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The Productivity Revolution – Control your time and get things done by Marc Reklau

Time Management gurus have time and again reinforced basic concepts and principles that help us manage our time better. Yet, as we move into the future, with more time organising devices than ever, many of us wonder how hours and days slip by unnoticed. This is the issue that The Productivity Revolution seeks to address.

Before I started reading this book, it did occur to me for a moment, that most books on time management are about things that we already know, aren’t they? Well yes, says the author Marc Reklau. As he rightly puts it in The Productivity Revolution (Rupa Publications), “common sense is not common action! “So, the book promises an action-packed journey, after which you will hopefully have much more time on your hands! 

Here’s what I liked about this book…and do scroll right down to know about some (of the several) takeaways that resonated with me….

  • It presents useful and handy information in short bit-sized chapters, perfect for busy people!
  • It consolidates popular and time-tested time-management principles (for example, the time-management matrix of Stephen Covey, or the Pareto Principle, or Parkinson’s Law) with the author’s own extensive experiences, and presents it to readers in a very relatable manner.
  • Some of the chapters have “little tips” (which, come to think of it, are actually big tips that keep you going!). These little tips are small actionable chunks of advice that help increase productivity, organisation, and hence end up making you effective at time management. 
  • It deals with some specific issues that are extremely relevant today- for example, the issue of distractions due to the constant notifications that we keep getting! 
  • When you read the book, it feels as if you are talking to a coach and guide. The informal language and the manner of writing directed at the reader makes it a highly accessible book. 
  • Recently, there is a running school of thought that links time management to managing energy. Marc dedicates an entire chapter to quick tips for energy management. 
  • A great recap chapter that is crisp and compact and beautifully summarises what you need to remember from the book.

How you can get the most out of this book? Well, here are some quick takeaways that I found useful…and I’m sure you will find many more applicable to you! 

  1. It’s okay to not take every call or let calls go to voice mail for at least an hour a day. 
  2. Close your email and don’t check your email regularly. (Three times a day for half an hour should be enough)
  3. Action is always and by far the best antidote to procrastination. 
  4. The Pomodoro technique (now if you don’t know what it is, you need to look it up) has been proven to be effective for individuals. However, how about trying it on for a whole department? See how it works magic!
  5. Develop a morning ritual as well as a bedtime ritual that is linked to your wellbeing and productivity. It will make all the difference! (For more information on how a morning ritual helps, you may want to read this
  6. Underpromise, overdeliver 
  7. Take some time off, recharge your batteries by being around nature. 
  8. Your beliefs create your reality. Period. 
  9. People around you can be the springboard to motivate you, help you gain courage and take the right actions, but on the other hand can also drag you down, drain your energy, and act as brakes in the achieving of your life goals and productivity. Stay away from energy vampires. 
  10. There is a very special energy in the morning hours before sunrise. Wake up early! 
  11. Do the most uncomfortable task first thing in the morning. 
  12. Saying “No” is so important, and probably one of the best time management tricks of all!

Just a little over 150 pages, this may be a slim tone, but Marc Reklau ensures that it is power packed with actionable tips, beliefs and systems that will increase your productivity and energy, as well as help you manage your time efficiently. Welcome to The Productivity Revolution! 

Dhanishta Shah

Dhanishta is a Counselling Psychologist and a freelance writer. She is the Founder of Bookedforlife.