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Extreme Productivity

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Extreme Productivity

Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Maximum productivity depends on careful planning, superior organization and tight focus.

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White-collar employees are working harder than ever. Many get to their offices early, leave late, work through lunch and stay at their desks over the weekends and on holidays. Yet these workers are often minimally productive. Robert C. Pozen, a former CEO who lectures on management issues at Harvard Business School, offers solutions for this dilemma in this sensible manual about time management, productivity and focus. His advice, which particularly applies to knowledge workers, is sound and generally useful. It seems like common sense, not new or flashy, but Pozen is good at helping you build confidence by establishing concrete processes. getAbstract recommends Pozen’s helpful guide to professionals, managers, knowledge workers and all who want to boost their time management and productivity skills.


Get Organized

To get your life in order and become more productive, spell out and prioritize your goals. Allocate time to meet them. Remember the results you want and don’t get sidetracked by low-priority tasks. Avoid the trap of becoming super busy attending to minor problems that distract you from accomplishing your primary objectives.

Systematize Your Goals

Use this six-step plan to organize yourself:

  1. “Write everything down” – Make a note of every task that leads you to your goals.
  2. “Organize by time horizon” – Categorize your tasks according to the time commitments they demand. Start with career aims, or what you want to achieve five or more years down the road – for example, becoming a partner at your firm. Then list your medium-term objectives, the goals you want to accomplish in the next six months to two years, like doubling the sales of your newest product. Catalogue the tasks you must do every week, like submitting progress reports. With each objective, include any associated steps.
  3. “Rank your objectives” – Catalogue your goals in three areas. First, determine “what you want...

About the Author

Robert C. Pozen is a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of Too Big to Save? and a former chairman of MFS Investment Management.

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