those tips actually make you more productive? Do you actually accomplish more or do you only get deluded that you're productive because you've surrounded yourself with schedules and checklists that you're constantly making and checking off. Based on what I've read, I think the latter is true. Here's my tip on how to be more productive: avoid this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I've read a lot of books on Productivity over the years, but "How to be a Productivity Ninja" stands out as one of the best. It draws on famous productivity books such as Getting Things Done by David Allen and blends the advice within those well known books with the author Graham Allcott's own experiences and thoughts. My favourite chapter was near the end of the book where the author looks at running an effective meeting. The advice within this chapter was worth the price of the book alone, and I've read a lot of books on Productivity over the years, but "How to be a Productivity Ninja" stands out as one of the best. It draws on famous productivity books such as Getting Things Done by David Allen and blends the advice within those well known books with the author Graham Allcott's own experiences and thoughts. My favourite chapter was near the end of the book where the author looks at running an effective meeting. The advice within this chapter was worth the price of the book alone, and for anyone who has ever wasted their time sat in a meeting with no seemingly clear purpose or direction - then this chapter will be essential reading. From getting to inbox zero to getting started and maintaining momentum on a project and everything in between, "How to be a Productivity Ninja" is my new recommended "must read" for anyone who is struggling to feel in control or achieve more in their day-to-day life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Alcott is offering here a solution to the email overload, the tedious meetings, the office politics and the general bedlam that is the modern working life. He offers methods of dealing with your working challenges in todays office. There are solutions for getting you email to zero, the best way to run a meeting, methods of getting organised and suggestions on the best way to deal with your work load. A lot of it is very similar to the GTD religion method as developed by David Allen, but Allcott br Alcott is offering here a solution to the email overload, the tedious meetings, the office politics and the general bedlam that is the modern working life. He offers methods of dealing with your working challenges in todays office. There are solutions for getting you email to zero, the best way to run a meeting, methods of getting organised and suggestions on the best way to deal with your work load. A lot of it is very similar to the GTD religion method as developed by David Allen, but Allcott brings a British slant and humour to his book. As a business book it is readable, as similar books can be humdrum and frankly dull, and this isn't. A useful book, in some ways, and one I may yet buy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Henk-Jan van der Klis

