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Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead by Example

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  410 ratings  ·  46 reviews
How to make better decisions and achieve your goals What shapes a person's career and life, and defines them as a leader? Their decisions. We all want to be more productive and deliver our best results. But doing this effectively--and consistently over time--is a significant challenge. Managing it all is hard, and leading in today's hyper-paced world is even harder.

The goo
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 3rd 2014 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  410 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Naomi Young
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm fascinated by the negative and lukewarm reviews here that describe this book as "just common sense" and "the same as all the other time management books." While they are right to a certain extent, "common sense is not so common," to be sure. And what I like about this framing of the same basic principles is that his way of explaining them sticks with me.

What this book spells out more explicitly than others seem to is that there are many things we can't delegate or put off indefinitely, that
Aug 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
I almost never give up on a book before finishing it, but I couldn't keep going on this one. I made it about halfway through. The book is one idea, dragged out over 190 pages. This one idea is something that anyone who has ever thought about productivity for more than half a second is already aware of. Here it is: motivation consists of carrots and sticks... and carrots work better. Gasp! He manages to drag this out into an entire book by adopting all of the worst self-help and motivational spea ...more
Teri Temme
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great time management tips and I am always glad to be reminded about Opportunity Costs!

I like his definition of Work/Life Balance - "Balance is a feeling you get when you are satisfied with where you are and where you are going in life."

Also: "Management is keeping things the way they are today. (maintenance). Leadership is moving things forward from where they are today. (Improvement)."

Fantastic distinctions.
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reflection, business
This book should be useful for someone whose job and life need some direction, Steve gives many tips and tools to be more effective at work and keep up with an effective agenda.

Managing = maintenance, what you have to do to avoid pain, to keep things working.

Leading = improving, enhancing.

Moreover, he talks a lot about cost of opportunity. Although it's a concept many already have in mind, he gives some interesting examples.

Not a book I enjoyed and it isn't useful to be at this moment of my lif
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yes, there is repetition. But don't let this distract from the main message of the book, which is quite important. There must be more to life. And there is. If you let the drudgery of day-to-day life responsibilities takeover, they will. They always do. Using the suggestions in this book, you can build a slimmer of light in your day, which, with time, can become sunlight. But, you must consciously decide to do it. McClatchy gives you the tools and way forward needed. ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book with many great take-aways. The one that's stayed with me the most, though, is that you don't move ahead in your job or in life by just doing what you're expected to do really well. You move forward by doing the additional things—the "A tasks," as McClatchy calls them. For example, straight As alone don't get you into Harvard. Straight As and lots of extracurriculars might (along with inventing a cure for cancer, discovering a new mammal, and having a father who went there doesn't ...more
Erin Fortune
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book with some great ideas on how to improve your time management and work smarter, and how to schedule in tasks that actually help you move forward instead of continuing to tread water. Definitely recommend to anyone!
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-read
This was a wonderful book. I had the pleasure of hearing Steve speak at an event and the book closely resembles the talk. A lot of good time management tips and eye openers.
Katharine Rudzitis
Jun 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
If you have any common sense, don't bother! I can't think of one thing I learned from this book that would help me. ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
A few interesting points in here. Yes it's repetitive, you quickly get the idea that there are a handful of big ideas he's working to explain in several different ways. But they are useful. ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Makes a few arguments about how to best use your time. As some reviews have pointed out, these aren't exactly ground-breaking insights, but maybe this book will be the impetus that gets the reader to finally put those "common sense" things into practice.

I found it super repetitive - I get the feeling the author had a few key points to make and then had to stretch those ideas to fill a book.

Some of the arguments were:
* you're probably prioritizing day-to-day, "have-to" tasks more than you should
Viewpoints Radio
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: viewpoints_radio
Does it ever seem like the more you try to get stuff done, the less you accomplish? It may be that you’re expending too much energy on doing and not enough planning ahead of time. This week on Viewpoints, Steve McClatchy provides simple strategies you can use to make more of the time you have to get things done. Listen here: ...more
Lisa Massaro
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be like a "getting things done for beginners". Which, honestly, was really pleasant to read. GTD is great, but can be overwhelming, especially for those of us who don't regularly read business books.

