Three powerful mini audios about high productivity, now together in one audiobook
Laura Vanderkam has combined her three popular mini auidobooks into one comprehensive guide, with a new introduction. It will help listeners build habits that lead to happier, more productive lives, despite the pressures of their busy schedules. Through interviews and anecdotes, she reveals...What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast - to jump-start the day productively. What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend - to recharge and prepare for a great week. What the Most Successful People Do at Work - to accomplish more in less time.
©2013 Laura Vanderkam (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC
I was ready to write a snarky review of "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings - and Your Life" (2013) - until I listened to the third book. I liked that so much, I went back to the beginning and listened again, ignoring what annoyed me.
This audible collection of three short books by Laura Vanderkam on time management. The first is the Breakfast book (Audible Ch 2); the second, "What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off" (Audible Ch 6) and the third, "What the Most Successful People Do at Work: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Career" (Audible Ch 11).
The Breakfast book started out with an idea that I found immediately helpful: exercise in the morning, because later in the day, you may not have the willpower and other things might come up and take your time. That's not a new idea, but Vanderkam presented the reasons in a way that resonated with me. Finally. That's why I kept listening. (And let's face it, I'm sure not getting to the gym after a long drive home.) I also liked her idea for breaking bad habits: find friends that will honestly watch you, and if you fail, your penalty is donating to an organization you don't believe in. An example: donate to Karl Rove's PAC if you are a card carrying member of the ACLU.
The Work book had some very helpful ideas for structuring work to be more productive, and they were beyond the adages like turn off the e-mail and do the heavy work when you are most productive. Vanderkam talks about how to identify when your clients are going to need you; how to delegate work and encourage team members to develop their management abilities; and how to take breaks that enhance your creativity and ability to do your job more effectively.
I didn't like how Vanderkam kept mentioning 168 hours, how time can never be recovered, etc. After a while, I started to feel 'I Must Be Doing Something Meaningful All the Time'. That's pressure no one needs.
And now, for the reason I was going to snark: it's nice that Vanderkam lives on the east coast with fabulous daily train service; works from home; is married; has friends over for dinner Sunday nights; ran through her pregnancies; and just finished a marathon without ever running more than 35 miles in a week because she did other exercises. And about her four hour runs on Saturdays - that's nice, but someone has to pick up the dry cleaning, grocery shop, take the kids to games, clean the house . . . And I'm a single mom! I could relate to Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)) and even the fictional heroine in Allison Pearson's 2003 book "I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother" but I couldn't relate to Vanderkam personally. I am glad I took the time to listen to what she said - literally, since she's the narrator.
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I read several reviews that complained that this book was irritating to listen to. I decided to try it anyway. At first the narrator/author's clipped precise reading style bothered me. However, that feeling was quickly erased and replaced by all the interesting and easily applicable material presented. The book was overwhelmingly positive and offers a no fooling around approach to time management and ways to improve what you can accomplish. The author's take on prioritizing, goal setting, choosing what is important and how to focus your energies was different than what I've read before. Finally someone not suggesting that to have more free time you need to cutback, pare down, and do less. I find that the simple suggestions and new perspective have helped me reorganize and recharge my day. Definitely time well spent.
I'm only on the third chapter but not sure I'll make it through this book due to the narration. It's so awful, I stopped listening to write this review to save others from the same agony. When will authors learn it's worth whatever it costs to hire a professional narrator to read their books?! Whatever dollars they save in doing it themselves, they must surely loose in customers returning their books to Audible or never making it all the way through their book, thus never sharing the book with friends.
The narration is extremely slow with halting pauses where there should be none. It's so distracting I can hardly focus on the content. I've sped the reading up 2x the normal speed (something I've never done with any other book I've purchased on Audible. It helped with the draaaaggggging slowness but nothing can fix the gaping pauses and general tone of the narration. Authors, PLEASE hire a professional and increase the cost of your book by .50 cents or whatever is needed to cover the cost!
The author has a lot of really good ideas and really makes the point that time is a valuable resource. She tends to overdo it sometimes about the idea that every minute of your time has to be precisely planned. I don't believe that, and I don't believe that approach is always useful.
The narrator read too slowly for me, so I had to speed it up to double time to stay awake. The book is good, the narrator is just too slow.
Overall, you will get some really great ideas about time management from this book as long as you don't let the concept of overly planned time drive you insane.
This is an uninspired regurgitation of the advice given by serious authors in the business motivation genre. Absolutely no new information. If this is your first business motivation book then consider it as a preview of the rest of them. Otherwise, move on. The pace at which it is read is painfully slow, presumable to make it appear longer than it actually is. Sorry I wasted a credit on this title.
If you don't get up in the morning to workout at the gym and are jumping out of bed to rush to work this could be a decent book for you.
Something to do with business, finance, or a bio.
Not sure I don't know the narrator scene.
I was hoping for discussions with more successful CEO's about their mornings. I didn't feel like there was enough analysis of the morning activities of a CEO or many statistics to prove any of the analysis. I think this is an interesting topic but for me it fell way short of my expectations.
This set of 3 audio titles is a compilation of research that the author put together and drew some seemingly valid conclusions. While there's nothing earth-shaking here, it's a great tool to energize you to put together some good routines and habits in order to be more productive. I thoroughly enjoy these types of books as long as I get one good nugget out of them, so this was a win for me. I enjoy listening to books read by the author, and this one is.
I haven't read the print version.
The author who reveals much of her own successful work habits.
Many stories about individuals whose successful habits pay off.
No extreme reactions experienced.
I like all of Laura Vanderkam's books that validate the importance of women's productivity and how to get more out of one's work day with better focus and clearing one's plate of distractions and obstacles--the theme that runs through all her books and research. Insightful, inspirational, practical, extremely helpful.
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