    Many books are written and courses are given about time management. Graham Allcott wants to go beyond that and learn you how to think and act like a Productivity Ninja. Allcott merges Getting Things Done (David Allen), The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey), The War of Art (Stephen Pressfield), Meeting Together (Lois Graessle, George Gawlinski, Martin Farrell), Linchpin (Seth Godin) into his own practice, worth sharing. In the age of knowledge work and a never ending stream Many books are written and courses are given about time management. Graham Allcott wants to go beyond that and learn you how to think and act like a Productivity Ninja. Allcott merges Getting Things Done (David Allen), The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey), The War of Art (Stephen Pressfield), Meeting Together (Lois Graessle, George Gawlinski, Martin Farrell), Linchpin (Seth Godin) into his own practice, worth sharing. In the age of knowledge work and a never ending stream of information inputs you have to make smart choices. Think of Clay Johnson’s Information Diet as a starter. Graham learned it the hard way. After writing and teaching these principles over and over again, he discovered how much his own productivity could be improved. Still room to improve left. He doesn’t want to be imaged as some kind of guru. So, don’t focus on some of his jargon like mindfulness, inbox zero, stealth and camouflage, or zen-like calm. Unlike other time management the aim is not just to show how much more you can do in any given time, but to stay calm and in control. That’s where e.g. the review moments of Getting Things Done (GTD) are so important. Attention management is one of the key features in this book. Avoid distractions, schedule time to act on the really important tasks, begin with the least attractive or most difficult ones to avoid procrastination. Worry less, achieve more and love what you do. Learn how CORD (Capture & Collect, Organize, Review and Do) as new habits set can help. Perform the exercises provided at the end of each chapter. Reconsider the use of email, calendar, task and note applications. Let this all work for you instead of getting imprisoned by the requests of others. Maybe it’s good to apply the stealth techniques for a while, learn some lifehacks or to spend that first hours to collect all your to-do lists and ‘projects’ in a single ‘system’ to start all over. I enjoyed to see so much known principles and practices collected here, offering me fresh insights as well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    I wonder now why I bought this book as I am the most organised and efficient person I know but I was hoping there would be more tips and ideas of how I could improve further. Unfortunately a lot of the things suggested I already do or are not relevant as I don’t work in a typical office. That said I can speak from personal experience that a lot of them do help you become more productive. If you’re a person that struggles to get things done and you always feel stressed and overwhelmed by your wor I wonder now why I bought this book as I am the most organised and efficient person I know but I was hoping there would be more tips and ideas of how I could improve further. Unfortunately a lot of the things suggested I already do or are not relevant as I don’t work in a typical office. That said I can speak from personal experience that a lot of them do help you become more productive. If you’re a person that struggles to get things done and you always feel stressed and overwhelmed by your workload and lack of organisation then this book is definitely for you. It’s simple stuff like organising emails into folders, creating rules and putting time aside to check them and then different time to work through and process them so you always have an empty inbox and are less likely to check it so often. Another suggestion was to get a system in place like an app to store all your projects and to action checklists so you can review them and order them in terms of relevance and deadlines. I recently started using the app Trello and I can honestly say it’s been so useful for me personally; when it’s on there it’s not in your head anymore and it’s across platforms so you can access it on the laptop and on your mobile if you’re on the go. One tip I did get from the book was thinking about when to schedule tasks based on how I’m feeling so for example if I’m flagging in the middle of the day to schedule in some easy and mundane tasks that don’t take as much effort as oppose to trying to drag myself through something heavy. The only other thing that was discussed was how to conduct a productive meeting and so really there were so many other ways that could have been suggested to improve productivity that I’d say don’t bother reading the book come and talk to me and I’ll sort you out!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    It was ok. I liked the chapter on how to process email effectively, that made the book worthwhile for me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This is a good read for those who want to create a system for productivity. 1. THE VALUE OF ATTENTION I often find myself trying to be more productive on routine tasks, as a way of saving my time. But as soon as I settle down to do a difficult task, I just waste away the time I had saved before. I always think its because I lack productivity, but attention is probably what I really need more of. Through this book, I was introduced to the concept of attention management. According to Graham Allcott, This is a good read for those who want to create a system for productivity. 1. THE VALUE OF ATTENTION I often find myself trying to be more productive on routine tasks, as a way of saving my time. But as soon as I settle down to do a difficult task, I just waste away the time I had saved before. I always think its because I lack productivity, but attention is probably what I really need more of. Through this book, I was introduced to the concept of attention management. According to Graham Allcott, there are three main levels of attention: inactive < active < proactive. With this in mind, you can usually observe periods of highs and lows in your attention level throughout the day, which may follow a noticeable trend. With this observation, you can then schedule your day according to the level of attention you need for each task. 2. CREATE A SYSTEM FOR PRODUCTIVITY We often work better when we have a system. For example, you may have a morning routine. You may eat breakfast first, write a few hundred words, then go to the gym. When this system becomes routine, you rarely have to force yourself to do it. Of course, this routine may not be perfect, which is why it is always important to notice how you can improve. The same thing applies to productivity. The system this book highlights is the CORD Productivity Model, which involves (C) capturing your thoughts with a second brain, (O) organizing those thoughts and figuring out what should be done with each, (R) reviewing the list of tasks you made in the organize stage in order to plan ahead, and (D) actually doing the tasks you have assigned for yourself. 3. GET RID OF THE “BIG ROCKS” Every day, I usually have at least one huge task that I would like to finish. But in the end, I find that I try to delay doing that task for as long as I can, and sometimes end up leaving it for another day. Graham Allcott labels these tasks as “big rocks.” Something valuable I got from this book is that these “big rocks” should be the first task you set out to do. When you plan to finish these “big rocks” first, they will likely give you the motivation you need to jumpstart your day. No matter how many productivity books you read, you will never actually be productive if you don’t put your mind to it. It’s the act of actually doing that makes you productive. The hardest part is starting. So think of the most important thing you could do right now and start doing it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mai

