I especially liked the first half of the book. I’d say I would give 5 stars to the first four chapters and four stars for the rest. I felt like the second half was partially repeating the first, and at the same time, it felt less convincing and slightly off-topic. But what I just said does not diminish the fact that this book is AWESOME! For me, it was also extremely timely – just when I felt completely burned down.
Interestingly, I knew most of the things this book is talking about many years ago. I knew that even when we have an 8-hour workday, the actual time we can produce the intellectual results is not more than four hours a day. I knew that switching from time to time your attention to something which is not “work” helps the thinking process. I knew that when you work too much and too hard, your body becomes less immune and more prone to all sorts of illnesses.
I knew it all, but after I joined my current company, where I really wanted to do all the things I wanted, and it was too much of these things, I started to think that if it is not “somebody” which makes me work more, but I, then “it does not count.” I do not know whether anybody can make any sense out of the last sentence :), but at least I know what I meant to say :))
Another thought which resonated with me a lot was about “me” and “everybody else.” Devon Price says that most of the people he interviewed for this book would agree that “people in general” are not lazy, but they would say: but I am REALLY lazy. For me, it was “nobody has to work overtime, and it is unproductive anyway,” but “I” CAN work long hours, because “I” have a very special attitude, and since I WANT it, not like somebody MAKES me, I will be productive. Maybe now that timing was right, but I took it in this time. Even before I finished the book, I resolved to make changes to the way I work now, monitor how many hours I spend working, and not allow my direct reports and people around me to work long hours. It is unproductive and sometimes dangerous.
And the final takeaway from this book was about stopping “saving” people. Once again, I knew for a while that I rush into “saving” people way too often. Recently, I started to distinguish between people who need just a little push or simply encouragement and people who need me to listen to their complaints about everything that goes wrong with their lives. It’s nothing wrong with complaining; I just started to realize that there are people who are not looking for ways to improve their situation but need to complain just for the sake of complaining.
To summarize, by the time I turned the last page, I had a whole bunch of resolutions, and I also liked the author’s personality and writing style a lot!