Decide explains how to find fulfillment and establish your goals, as well as some practical tips for prioritizing tasks and staying organized. It is easy to read and doesn't overwhelm. I'm looking forward to scheduling some Gain into my day!
Chris Miller
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I have read other productivity books which were more detailed in some areas, but I think this book did a better job of highlighting why I work so much but don't get enough of the "right" things done. I thought McClatchy's concepts of Preventing Pain and realizing Gain were right on the mark, and I have been doing too many Prevent Pain tasks. I would recommend this book to anyone who has been struggling with balancing their work and personal lives, or anyone that is co ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not really about the decision making process so much as time allocation and prioritization. All in all, McClatchy puts together a solid pragmatic approach to ensuring we make time for the rewarding things we “want to do” in life while avoiding getting avalanched by all the things we “have to do.” I also enjoyed his philosophical rumination on time.
Cari Borchert
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fic, motivational
This book basically puts a name or term to principles I already try to live by. But it is a great recommendation for those who feel they are victim to their "busy" schedule, indecision, or discontent. ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I have to agree with others, the premise is a good one but it probably could have been wrapped in fewer chapters. Found myself skimming some sections. Overall, it was a quick read and I will take the general premise and put it to work.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Near the end of the book you find out it's really just another Getting Things Done system wrapped in the guise of how to make better decisions. ...more
Lesley Looper
It took me a long time to finish this book, but I did get some nuggets out of it. I'm fascinated by to-do-list iPhone apps, and following the book's advice, I really just need to pick one. ...more
Agnes Roantree
This book did a good job of convincing me to start a calendar/be better organized, and it was a quick read, but that's about it. ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really liked it an insight of what could be accomplished with simple and sustainable steps to balance your life and feel less stress for all unfinished and "urgent" tasks at work and in life. ...more
yi guo
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book to read

Great book to read and inspire people to define personal identity and be a leader who can make things better everyday.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Employing the simple tool of a calendar as an able ally, Steve McClatchy exhorts the reader to make the transition from a capable manager to a transformer (not the Optimus Prime breed though). The effectiveness of a leader is simply the cumulative outcome of his decision making skills. Decisions are essentially of two generic kinds - decision to do a particular thing, or a decision to not do a particular thing.

However at times there are acts which one 'need not do', such as influencing societal
Gerald Jerome
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
There's helpful material and though it's already a short read I feel it could be even further condensed, though I feel that way about a lot of things. The main point of the book is covered early on: whatever we spend our time on is a choice to prioritize that action over all other possible actions. There are two types of actions in life, ones that prevent pain and ones that contribute to gain. The ones that prevent pain are obligatory and help maintain the status quo. The actions that contribute ...more
Andrea James
Jul 20, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book would be about the processes of decision-making but its angle is focused more on productivity and time management. Yes, our decisions do affect how we manage what we do from moment to moment and I agree decision-making is an integral part of our lives (it's one of the reasons I've chosen to specialise in this subject). However, I still think it is a somewhat misleading title.

One of the book's main thrusts is the difference between doing something for "gain" or doing something
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wish I really could keep this book, and if I ever find it at a yardsale, I will want to own it. It's not a book to read quickly, at least not for me, because deciding is difficult for me. I needed the encouragement to get moving, which means deciding and then taking action. This book helped a lot. I'm much less "stuck", more able to let go and let God, more able to let go of belongings and ideas that aren't furthering my life in the directions I would like to go... which means of course that I ...more
Amy Haydu
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For anyone with time management issues, this is the book for you. A new way to look at your daily tasks, and what you would like to do to improve your life. I'll look at the laundry in a whole new way going forward. Prevent pain vs. gain - management vs. leadership - great concept!!

I read this book because I'm attending a book club tonight for the 1st time at my local independent bookstore. I'm looking forward to the discussion & the networking opportunity.
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great tips on how to balance your time between those things that just have to be done but don't enrich your life (such as taking out the trash) and the things that really make life worth living (personal development goals). The main points are repeated throughout, so it could have been condensed a bit, but overall an enjoyable read and the takeaways are easy to remember. ...more
This book is like Getting Things Done, with a behavioral explanation for why the system works. It starts out with the psychological explanation and quickly delves into a self-help book. Probably helpful for indecisive people (one of whom I am not).
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the concept of gain/pain as it applies to setting priorities, making time for activities that provide gain over maintenance. Easy read, easy to understand. I think thus is one of the best books I've read all year. ...more
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