    The entire book was just full of dragged-out metaphors and I gained absolutely nothing from it in the end. Realized that I wouldn't be a fan after about 100 pages, but I hate quitting, so I had to finish it. Also, it is so, so Outlook-focused, which really got on my nerves - I don't use Outlook and I do not think I will switch to it, ever. Ugh. If you think about it, this book actually made me less productive, as I could have been doing something productive or at least something I enjoy instead o The entire book was just full of dragged-out metaphors and I gained absolutely nothing from it in the end. Realized that I wouldn't be a fan after about 100 pages, but I hate quitting, so I had to finish it. Also, it is so, so Outlook-focused, which really got on my nerves - I don't use Outlook and I do not think I will switch to it, ever. Ugh. If you think about it, this book actually made me less productive, as I could have been doing something productive or at least something I enjoy instead of trying ot power through it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elise Edmonds

    This was a reread. My fav productivity book ever. I use some of the principles every day and fancied a refresh as my job has changed recently.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Venera Arakelyan

    By reading this book you can find a lot of reminders on different technics of productivity that you may already know, though you will find at least one new idea that can be used right away.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karo

    Great tips, tricks, tools and techniques. Also pretty funny.

  12. 5 out of 5

    psychonout

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This made me wonder if maybe I should stop being productive. #fuckthesystem

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cody Faldyn

    In his book Allcott combines all of his teachings from his public productivity workshops from all around the world into a simple, effective guide to working faster and smarter. The goal of the book is to teach you how to overcome procrastination, how to use email more efficiently, new ways to increase your personal time, and how to declutter an information overload. For your convenience, I had Graham Allcott on my podcast, The Entrepreneurs Library, to give a deep dive on How To Be A Productivity In his book Allcott combines all of his teachings from his public productivity workshops from all around the world into a simple, effective guide to working faster and smarter. The goal of the book is to teach you how to overcome procrastination, how to use email more efficiently, new ways to increase your personal time, and how to declutter an information overload. For your convenience, I had Graham Allcott on my podcast, The Entrepreneurs Library, to give a deep dive on How To Be A Productivity Ninja. With Graham’s experience he gives amazing insight on how to master the art of productivity. If you would like to hear a real review from the author himself check out episode 189 on the EL website or you can find the show on iTunes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Drae Box

    I bought this thinking from the reviews on Amazon that it might be useful, but in all honesty, if you have a handle on most things, it isn't. This book assumes you are in complete shambles with every element of your life, and then provides you with overly complicated processes to get things back under control. It would be handy for someone looking for a way to get their life sorted, but there's also so much fluff (which though usually expected in non-ficiton, just continued throughout the book). I bought this thinking from the reviews on Amazon that it might be useful, but in all honesty, if you have a handle on most things, it isn't. This book assumes you are in complete shambles with every element of your life, and then provides you with overly complicated processes to get things back under control. It would be handy for someone looking for a way to get their life sorted, but there's also so much fluff (which though usually expected in non-ficiton, just continued throughout the book). Each section went: fluff. Small exercise. Sad really, as it could have been really helpful to others, and half (maybe even a third) smaller in size. I did like the internal formatting though - it was organised like a school book, but if you like your serif fonts (Times New Roman, Georgia), expect sans-serif (Arial, etc.) instead.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This is a massive collection of productivity hacks from authors and bloggers. I'm not sure if there is anything new here at all. I might appreciate this more if I wasn't familiar with the sources (which are cited, by the way, so no issue there). This is a massive collection of productivity hacks from authors and bloggers. I'm not sure if there is anything new here at all. I might appreciate this more if I wasn't familiar with the sources (which are cited, by the way, so no issue there).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Suzi Dafnis

    Speed read this one for an interview with the author. Great guy. Great book. Very practical and loads of detail. The chapter on email management alone is worth getting the book for.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Iain

