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The Productivity Blueprint*

Lots of Good Tips, But Not a Lot about Productivity

This bundle includes two books, 10-Minute Focus and Take Back Your Day. The first book is the one on focus. In it, he first discusses concepts like focus and procrastination. The core of the book is 25 habits you can cultivate to help improve your focus. The first section is about making your environment more conducive to focus, and other sections look at immediate actions you can take to improve your focus, procrastination, and self-care. I didn’t think that all the habits within each section necessarily fit with its subject matter. For instance, the procrastination section seems to be filled with subjects that have nothing to do with procrastination at all; it almost feels like a grab-bag section for habits the author didn’t know where else to put. They might still be valuable and viable habits/tips, but their subjects had nothing to do with procrastination. Some habits definitely take far more than 10 minutes to do. Some take more time to set up, but once implemented, they may take a short amount of time to continue with, like decluttering your workspace. Others will be an ongoing task, like not letting others distract you. I found the self-care section surprising. In it, he looks at taking breaks, aerobic exercise, meditation, healthy diet, and sleep, as ways that will turbocharge your focus.

The second book is much shorter. While this book has some useful information, I don’t necessarily see how all the topics directly relate to the title of the book, Take Back Your Day. Topics include setting the right goals, finding some free time, changing your mindset, finding your positivity, and improving your emotional intelligence. Some of the more general topics among those just don’t seem to relate to the idea of taking your day back. When I flipped through the chapter on finding free time, I was surprised at its contents. The concept behind this chapter is to create free time in your day by doing time-saving tasks. I agree that advance meal preparation, either by yourself or with someone else, can definitely help free up some time on days when you don’t have to cook as much. But the bulk of the chapter was about creating streams of passive income through course creation and selling stock photos. These just seems like odd things for this book in general and this chapter in particular. As someone who has created a course, I can say that setting it up is no mean feat. While you may be able to make passive income with it, it does take quite a bit of work to get there, and there is no guarantee that you will make much money if you don’t already have a list of people you can possibly sell it to.

For a bundle of books that is supposed to be about productivity, I don’t know if I necessarily see either of these books to be wholly about productivity. In fact, I don’t really see the second book as being about productivity at all. The first book may have habits that apply to productivity, like overcoming procrastination and batch processing similar tasks, but much of the book has topics that in no way truly relate to productivity. That is not to say that this book bundle doesn’t offer valuable ideas. There’s actually much food for thought here, especially the first book. I just don’t like it when books don’t reflect what they’re about in the title, as I believe that it is important to be wholly honest and transparent in nonfiction. I would still recommend this book for the ideas and techniques, though.