Internet is full of advice on time management and productivity. In fact, there are many paid e-books available on this topic.
Beat Stress, Boost Success is yet another one that teaches us about productivity and it is written by a time management coach Lucas Kleinschmitt of German Efficiency. However, this isn’t a “5 tips to make you more productive” type of quick tutorial – rather, a hefty 213 page e-book on personal productivity instead!
The sales letter promises: “In Beat Stress, Boost Success, you’ll get real hands-on practice in mastering the productivity pillars of planning, acting, and relaxing”.
So, did this premise hold true? Let’s find out!
Basic idea of this book
Lucas defines that there are three productivity pillars: plan, act or relax. These pillars are something every people possess, although for some people one certain pillar (or certain pillars) may be stronger than the other.
These main pillar types can be further refined into sub-types, which describe more accurately what personality type you are.
Once you have identified your productivity type, you can further focus on improving the weaker areas of your productivity.
Contents of this book
I. The Most Sought-After Skill In The World
Why self-management is important and how it can increase your personal productivity.
II. Something I Need To Tell You First
Not only is it important to read this book, but also ACT! Reading this information is not enough.
III. The 3 Productivity Pillars
This chapter describes three productivity pillars that I mentioned earlier.
IV. Which productivity type are you?
Learn what productivity type you belong to.
This chapter focuses on planning and how to make your plans more effective.
I. … Crush your limits with the Thursby test
Although I had heard about the Thursby test before, I wasn’t able to see the connection between that and personal productivity.
Now I understand and I have to admit that this idea is very compelling :)
II. Plan like a pro
This chapter shows how you can create “bullet-proof plans”. Basically this chapter links to additional material written for this book and contains a Power-Planning Blueprint for developing your own plans.
III. 3 common mistakes that make people fail
Lucas mentions three big mistakes that we usually do when it comes to productivity. They are inability to let go of projects, misinterpreting the 80/20 rule and decision making.
IV. Creating Systems Vol.1: Control your day
This chapter is the first of three ones devoted to creating solid systems to control your everyday life. The one on this chapter emphasizes the importance of daily planning and how to do it correctly (with the right tools).
V. Creating Systems Vol.2: Corporate case studies
The power of systems can be understood by looking how systems work in corporation environment and how these systems can be created in your personal life too.
VI. Creating Systems Vol.3: Control your information
Here you learn how to process information effectively – whether it is for example your e-mail messages or spoken word.
This part of the book focuses on taking action. Although you already know the basics of planning, it is not enough. Action is needed to put those plans into action.
This chapter lays ground for action so that your plans get executed.
I. How to get a kick start
Rituals are an effective way to kick start your day. One crucial part to incorporate to your morning ritual is working out.
Lucas shares information on equipment needed to do the workout but also what his workout looks like.
I agree with this advice 100%. I feel that I’m more alert at work if I work out before hitting the office.
II. 4 sure-fire steps to master your surroundings
Next topic covered is personal organization. The book explains why it is important to have your surroundings tidy and in order – whether it is your computer desktop, your physical work desk or your apartment.
This chapter describes some really handy ways to keep your stuff organized – like hyperlinks (!) or a certain tactic from professional logistics experts that keep your home tidy.
III. How to work in flow with laser focus
In order to keep yourself productive, you need to find ways to focus on your tasks. This chapter explains couple of ways to do that.
Also, this chapter includes a very handy tip to keep you uninterrupted when your work. Now that I read this I was thinking “How come I never thought this myself?” (Hint: this could be found on many towns and cities ;)
IV. What kind of people do you let into your life?
People you hang out with affect to your productivity and to your mindsets. That’s why it is important to choose your company wisely.
Instead of surrounding yourself with naysayers and other pessimistic people, Lucas shows how to surround yourself with positive and successful people instead.
V. Fight your fear
Fear has a big role when it comes to procrastination and decreased productivity. However, if you are willing to fight against your fears, the rewards could be very big. This is true both in business world and in personal life.
Lucas suggests a thing called courage coups, where you do something that stretches your comfort zone. He also lists things that you could try out to build your “courage muscles”.
I also like the concept “hack your reality” which can improve your confidence and get rid of your fears.
VI. How to stick your resolutions with KPI-Control?
In this chapter, Lucas introduces a tool that can keep you motivated and help you to reach your goals: KPI-Control.
To be honest, I had never heard of this before and in fact, when you see some hard figures on the paper related to your progress (or success), you are quite aware of your current path.
By the way… this tool could be used for example when forming a new habit. Give it a try!
Planning and action is all cool but you need to relax as well. This is what this chapter is all about.
I. Think energy
Energy management is the big component behind productivity. Without proper energy our daily efforts are much harder than what they need to be. It is also important to recharge your energy when it is running low.
II. Fuel your focus
It’s no secret that right nutrition and proper water drinking is a good way to keep your body healthy and productive.
This chapter focuses solely on this topic. I’m glad that Lucas included this as part of this e-book, since the matter cannot be underestimated.
III. Refresh yourself with the right breaks
Finally, you need to take breaks between your working sessions. This chapter talks about proper ways of taking them.
This is just a brief chapter with afterwords and a contact e-mail where you can reach Lucas.
What I liked:
Although I have read quite a bit of time management advice, watched videos on this topic and listened podcasts, I was still happy to realize that I learned new ways to improve my productivity.
Some of the new stuff was quite clever (like hyperlinking in section Act, part II or KPI-Control in Act, part VI) and they were completely new things to me.
Also, I loved the way that productivity types were defined in the beginning. This helps to see the points where one could focus more (planning, acting or relaxing).
This book covers major areas of anyone’s life when it comes to productivity. If you can improve these areas, you become unstoppable J. To make the “improving” part even easier, there are action steps described after each chapter.
What could be improved:
Although the content in this book is solid, I would like to see this book for example in Amazon Kindle format. The reason is that reading 213 pages from your computer screen may not be the most user-friendly way to go through the e-book. Yes, I did it, but I was tied to my computer and the readability suffered a bit.
Anyway, I still think that this is a minor weakness and the solid content in this book will help you to improve your productivity!
I can now verify the statement I mentioned at the beginning of this review as true: “In Beat Stress, Boost Success, you’ll get real hands-on practice in mastering the productivity pillars of planning, acting, and relaxing”. It’s just your responsibility of take action on the given advice!
So, go ahead and get this book now! It is full of actionable and easy to implement advice to improve your personal productivity!
Basic book information:
Author: Lucas Kleinschmitt
Your next tasks:
1. Put this blog post into action!
- Grab this e-book!
- Read it and implement what Lucas teaches you!
2. Share your experiences and tips on the comment area:
- Do you own this book? Have you read it?
- Share your experiences of this e-book!
3. Spread the word:
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