Cal Newport (Author, Comp Sci Professor) attempts to convince us that one of the significant problems facing knowledge workers today is the lack of focused time – or what he calls “Deep Work”. I feel like I face this problem Every. Single. Day. It is one of the reasons I bought this book – hoping for a silver bullet to this problem. Leaving work daily having made what feels like zero progress towards any kind of meaningful output despite spending ridiculous hours at work, I found this book giving me strategies but no quick fix – did I expect it to? Should it? Or do I need to make some changes to my habits, practices, and way of doing business? YES!
The tagline of “Your 7-Day GTD immediate action plan” is a bit of an overstatement. This is more an advertisement for Wolff’s other books and properties and an underwhelming action plan! It gave me a few ideas to tweak my Evernote usage – nothing to write home about though! This would have been better placed as a $5 eBook – not a $20 paperback, so save your money and read some blogs from the many Evernote masters who freely publish articles on the internet. Also: A lack of attention to formatting and poor embedded graphics quality distracted from an otherwise unimpressive read!
A system that aims to bring “stress-free productivity” to all people and their everyday life, regardless of the actual way they implement the system, David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” or GTD system is renowned in the personal productivity world. People who implement it (properly) are those amongst their peers who don’t let things slip through the cracks – they are accountable. Oh, and it’s meant to be a load off your mind too – apparently remembering all the “stuff” you aren’t doing is a mental drain.
A collection of essays on project management in Software Engineering. Some are standalone, but all flow neatly to convey Brooks’ thoughts and observations on issues in the project management space, and potential solutions. A good read for anybody involved in managing or directing an IT project – if you aren’t on the Software side, there are bits that won’t interest you but don’t skip over them (e.g. the discussions about thousands of lines of code – KLOC – per year per programmer!). This is not a generic project management text, and doesn’t teach you how to manage a project – but gives a history and anecdotes relevant to Information Technology projects – Software projects, specifically.