Inner Productivity by Chris Edgar

(Weekend Media Review is a new section here at 47Hats. Why Media instead of Books? Because I now find myself – probably like you – “reading” a lot more media than paper books: digital books,  audio books, YouTube presentations, podcasts, iTunes U and more.)

Every so often I come across a productivity book that stops me cold. This week’s WMR -  Inner Productivity: A Mindful Path to Efficiency and Enjoyment in Your Work – grabbed my attention and as soon as I finish this post, I’m going back to reading and thinking about it.

Published in September, it only has two reviews on Amazon right now. Ordinarily, I’d never buy a book with that few ratings, but the disruptive beauty of books in the Kindle format (Note, I did not say the Kindle Reader.) is you can start reading the book, then decide to buy the rest of the book with one click, and cheaper too! :) By the way, I’m using the free Kindle reader for the iPhone – an excellent reading experience, in my opinion.

Edgar starts by focusing on a deceptively easy question: We all know by now the basics of productivity – limit distractions, don’t constantly check email, etc., etc.. So why do we find it so damned hard to consistently apply these practices?

These people’s problem isn’t that they don’t know enough “tips and tricks”. Instead, the problem they almost always face is that some persistent pattern of thinking or feeling is making it hard to stay focused on their work.”

This is not happy New Age tie-dye shirt tree hugging time: it’s understanding and taking control of how you experience, define and relate to work. It’s the difference between those rare, brilliant days when we feel on, capable, and enjoying the work we’re engaged in – and all those cold, dreary weeks, months and years we fight ourselves to pound out the deliverables. It’s about developing Inner Productivity.

There’s a lot that feels like Edgar is writing this book for every self-employed person / startup or microISV out there, and it’s causing me to question assumptions about the nature of work I’ve taken as Gospel for decades.

This is one of those books you’re going to have to actually read: no quick blog post is going to do justice to it, and certainly not give you enough to actually change your behavior.

This blurb by David Allen sums up why you should read this book:

“Chris Edgar has taken an exploratory dive into the procrastination pit and come up with a cogent explanation of this phenomenon as well as an elegant set of techniques to transcend it. It’s a great read and a useful guidebook for turning the daily grind into something much more interesting and engaging.” –David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Bottom Line: Get this book if you want a much more productive 2010.

Comments

  1. I haven’t seen the book yet but it sounds good–the same issue applies in other parts of life as well: people know how to lose weight, how to get fit, how to learn a new skill yet they (we) don’t do it. The problem is framed as a lack of information but that’s seldom the real explanation. One key is making your new activity the focus of your life until it becomes a habit, and usually that also means consciously giving up something you do now in order to free up the time for the new activity. I explored these in my book and I’ll be interested to read Edgar’s approach, so thanks for the reference.

  2. Strange, I see it at $16.95 for Kindle edition. They probably raised the price on it, following your praise, Bob. :)
    Paperback is $14.95, though. Go figure.