Extreme Productivity by Bob Pozen

I spent the past week reading the book Extreme Productivity by Bob Pozen in hopes of improving my work efficiency. The book was written by an older man who has held higher administrative positions in top financial companies and highlights many of the tips that he has used to lead a successful career. Overall, the book presented many helpful tips that I will use to improve my productivity.

What is the difference between productivity and efficiency? Productivity is a measure of the quantity produced. Efficiency is a measure of the methods used to produce a large amount with minimal waste.

*P=quantity produced; E=quantity produced/methods used

My biggest takeaways from Extreme Productivity are below:

  • Part 1: Three Bid Ideas
    • Articulate your goals and rank them in order of priority
      • Agree with your boss on the priority of a project
    • Focus of the final product
    • Spend as little time as possible on low-priority items
    • Accept that you can’t do every task perfectly
      • Turn in B+ work for your low-priority tasks so you can create A work where it matters more
  • Part II: Productivity Every Day
    • Get 8 hours of sleep each night and set aside time during the day to mentally recharge
    • Follow standard routines to minimize mundane aspects of your life
  • Part VI: Managing Up and Down
    • Take the initiative to submit a list of accomplishments to your boss
    • Give plenty of warning if a project is running into trouble
  • Part III: Developing Personal Skills
    • Determine the type of information gathered by a source based on the the expertise of that source (i.e. gather international news from New York Time rather than a local newspaper)
  • Part V: Pursing a Productive Life
    • Think of your career as a series of steps (i.e. you don’t have to plan out your entire career)
    • Maximize your number of career options by choosing careers with transferable skills
    • Pick a job that will teach you how to lead and how to operate in different types of organizations
    • Accept that you will frequently change positions and bosses

Although many of the tips highlighted in this book seem like common sense, it helped having them explained validated by a business professional whose success depended on these tips. The most important tip Pozen stressed in this book was to tailor the tips listed above to your specific situation. There are situations when these tips improve a person’s productivity, and it is up to the reader to identify these situations.

I will keep you updated on my progress. To learn more about Pozen’s take on productivity read “Managing Yourself: Extreme Productivity”.

=-) Domonique

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