Francis Wade is a productivity expert who has written an insightful and actionable book in Perfect Time-Based Productivity.
It provides a comprehensive set of productivity-oriented skills that you can assess, develop and customize to your own specific needs.
A key concept in the book is the “time demand”:
The seven core skills presented in his book include:
- Capturing – the act of saving or recording a potential or actual time demand in memory, on paper, or in some digital or analog format.
- Emptying – the act of removing an existing time demand from a capture point.
- Tossing – revoking a time demand (which is the same as deciding not to do it at all).
- Acting Now – the act of completing the time demand while emptying it.
- Storing – converting some piece of information in a time demand for later use at an unknown time.
- Listing – placing a time demand on a list.
- Scheduling – adding a time demand to a calendar or schedule.
The book also introduces several “advanced skills”:
- Flowing – executing a task in the flow state, with our full attention.
- Habiting - using an already ingrained habit.
- Interrupting – the act of reminding to end a time demand immediately to start a new one.
- Switching – the act of completing one time demand, and then choosing to start another.
- Reviewing – the proactive checking of your system to identify broken processes or a backlog of time demands.
- Warning – getting advanced warning from your time management system that something is about to break.
Francis devotes a chapter to each topic and provides a detailed explanation of each skill. He also includes support from academic research sources as well as his own experience and insights from teaching time management and productivity training programs.
The book also provides a four step process to assess and improve your skills and achieve your productivity goals. The four-step process to achieve your productivity goals:
- Evaluate your current skill levels against “best in class” standards by utilizing assessment rubrics.
- Set targets to improve skills based on your personal needs and requirements.
- Develop a master plan to achieve your targets in an achievable manner over time.
- Create the personal habits and organizational environment to support the required changes.
He explains why much of the existing “time management” advice fails to achieve the desired result - which is because "we cannot manage time”!
He is clear that there are no “silver bullets” and that improving these skills is a difficult and at times a frustrating process.
He demonstrates how the select-use of technology can help streamline and improve the time-demand management process. The core skills he presents are technology-neutral and focused on improving human behavior, habits, interpersonal communication and cognitive skills.
Overall, Perfect Time-Based Productivity provides a useful and flexible framework that individuals can follow on their own productivity-improvement journeys.
I highly recommend Perfect Time-Based Productivity.
The book impressed me with the amount of research and detail that went into creating it.
It is available on Amazon as either a paperback or Kindle eBook.