    This is not the best productivity book I have ever read, but it was worth reading. Most of the content derives from Dave Allen's "Getting Things Done" system. Read that if you just want the basics. That said, there is some useful value added. The section on attention levels gave me a slap-hand-to-forehead moment when I realised that the reason I struggled to do weekly reviews was because they take a lot of active attention and I was scheduling them for a time in the week when I was at my lowest e This is not the best productivity book I have ever read, but it was worth reading. Most of the content derives from Dave Allen's "Getting Things Done" system. Read that if you just want the basics. That said, there is some useful value added. The section on attention levels gave me a slap-hand-to-forehead moment when I realised that the reason I struggled to do weekly reviews was because they take a lot of active attention and I was scheduling them for a time in the week when I was at my lowest ebb of energy - last thing on a Friday. That chapter is definitely worth reading. There is information on how to use specific software applications: Gmail and Outlook for email (with Outlook heavily favoured) and many productivity apps covered. I suspect the section on productivity apps will date rather quickly, though, so if you are reading when this review is over a year old, take that section with a grain of salt. The section on running effective meetings was also useful, with the emphasis on preparing for the meeting and following up afterwards. I don't feel that regular (e.g. department weekly) meetings or daily stand-ups like you have in scrum were adequately covered. Nevertheless, there were some useful tips. I read this as an audiobook. While the book was read in a very accessible and light-hearted way, I think that the exercises and some of the information don't translate well to this format. There is supplementary information on the website, but it would have been good to have the exercises collected together so they could be done after reading a chapter. I did like this book. It's a good introduction to productivity which paces the information well for beginners. Thise at intermediate level will get something out of it. Experts and those in a hurry will probably prefer more information dense sources like Brian Tracy and David Allen.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Claudia -

    Time management is dead, long live attention management. In the olden days, you got a stack of mail on your desk in the morning, which you dealt with and then went on to do your usual work. These days are well and truly over: internet, intranets, email and social media are with us 24/7 and we feel pressured to react and respond to everything at once. Unfortunately, we all have only a finite amount of attention to give, which is easily frittered away in panicky attempts to do too much too ineffici Time management is dead, long live attention management. In the olden days, you got a stack of mail on your desk in the morning, which you dealt with and then went on to do your usual work. These days are well and truly over: internet, intranets, email and social media are with us 24/7 and we feel pressured to react and respond to everything at once. Unfortunately, we all have only a finite amount of attention to give, which is easily frittered away in panicky attempts to do too much too inefficiently. Enter Graham Allcott, founder of Think-Productive. He has distilled the wisdom of hundreds of business seminars into this handy little book to help us get organised, de-clutter our minds and desks and become altogether calmer, happier and more productive. A good amount of this book is dedicated to organising your to-do-lists, streamline action plans and clearing your inbox. Once in place, this acts like a second brain, freeing up time for thinking, reviewing and tackling projects clearheaded. Followed by strategies to overcome sloth and actually do some work and handy tips to avoid tedious meetings, this book makes for a well-rounded manual to sharpen up your work methods. To be honest, I’m not the target audience of this book and some of the higher end stuff went straight over my head. However, I too am a procrastinator and advice like ‘turn the internet off, the world isn’t going to end’ and the rehabilitation of mono-tasking make refreshing common sense.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    I'll start this in saying that I found the majority of this book great - but like a lot of self improvement books, not everything written is going to be relevant to everyone who reads it. For example, there was a whole chapter on meetings in this book that wasn't really of use to me at all. That said, I took a lot of useful information from this title. Some of it might be said to be common sense such as doing your hardest task first thing to get it done and working with your attention flow rather I'll start this in saying that I found the majority of this book great - but like a lot of self improvement books, not everything written is going to be relevant to everyone who reads it. For example, there was a whole chapter on meetings in this book that wasn't really of use to me at all. That said, I took a lot of useful information from this title. Some of it might be said to be common sense such as doing your hardest task first thing to get it done and working with your attention flow rather than against it, but I did find these useful to read about and have since implemented some actions into my life. I did find the tip on organising my inbox very useful, and for the past few months I have been much more organised working with my inboxes laid out in the way suggested - plus a few additions of my own. All the lists to work from just seems too much for me. I'm not one to have five lists and work between a master list, project list, waiting for list, weekly list, daily list and good ideas list. However, as I said before we are all different and this approach may work for people. I feel that elements of these lists will work for me so I am incorporating some of them into my life and seeing how that goes. My final take on How to be a Productivity Ninja is thus - it's all useful information, but it might not all be useful for you. Read it, and see what is helpful - to be honest, most of it was for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This is super specific in that almost every bit of advice is only applicable to a typical office based job. I did of course expect it to be based on that (not that it said anything about office work in the description) but my experience with such things in the past has been that the principles can be understood and applied in the context of my own life as a student. Nope! Categorising stuff into thinking work or doing work does not remotely stand up next to the work of a student. Despite him maki This is super specific in that almost every bit of advice is only applicable to a typical office based job. I did of course expect it to be based on that (not that it said anything about office work in the description) but my experience with such things in the past has been that the principles can be understood and applied in the context of my own life as a student. Nope! Categorising stuff into thinking work or doing work does not remotely stand up next to the work of a student. Despite him making reference to things such as writing essays once or twice, none of his principles seem to apply to this type of work. The work that I do can be writing essays, solving problems, practicing exam papers, reviewing, summarising and trying to understand and commit to memory large amounts of information, attending lectures, laboratories, tuition sessions... Honestly I don't think I could relegate a single one of those to mindless doing work. The irony is that the whole time I was listening to this I knew that I should be putting it down and using the time more productively but I just kept going in the belief that he must finally touch upon something applicable beyond the office. He didn't. I would however recommend this to someone who does do office work. I simply take objection to the fact that it wasn't made clear in the description that it so tightly applied only to that. Would have saved me 9 hours and 40 minutes of attention!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I have read quite a lot of books about productivity, how to stop procrastinating, getting things done etc. But this is the first time I was actually enticed to follow some of the recommended actions, as they were straightforward, easy to comprehend and solution-focussed. Obviously a lot of these books are just common sense collections of dealing with stuff, this one no exception. But while most are often too theoretical or analytical this one actually gives actionable advice. Not everything will I have read quite a lot of books about productivity, how to stop procrastinating, getting things done etc. But this is the first time I was actually enticed to follow some of the recommended actions, as they were straightforward, easy to comprehend and solution-focussed. Obviously a lot of these books are just common sense collections of dealing with stuff, this one no exception. But while most are often too theoretical or analytical this one actually gives actionable advice. Not everything will apply to everyone, of course, and I am cherry-picking the sections that I can (hopefully) benefit from, but its main idea really is to actually getting things done and making it as easy as possible for your brain to do so. The best advise being to formulate your To Dos in actionable ways, precise and to the point, in small steps that will eventually lead you to finishing your project, and the difference and awareness of being in decision-making (boss) or doing (worker) mode. Right at the end it somewhat loses its focus, repeating itself and frankly 'waffling' a little bit, but overall it provides clear and practical advice of organising yourself, getting things done and overcoming your own resistance. I've started to implement some of the strategies, so fingers crossed it'll work.

