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The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
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The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  5,484 ratings  ·  560 reviews
A fresh, personal, and entertaining exploration of a topic that concerns all of us: how to be more productive at work and in every facet of our lives.
Chris Bailey turned down lucrative job offers to pursue a lifelong dream—to spend a year performing a deep dive experiment into the pursuit of productivity, a subject he had been enamored with since he was a teenager. After
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Crown Business
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Amir Tesla
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: productivity
This book envelopes many great ideas that have proven to make you more productive and are results of one year engagement with numerous experiments from the author. If you value efficiency, meaning, control, discipline, growth, freedom, learning, and knowledge, this is the book for you.

What's so cool and inspiring about this book is that Chriss Bailey the author takes a year off to try and test a wide spectrum of ideas and observe how they affect his productivity and that's actually what makes th
Katie Bruell
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I would like to re-read this every 6 months until it's burned in my brain. So much good advice. It really got me thinking about a lot of different aspects of my work and life. It's so much more than just making better use of your time.
Victoria Meyer
Apr 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
I have never found an author's personality more revolting than Bailey's. Sure, he has a few good tips here and there, but it didn't make up for the fact that he started writing this book his first year out of college, never having had a full-time, permanent, big-boy job. He's just some rich white asshole who had enough money to tour Europe and take a year off from working to do nothing but write a book and some blog posts. Of course he's productive, it's easy to be productive when nothing bad ev ...more
If you’re someone who’s looking for ways to be productive, then ‘The Productivity Project’ is for you. This book is a summary of the author’s research and experiments on productivity over the course of a year or the compilation of techniques to boost productivity that actually worked. The chapters were short and the author also provided a takeaway and an estimated time in front of each chapter which seems fitting to the project! While explaining his techniques, the author also cited various inte ...more
Gautam Soman
Nov 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
It's sad that Goodreads doesn't allow for half-star ratings, and it's ironic that a book about productivity should turn out to be a colossal waste of our time. The author claims to have spent one YEAR trying out and refining the productivity tips and techniques, but I am sorry to report that he shouldn't have bothered.
The few worthwhile pointers the book contains are either covered in other books in much better detail (Getting Things Done by David Allen, for example) or are really common sense
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read productivity books like other people read the Bible. You've heard it all before. You believe most of it is true. You need constant reminders of why it's true and why it's worth knowing.

Chris Bailey's book is no different. He pulls together some great information about productivity based on his year-long project, much of which, are things I have read before (Getting Things Done) and many things I have suspected to be true (multi-tasking is bad and meditation is good).

I am fortunate enough
Isaac Jourden
Jul 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
I just returned my first ever Audible audiobook: The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey.

It's pretty much a handful of basic tips everyone knows (stop watching so much TV, stop using the internet so much) and fluff.

If you want the equivalent of this book, just google "best ways to be productive" and read for 20 minutes. The claim is that he spent a year "researching productivity full time." What he really did was decide not to get a job, read articles online about being productive, and blog a
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Some useful ideas, buried in a lot of redundancy.
Dr. Tobias Christian Fischer
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
How should you position yourself in a project? You can either be a monk or a broker - or in other words said: you should find your balance between work hard, play hard. The book has great parts and is well-written.
Nick Bachusky
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
such a great book with many takeaways, should be required reading in high school!
Mar 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I couldn't get past his writing and style. I prefer GTD as a productivity book.
On the good side, it is a fairly comprehensive review of many aspects of living 'productive' life - sleep, clean eating, exercises, mindfulness, offloading stuff from your head, etc. If I was looking for a one book to recommend that covers most of the important subjects, I may pick it. Not saying, it's the best for this purpose, but it will do the trick.

On the bad side... I'm tired of books targeting neophytes. Yes, I understand that there are substantially more people, who are just starting to
Cindy Pham
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny, insightful, and honest, Bailey tries out all the methods for increasing productivity and reports back on what works so that we don't have to go through the trial and error process. He breaks things down in manageable chunks for activities to try, and even gently compromises with readers who are resistant to some of the activities (aka me). Most commendably, he puts value to mindfulness and encourages us to reflect and think about the deeper reasons behind wanting to be productive beyond r ...more
Regina Pfohl
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
All very informative and many good tips and many stats, if you're into those as well. The author does lose some credibility when going through his "typical" day which is perfectly planned and productive and does not involve one other person besides himself. So, yeah, probably not the read for a busy mom juggling career, household, kids, husband, meetings, and the forever-arising pop-up crisis. I'm still waiting for the treatise on how to be productive when your life is one unexpected demand afte ...more
Chris Farrugia
Nov 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book yet it is a series of productivity "experiments" as he calls them and without any hypothesis other than, "this may make me more productive." Drink only water. Groundbreaking. Watch 70 hours of TED talks in a week. Brilliant. I hope my sarcasm didn't fall on deaf ears.

The biggest issue with this book is that it is written by a kid. He doesn't have a job--in fact, he mentions right in the beginning of the book that he was offered a couple of jobs and turned them d
Jordan Shirkman
Like almost all productivity books (why do I keep reading them?) it’s a mixed bag of helpful (turn doing your taxes into a fun process), unhelpful (overemphasis on Buddhist practices), and completely absurd tips (stop drinking coffee for pleasure).

