Some aspects of this book are great. It is a real discussion of habit, and techniques to change it. The anecdotes get extremely annoying. The author jumps from one story, to another, and then back again. It lacks a summary of the main point of each chapter, which would really help drive things home.
In one chapter I listened to a discussion of brain surgery and a a blow by blow detail of a big surgical error. This story was then displayed as an example of negative habits.
That sounds OK in theory, but it took the author twenty minutes to get to the point. I felt like most of the meaning of the book got buried in the examples, and there was no clarification on the meat of the information.
It's narrated well.
I've already listened to this three times, and I will undoubtedly listen to it again. One of four essential writing guides, and the best of the four. In fact, it's the best one I've ever read.
You may also want "Steal this Plot", "The Power of Point of View" and "Writer's Guide to Character Traits". If you are interested in writing in the romance genre, then "How to Write Romances" by Phyllis T. Pianka is also veryworthwhile.
Unfortunately, that's about it as far as actual techniques and discussion of the craft of writing. Everything else I've seen has been a popular discussion for folks who do not write and who are clueless about the publishing process. If you are a writer who wants to learn how to improve your writing with concrete techniques, this is the book for you.
I used a credit to purchase this book and it was money well spent. I'd never used a hypnosis tape before and I was so surprised at how well this works for me. I put it on almost every night and I never have trouble falling asleep when I use it.
The best part is, I wake up refreshed, with all my muscles relaxed. Almost like I took a sleeping pill but without the next-morning grogginess. I plan to continue using the recording because I've had such great results with it.
A couple of light criticisms, the beneficial parts of the tape start about nine minutes in. I just bookmark it and skip to it. The first eight minutes are full of the narrator explaining what hypnosis is, etc. There's really no need to listen to the intro every night.
Second, the narrator's voice can be a little off-putting but after a few minutes of listening to him I settle in. He's good at what he does and the benefits far outweigh the negatives in my opinion.
Bravo, I'm now hooked on hypnosis as not being a total crock, but rather something that has real benefit to my life. A+
Lighthearted, but actually dispensing real and good advice on time management, Perry lays out a method for getting stuff done while procrastinating (“structured procrastination”). For $1.95, a real bargain and not bloated in the way an actual self-improvement book, presumably written by a non-academic philosopher, would be. There’s some great insights here. E.g., a short to-do list is a bad idea for the procrastinator; with so few options to put off, the procrastinator ends up doing nothing. But with a thick and detailed to do list, the procrastinator has the option of putting off the first few items in order to accomplish other items on the list.
Self-improvement books about time management are one of my guilty pleasures. I also have a background (long ago) in academic philosophy. Probably not a surprise, then, that I was really tickled by Perry's short book. This is a great starter on the topic and not much of a time commitment.
Some quick thoughts about other treatises on this topic:
*Tony Robbin’s Awaken the Inner Giant. Clearly, if you’re going to read this, you’ll need to hide that fact from your friends and family and strangers on the bus. This book ought to be made with a fake War and Peace cover. While you keep telling yourself that you’re only reading it ironically, you’ll quietly be admitting that there’s fantastic advice. Robbins is probably the best on techniques to transform the procrastinator’s proclivity for avoiding the top of the to-do list (whereas Perry simply concedes that procrastination may be a fact of your nature). Having said that, I’m not admitting I’ve ever read any Tony Robbins.
*David Allen’s Getting Things Done. It’s probably the best with an ultra-detailed information, task, and time-management system. Unlike Perry, Allen is a bit soup-nazi-esque.
*Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, etc etc. This book often appears on Amazon or Audible as recommended if you like David Allen. It’s really junk. Short little essays and, for the bigger names, Q and As, that all are little more than advertisements for other books, blogs, and the like.
*How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day. Written like a hundred years ago, but you wouldn’t realize that from just reading it. And you can read it in an hour.
*Josh Kaufman’s the First Twenty Hours. Kaufman and Perry, though from different angles, show you how the desire for perfection can lead to procrastination. If you want your output to be perfect, it can paralyze you from ever starting the project. But Kaufman’s thesis is that it only takes 10 – 20 hours of deliberate practice to become enjoyably competent at a new skill. By the way, I really do not recommend Kaufman’s book.
*The Spirit of Kaizen. Perry references this one. I don’t recommend it because its 180 pages that repeat the same core idea. But, that core idea is helpful – small changes can have huge effects; make the smallest possible change that will improve a process. Then repeat.