  22. 4 out of 5

    The Idle Woman

    Fun, engaging, with plenty of diagrams and a perky British sense of humour, this is one of the better productivity books I've come across. As others have noted in reviews, I felt that Allcott relied quite heavily on principles developed by earlier writers - David Allen's "Getting Things Done" loomed large, as always - and there's a far amount of simple common sense. Nevertheless, he brings it together in a playful fashion that is very much aimed at a UK audience. I always really appreciate this, Fun, engaging, with plenty of diagrams and a perky British sense of humour, this is one of the better productivity books I've come across. As others have noted in reviews, I felt that Allcott relied quite heavily on principles developed by earlier writers - David Allen's "Getting Things Done" loomed large, as always - and there's a far amount of simple common sense. Nevertheless, he brings it together in a playful fashion that is very much aimed at a UK audience. I always really appreciate this, as I've found many of the American books in this genre to be over-earnest and not really applicable to anything but a conventional office workplace. It's currently (2017) pretty much up to date in terms of the apps and technology it recommends, and it's good that it does suggest specific programs because David Allen's "Getting Things Done" deliberately steers away from this. However, that does mean it'll date pretty quickly. I don't think I'm committed enough to buy into the whole Ninja thing myself - I prefer making up my own system - but Allcott has some bright ideas, reinforcing and encouraging some of the principles I've picked up from elsewhere. Worth a look for a bit of light relief, or a more down-to-earth approach than some of the US offerings.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vinka Maharani

