Books of 2019 – Number 5 – The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey


My book selection repertoire tends to be a mishmash of history-related non-fiction, but I also love me some self-help type books. I am open to how they make me think about how I may want to change how I think, act, do things, and generally conduct my life.

My number 5 book for the year falls in that category. Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project  – Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention and Energy, is the culmination of his year of productivity experimentation. For 365 days he put himself through a multitude of evidence-based experiments to see how and if it improved his ability to be productive. Bailey wrote about his year on a blog, and that led to the offer to write this book. The book details the winners that he culled from the experiments.

There is nothing groundbreaking in the pages of this book, but I can always use a good dose of coming face to page with the things that I know are useful, but that I slack on. My brain also benefits from a clear breakdown of why some of the things that I know I should be doing, could actually work. Time, attention and energy are the three components of productivity that Bailey identifies and highlights throughout.

Chapters of the book each focus on a takeaway and offer a challenge. One that I have tried to incorporate in my routine this year is what he calls his rule of three. Each morning – before any work is started – look forward to the end of the day and write down the three things that I want to have accomplished by the end of the day. I have been about 50/50 in actually doing this. When I do it, I think that it makes me more intentional during my day. When I don’t do it, I think I’m a loser (not really that bad, but I do wish I had done it).

Other challenges range from diet/nutrition, sleep, externalizing tasks and creating a maintenance schedule to review, and gratitude identification. I appreciated so many topics in a single book, and I have dog-eared and high-lighted what resonated with me. It definitely can’t hurt.


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