Serving as a Chicago personal productivity coach, I’m constantly reading books about how to be more productive. Recently a refreshing title written by a fellow time management trainer came across my desk: Stop Organizing, Start Producing by Casey Moore.
“Stop Organizing, Start Producing: Leverage the 12 Factors that Make or Break the Busy Professional” is divided into three sections. Part 1, The Productivity Chain, introduces and explains the premise of the book—there are twelve interwoven factors determining each person’s productivity level which she calls the Productivity Chain. The section establishes another core concept of the book—how the Productivity Chain, a model for producing results, can be used to apply and keep personal power.
Part 2, The Twelve Links, which is nearly half the book, describes each link’s features and effects on productivity as well as delves into stories, concrete strategies for improvement, and examples of how each link interacts with the others. Covered in alphabetical order for easy reference, the links are: boundary-setting, communication/relationships, decision-making, delegation, drive, goal-setting/prioritization, health, organization of objects/data, planning, reinvention, resources, and task/project management.
Part 3, Productivity Myths, describes common myths and the harm they do, outlines specific-productivity-enhancing strategies for letting go, and has a real-world example for each. The section explains the “Productivity Chain only works if you let go of less empowering problem/solution perspectives…lurk[ing] below your conscious awareness, influencing your behavior even though your rational mind recognizes their inaccuracies.” Providing a simple, yet powerful model for change, she tackles such myths as, “I need more time,” “I should be able to handle everything myself,” and “I can’t play until my work is done.”
Whether you reference the link and myth chapters on demand when you feel stuck, or read everything cover to cover, this book is packed with valuable lessons covering the nuances of productivity work not written in any of the other books out there. Having a framework to force a bigger-picture view of the inter-related aspects behind productivity will help to identify strengths and weaknesses—and therefore to know where to focus time and energy.
Well done, Casey. I’m proud to know you.