    Finally finished this full-packed book. It contains not only explanations but also exercises to achieve the goal to be a Productivity Ninja. Being productive is like a goal in this era. As a millenials, borrowing Anne Helen Petersen's term, I am included in "The Burnout Generation". Non stop stimulation from social media, labels & stigmas pasted on us, make me want to achieve higher and higher but in limited capacity. Suffering & struggling is normalized. Deep inside, I know there's something wro Finally finished this full-packed book. It contains not only explanations but also exercises to achieve the goal to be a Productivity Ninja. Being productive is like a goal in this era. As a millenials, borrowing Anne Helen Petersen's term, I am included in "The Burnout Generation". Non stop stimulation from social media, labels & stigmas pasted on us, make me want to achieve higher and higher but in limited capacity. Suffering & struggling is normalized. Deep inside, I know there's something wrong with this paradigm. Reading this book, taught me one important point: there's always boss mode and worker mode in our mind. Monkey & elephant. The little monkey represents our conscious mind while elephant is the subconscious mind. The monkey is too small to steer elephant, and elephant many times not communicate well about the journey. We need to make them works together peacefully. If you're interested in productivity, then I recommend you to pick this book. But it's quite rigid in the exercise part and the table of contents is not helpful at all. So you better take your time in reading, take a note the page number if you met interesting part & do the exercise in the book by your own pace to make it more enjoyable to read. . #productivity #lifehack #productive #books

  24. 5 out of 5

    An Te

    A helpful book oriented around handling one's attention levels, finite as they are. If you find you're struggling from distractions, this is a helpful book for you. Consider it, read it and apply it. Yet, I do feel 'attention' is a strange matter that is not uniform as the book treats it. For instance attention can be influenced by how many breaks you have, the sleep you had the previous few nights, how stressed you are etc. I won't deconstruct the book heavily but just give it a light nudge to A helpful book oriented around handling one's attention levels, finite as they are. If you find you're struggling from distractions, this is a helpful book for you. Consider it, read it and apply it. Yet, I do feel 'attention' is a strange matter that is not uniform as the book treats it. For instance attention can be influenced by how many breaks you have, the sleep you had the previous few nights, how stressed you are etc. I won't deconstruct the book heavily but just give it a light nudge to say that it has been helpful to help me cognitively process (and filter) some information coming my way. In no way is this is deeply philosophical book but one focussed on improving your productivity, which I am quite sure it will help you to be. I quite like the bits around setting pro-active, active and inactive task priorities to respect the difficulty of the task at hand. Otherwise, much of it is common sense. There's a little section on apps/software that can help also, but you'll find better stuff on Youtube being more up-to-date and user-friendly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sam Cross

    I loved that the book was so (painfully!) relatable, clear, and reassuring. I wish it had been more concise, memorable, and less repetitive. Don't get me wrong - I would rate it 3.75 stars because I really did appreciate it - Graham's tips have definitely shaped the way I work, and I'm excited to see how it continues to influence my habits. But I'll need to use it as a reference. I didn't come away with an "ah-HA!" as much as, "there was a system for this - what was it, again?" There are a few t I loved that the book was so (painfully!) relatable, clear, and reassuring. I wish it had been more concise, memorable, and less repetitive. Don't get me wrong - I would rate it 3.75 stars because I really did appreciate it - Graham's tips have definitely shaped the way I work, and I'm excited to see how it continues to influence my habits. But I'll need to use it as a reference. I didn't come away with an "ah-HA!" as much as, "there was a system for this - what was it, again?" There are a few too many systems outlined, I think, which unfortunately muddles them together. Too much time was spent on selling rather than explaining them, and the pre-emotive justifications were repetitive. Anyone seeking out this book likely doesn't need to be convinced that email interrupts workflow! Nonetheless, it's an interesting read and recommended resource for anyone at any level of an organization, large or small.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Silas