Some things I especially liked: making a maintenance task list of recurring low-brain power tasks, asking “Did I get done what I intended?” each day, and trying to do a task in half the time you estimate it may take to motivate yourself to work more q
Books on Stereo
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
To be honest, I do not see the need in reading self-help books. Most of the knowledge is, to me, at least, common sense. Content-wise - I would give this book 1/5 stars. In terms of enjoyment, I would give it 3.5/5 stars. If you need help with becoming more productive (and you refuse to use common sense), I think this might be the book for you.
Ahmed Al-Harban
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked it, but it could be with less number of pages!

Thank you Chris, nice book and good experience :)

Lalit Rajendran
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-re-read, self-help
A concise summary of existing productivity techniques explained in an engaging manner. The author’s main thesis is that managing your energy and attention is more important that managing your time in the present day knowledge economy, and it is important to work deliberately.

The book is structured in a top down manner starting from clarifying the big picture (such as why you want to be productive - what will you do with the extra time?) all the way down to the nitty gritty. It also helps that th
Bruce Harpham
The productivity and time management genre has long been one of the most popular fields in business books. Bailey’s contribution is notable for his strong research, experimental approach and helpful exercises. In this review, I will discuss various aspects of the book that I found helpful and interesting.

The Three Productivity Factors: Time, Attention and Energy

In the modern knowledge economy, there are three key personal factors that drive productivity. Bailey explains that time, attention and
Kristen Kieffer
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF - 2 stars

I read about 100 pages of this book (roughly 30%) before I realized that–yes, while there were some good productivity tips included–I had to wade through pages and pages of information to find them.

If you're a person who is obsessed with productivity–not just the act of becoming productive, but the science and history and sociology behind it–this is the book for you. Have fun reading about the brain, about the beginning of time, about the industrial revolution and time zones and rai
George Batah
Sep 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Absolutely nothing here. A blog would have been more than enough. So repetitive, it bores you to death.
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey is both a survey of modern productivity tips and strategies as well as the author's experience as a guinea pig in a year long productivity experiment. Maximizing your personal productivity is highly important in the knowledge economy as your value to both your customers and clients emerges from your ability to deliver results rather than to punch a clock. The Productivity Project's answer to whether or not you can increase the amount of work you perform e ...more
Jul 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
If you prefer your information about productivity to come from anecdotes rather than scientific evidence, this book is for you. The young author (a recent college grad without a job, a family or a mortgage) spent a year "acting out" the conclusions of many productivity researchers. He worked hard to be productive, and wrote about it as he went. This is a classic example of "blog turned book." The book jacket reads, "Chirs Bailey...wrote over 216,000 words on the subject of productivity on his bl ...more
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, psychology
This is one of those rare books that I think everyone can gain something really practical from. Chris' writing style keeps you engaged and enjoying every turn of the page. He has a very interesting perspective on productivity that will make you feel totally psyched about trying all the tactics he outlines in his book. I'm not usually into reading books about "productivity", but this didn't feel like one - the writing style is so fun and anything but stuffy, but you still get so many useful insig ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a self-professed fan of productivity books so it may stand to reason that I'd naturally like every book on the topic. That's not necessarily the case; just stating it for the record. For instance I couldn't really take to one of Laura Vanderkam's books although I LOVE her blog and her podcast immensely.

Chris Bailey's book, on the other hand, is a book that everyone can read and relate to at different levels. I took my time with this book because I found a lot of tiny, actionable takeaways th
Tadas Talaikis
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Dropped it after getting main points. Everything is much simpler, in my opinion. I've just finished one year of working and learning 12-hour days, each day, no weekends, except several days off. Don't go into what I've done to not sound pathetic, but it's way way more than entire companies are doing in months, so such book is, meh, knows really nothing how to keep productivity and motivation easily. Meditation and yoga, funny, magic thinking, haha... Anyway, not saying it hasn't good points, lik ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Spoiler Alert)
First and foremost, in my opinion, this is one of the most complete books of productivity that I've ever read. Further I think that the first takeaway of the book is the fact that the society has changed from the time economy (how much you earn is directed proportional to how much hours do you work) to the knowledge economy (how much you earn is directed proportional to how much you accomplish/produce) and therefore the definition of productivity is much more about how much you ac
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book which finally focuses more on managing your attention and energy rather than on managing your time. Some of the tips were nothing new to me and might sound silly to people that are already into the topic of productivity, but I actually enjoyed how well-being and self-care in general is bound with productivity throughout the whole book.

The challenges within the book are great. Easy, straightforward and totally doable. There is little to no point in reading this book if you are not goin
Jan 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
Wanna get drunk real fast? Take a shot every time he says “work smarter not harder”. Obviously this book is geared towards men because of the annoying Mila Kunis is so hot comments and slut shaming people who take people home from bars. What do either of those have to do with productivity? Don’t know. Weird bro talk I don’t understand. I only read half of the book until I got fed up. Most interesting thing I learned was that people didn’t use clocks until the late 19th century.
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Chris Bailey is a productivity expert, and the international bestselling author of The Productivity Project, which has been published in eleven languages. His much-anticipated second book, Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction, comes out in September. Chris writes about productivity at, and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can b ...more

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