By Chris Gandy
Around this time of year I try to indulge myself with a bit of “personal development time” and dive into a book that might help me be more effective and productive in the coming year. Sometimes, I am disappointed with the outcome and have felt I would have got more out of reading back issues of MAD Magazine. Other years I go “Wow, I actually learnt something helpful from this!”
This year’s book, How to be a Productivity Ninja.Forget Time Management: How to Get Things Done in the Age of Information Overload by Graham Allcott elicited the latter response.
Productivity Ninja has been out for a few years now and you may well have read it yourself – I’d be interest in your take on it.
For me it was highly entertaining, practical and particularly insightful around office dynamics and the time pressures brought to bear by the proliferation of media channels. It challenges the notion of Time Management and argues that the main game today is Attention Management – something I can relate to!
What I found really helpful with the concept of Attention Management, especially from a leadership perspective, is Allcott’s suggestion that…
“In any knowledge work job, you’re really playing two roles at once: you’re simultaneously the boss and the worker”.
And as a result we are constantly juggling our “thinking” boss role with our “doing” worker role. So, for most of us it is not that we are “time poor” but “attention poor” as we continually flip between both roles and lose productivity along the way.
Allcott provides a guide for separating the two roles and how to set up systems to help you be effective when in either boss or worker mode.
It’s worth having a read if you are struggling with information overload or simply have a new year intention to be more productive.
During 2015 I look forward to working with all of you who care about strengthening the leadership and capacity of cause-based organisations.
Oh, please be patient if you call or email while I am in “boss mode” as you will have to wait till I switch to my “worker mode” and reply!
Image from Amazon UK
Chris is the Principal and Managing Director at Cause & Effective – an organisation focused on successfully guiding not for profit Boards through leadership transitions.