    I liked this a lot more than I've liked most productivity books, probably because 1) I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the author in his pleasantly soothing british accent, and 2) it's very much a buffet menu of options with lots of examples of how you might apply them to your own situation. Thus, I've come away with a bit of a OneNote notebook that keeps me more or less on track and where I write down stuff I want to remember, organised haphazardly for my convenience, and the light- I liked this a lot more than I've liked most productivity books, probably because 1) I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the author in his pleasantly soothing british accent, and 2) it's very much a buffet menu of options with lots of examples of how you might apply them to your own situation. Thus, I've come away with a bit of a OneNote notebook that keeps me more or less on track and where I write down stuff I want to remember, organised haphazardly for my convenience, and the light-hearted ninja metaphors warmed up what might otherwise be pretty dry reading. Unless you like nonfiction productivity books, which I sortof do. Also, I have ADHD and some of this definitely still works for me, if it helps. Probably because of the flexibility of options and method; anything too rigid will fall apart for me in a New York minute.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samta Shukla

    Graham Allcott convinces you that instead of managing time we should seek to manage attention. With a managed attention, one gets a sense of calm and control, which, besides increasing productivity, also makes you act in a measured way -- a skill that goes a long way in surviving workplace politics. He outlines a 4- step plan to maximize attention -- Ruthlessness, Mindfulness, Zen-like Calm, and Stealth & Camouflage. I figured I have already been practicing parts of many of these in my workflow, Graham Allcott convinces you that instead of managing time we should seek to manage attention. With a managed attention, one gets a sense of calm and control, which, besides increasing productivity, also makes you act in a measured way -- a skill that goes a long way in surviving workplace politics. He outlines a 4- step plan to maximize attention -- Ruthlessness, Mindfulness, Zen-like Calm, and Stealth & Camouflage. I figured I have already been practicing parts of many of these in my workflow, but always good to learn new perspectives through his working principles. Obviously, you take what you need and drop the rest because not everything he recommends would apply for ones work environment.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pawel Grzybek

    This book is about making sense of all the tasks floating around our brain during a busy day. About storing and filtering things that matter the most and ignoring the noise. I like the strong emphasis on keeping the body in a good shape as it reflects the shape of our brain. One of my favourite parts of this book is the lesson about accepting the failure in a process. Throughout the book, we hear a lot of obvious bits of advice like creating a todo list and keeping your inbox-zero, but it’s also This book is about making sense of all the tasks floating around our brain during a busy day. About storing and filtering things that matter the most and ignoring the noise. I like the strong emphasis on keeping the body in a good shape as it reflects the shape of our brain. One of my favourite parts of this book is the lesson about accepting the failure in a process. Throughout the book, we hear a lot of obvious bits of advice like creating a todo list and keeping your inbox-zero, but it’s also full of very obscure little tips that can boost the efficiency of everyday life. The concept of daily/weekly reviews finally clicked in my brain after reading this one — thanks! https://pawelgrzybek.com/book-review-...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Titus Hjelm

    This is the kind of how to book that I like best. It is not the research-focused with lots of references and sidelines into academic debate, nor is it the new agey 'you can do it!' kind that is too fluffy. Taken piecemeal, there is plenty of sensible advice here, especially about managing emails. Interestingly, I had been intuitively doing something similar myself (sans the fancy names for lists and processes). Overall, I didn't quite work out the whole system, which seemed to me very complicate This is the kind of how to book that I like best. It is not the research-focused with lots of references and sidelines into academic debate, nor is it the new agey 'you can do it!' kind that is too fluffy. Taken piecemeal, there is plenty of sensible advice here, especially about managing emails. Interestingly, I had been intuitively doing something similar myself (sans the fancy names for lists and processes). Overall, I didn't quite work out the whole system, which seemed to me very complicated (how many lists are there really?), but I could take the bits that fit my needs and make that work.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    This is the least engaging book I've read in recent times. 376 pages too long! You could summarise all this rubbish into a 10min read article. Full with useless "advice" and silly references like "are you a ninja" :rolling_eyes. There's no real base for the suggestions they make on this book, it's all silly practices that probably work for the writer and are very particular to specific types of jobs. Use your periods of high attention carefully, avoid interruptions on those periods and meditate are This is the least engaging book I've read in recent times. 376 pages too long! You could summarise all this rubbish into a 10min read article. Full with useless "advice" and silly references like "are you a ninja" :rolling_eyes. There's no real base for the suggestions they make on this book, it's all silly practices that probably work for the writer and are very particular to specific types of jobs. Use your periods of high attention carefully, avoid interruptions on those periods and meditate are about the only useful advice there is here. Not worth reading unless you actually have 0 experience with basically thinking.

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