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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.
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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198 of 215 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
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.
48 of 54 people found this review helpful
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!
24 of 29 people found this review helpful
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.
14 of 18 people found this review helpful
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.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
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.
What do you think your next listen will be?
Something to do with business, finance, or a bio.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Laura Vanderkam?
Not sure I don't know the narrator scene.
Any additional comments?
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.
10 of 15 people found this review helpful
This is a women’s book written for women or for those who can’t think for themselves. I could not get past chapt 5 or 6 or around there. Tough to swallow.
The painfully obvious things we can do spoken directly to us in a useful, encouraging way. Well done Laura!
If you could sum up What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast in three words, what would they be?
A quick read that helped me to shape a new perspective on time management. The book gives very practical methods and ideas on how to reshape your schedule. I found it helpful, positive, and inspiring.
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
The book is a compilation of recording done at different times. At one point you could hear someone keying in the background. The audio quality is not the best, but the content is worthwhile.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
A worthwhile read for people looking to use their time efficiently and make time to do the things they want to do.
Loved the content. It's broken up into several sections, as it's essentially the author's other essays/short books all recorded into one longer book. However, the author literally whispered the second section, so it was near impossible to hear while driving (which is how I like to listen to audio books). I spent more time being frustrated that I could turn the volume up any farther than actually thinking about the snippets of info I could glean from it. The other sections are great though (read at a normal volume), and if you can listen to the second section with headphones while it's quiet you'll be fine.