HBR Guide to Getting the Right Work Done: A book review by Bob Morris

Posted on: November 2nd, 2012 by bobmorris

HBR Guide to Getting the Right Work Done
Various Contributors
Harvard Business Review Press (2012)

“There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.” Peter Drucker

This is one of the first volumes in a new series of anthologies of articles previously published in Harvard Business Review, in this instance 27 of them, in which their authors share their insights concerning a major business subject, in this instance getting the right work done.

As is also true of volumes in other such series, notably HBR Essentials, HBR Must Reads, and HBR Management Tips, HBR Guides offer great value in several ways. Here are two: Cutting-edge thinking from 25-30 sources in a single volume at a price (about $12.50 from Amazon in the bound version) for a fraction of what article reprints would cost.

The material in this volume is organized within nine sections. All of it is of outstanding quality and value. Some of it is of special interest to me, as indicated:

o   Section 1: GET STARTED
Of Special Interest: “Being More Productive, An Interview with David Allen and Tony Schwartz”
Do you need the right system or the right frame of mind?, conducted by David McGinn (Pages 23-31)

o   Section 2: PRIORITIZE YOUR WORK
Of Special Interest: “Get a Raise by Getting the Right Work Done”
Focus on the work that will bring the greatest reward — for your organization and for you,
Peter Bregman (35-38)

o   Section 3: ORGANIZE YOUR TIME
Of Special Interest: “Stop Procrastinating — Now”
Five tips for breaking this [some believe] bad habit, Amy Gallo (53-56)

o   Section 4: DELEGATE EFFECTIVELY
Of Special Interest: “Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?”
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate, William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass, with a commentary by Stephen R. Covey (87-107)

o   Section 5: CREATE RITUALS
Of Special Interest: “Use a Ten-Minute Diary to Stay on Track”
The best way to spend the last ten minutes of your day, Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer (125-131)

o   Section 6: RENEW YOUR ENERGY
Of Special Interest: “How to Accomplish More by Doing Less”
Take breaks to get more done, Tony Schwartz (135-137)

o   Section 7: TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR E-MAIL
Of Special Interest: “Simplify Your E-mail”
Three folders will do it, Gina Trapani (153-156)

o   Section 8: MAINTAIN YOUR NEW APPROACH
Of Special Interest: “Sustaining Your Productivity System”
You’ve become productive! Now keep it up, Alexandra Samuel (165-168)

o  Section 9: EXPLORE FURTHER
Of Special Interest: “More Productivity Books to Explore”
Summaries of three popular titles by Covey, Morgenstern, and Allen, Ilan Mochari (171-174)

The material was selected to help those who read this book improve in areas that include prioritizing, staying focused, working less but accomplishing more, ending bad habits and strengthening good ones, formulating to-do lists that really work, dismantling overwhelming projects into manageable parts, avoiding or eliminating e-mail overload, and refueling energy.

If you need assistance in any of these areas, this book will be of invaluable assistance now and in months and years to come.

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  1. […] To read my review of it, please click here. […]

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