Review: Change Anything

Book Cover: Change Anything

Kerry Patterson (of Crucial Conversations fame) and his fellow authors describe a framework for mastering personal change. For those of us who like facts they begin with the science, describe the six sources of influence when attempting to effect change – then cap the book off with real-life examples, practical applications of the six sources of influence allowing you to really understand how you could begin to implement the framework yourself.

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Review: Deep Work

Book Cover - Deep WorkCal 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!

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Review: Master Getting Things Done the David Allen Way with Evernote

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!

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Review: Getting Things Done

Book Cover - Getting Things DoneA 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.

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Review: The Mythical Man-Month

Book Cover - The Mythical Man-MonthA 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.

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Seven in Seven – Stretching

I was introduced to a “7 in 7” stretching routine by a good mate on a snow trip once – jumping out of bed and doing some quick stretches seemed to get the day underway more quickly, and then doing the same after returning from the slopes made the next day not so bad.

Since then, I’ve evolved this to a 10 minute stretching routine, which I try my hardest to do after I exercise. This is a very lower-body focused program – most of the sports I do work the legs and hips (road cycling, mountain biking, running, OzTag, Hypaball). I need to revisit and find a similar program for the upper body, and to combat the hours I spend sitting at a desk! Continue reading