Monday, March 31, 2014

Shelf Life [adult]

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

Although this slim volume is in the business section of the library and bookstores, the advice it contains can pertain to anyone who wants to increase their productivity – and not just the early birds either. In fact, one of Ms. Vanderkam’s  first pieces of advice is to figure out exactly when you are most alert and feeling energetic, so you can change your habits to suit this time of day, though she does focus on the before-breakfast crowd, as her title suggests.

Begun as a blog that gained a viral following, the book also includes two additional chapters not available online: What the Most Successful People do on the Weekend, and ditto At Work.

The entire book can be boiled down to a few key elements – planning, focusing and awareness - but of course, nothing is as simple as it seems, so Vanderkam provides lots of true-to-life anecdotes from people she has helped, heaps of examples for good habit forming, and plenty of advice to increase productivity without feeling like you are becoming a robot slave to time-management. In fact, there’s a whole chapter on “pursuing pleasure” – not the kind of pleasure that comes from wolfing down a bag of M&Ms while burning through season 3 of Sherlock, but the kind of pleasure that comes from feeling more productive and hence in control of life in general. 

Reserve your copy of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast at, or if you simply cannot wait, check out Ms. Vanderkam’s website.

This review was published in the Stratford Gazette on March 27. Written by Robyn Godfrey, Librarian.

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