Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Good material, disappointing execution.
on 19 December 2014
I expected a lot from this book, having read a lot of very positive reviews; I was disappointed, but I'm unusual, so feel free to read this with a pinch of salt.
Basically, there's some great material here on being organised and planning life well. None of it is new: read David Allen (Getting things Done) and Stephen Covey (Seven Habits) and you'll discover essentially the same stuff, but much, much more readable.
I personally (and this is personal) found this book dull and repetitive. It's designed to summarize everything regularly, like a textbook, and that gets wearing fast when actually the explanation was simple enough in the first place. And then some chapters don't actually explain what they are talking about, so you have to read a chapter or two of explanation of how to do something, without any idea of what it actually is. More concrete examples would have helped.
The great unique contribution of this book is the Christian understanding of productivity. It's certainly not bad stuff, and there are soe good insights, but it felt like a little good stuff laboured and repeated endlessly.
Most of all, though, I found the book ultimately impractical. There are lots of practical things in it. But it's designed for creative types in jobs they love with either no kids or, frankly, a wife who deals with everything at home. He suggests that if you don't really enjoy your job you should get another, because that's key to productivity, among other things.
That just doesn't seem like the real world for most people. The author, who by all accounts is a great guy, just doesn't seem to give enough help to those of us with lives that aren't picture-perfect and are demanding outside work.
That said, there's plenty of good practical stuff in it. It does condense a lot of insights from other productivity books. It's a great idea. And as I said, I realise this is a pretty personal reaction - lots of people like the book.
But the execution seems lacking, both in writing style, depth of thought, and engagement with real life.