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To Think About . . .
Think big and act small. Leslie Koch
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« Daily Rituals | Main | New book on its way! »

What my new book "Secrets of Productive People" will be about

The main focus of the book will be the idea that productivity is the product of creativity and efficiency.

It’s the creativity part that tends to get neglected, as if productivity were just a matter of churning out as much work as possible.

I want to help the ordinary person - that’s you or me - to be able to approach the sort of results that the really productive people of history such as Newton, van Gogh or Henry Ford have achieved, albeit on a smaller scale. The message is that this sort of ability can be learned. It’s a matter of practice applied to correct methods of practice. The book will show you how.

Reader Comments (30)

This sounds great, Mark.
August 4, 2014 at 22:19 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
I like your reminder that creativity is important. I was inspired by the design/problem solving approach of
August 7, 2014 at 13:19 | Unregistered Commentermichael
That's great Mark! You said you'd be using the methods discussed in the book to do the actual writing of the book. Will you describe the process as you go along? If my memory serves me, you did that in "How to make your dreams come true", and it was brilliant, a great example of 'walking the talk'.
August 7, 2014 at 22:39 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret1

No I won't sadly. The book has a fixed layout which applies to all books in the series and which makes it impossible to employ that sort of narrative.
August 10, 2014 at 23:09 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Oh well, maybe it'll be a case of strict limits increassing creativity - which I think is another idea from one of your previous books! Best wishes.
August 11, 2014 at 7:51 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret1

Thanks for reminding me about that. I must include it in the book!
August 12, 2014 at 9:00 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
When is this being released?
Will it be available as an ebook and hardcopy?
August 14, 2014 at 9:35 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

Summer next year.

Yes, it will be available as an ebook and hardcopy.
August 14, 2014 at 9:47 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
How do you multiply two abstract concepts together?
August 16, 2014 at 23:06 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan Baljeu:

<< How do you multiply two abstract concepts together? >>

Easy. You give yourself a mark out of 10 for each of creativity and efficiency and then multiply them together. The product is your mark for productivity out of 100.

So if you consider yourself to have an 8 for creativity and a 4 for efficiency your score for productivity is 32.
August 18, 2014 at 0:15 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Great news - I still like a good old fashioned book. As someone once said about cash, "If you can't scratch a window with it I don't take it"!
August 19, 2014 at 9:57 | Unregistered CommenterBen H
Ben H:

Doesn't your Kindle/Smartphone scratch windows?
August 19, 2014 at 10:17 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Mark Forster: No, it runs IoS ;-) Hope the book writing goes well.
August 27, 2014 at 11:02 | Unregistered CommenterBen H
Mark: As in Synectics or Creative Problem Solving (CPS)?
August 28, 2014 at 21:24 | Unregistered Commentermichael

<< Mark: As in Synectics or Creative Problem Solving (CPS)? >>

I don't know. I'm not acquainted with either of them.
August 28, 2014 at 23:10 | Registered CommenterMark Forster is an interesting review and summary of approaches to creativity
August 29, 2014 at 19:01 | Unregistered Commentermichael
I like the way that, having told us that people are only creative in their own area of expertise, a few slides later he quotes Picasso (a man who died in 1973) on the subject of computers.
August 30, 2014 at 8:05 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Does any of it overlap with your new book?
August 30, 2014 at 15:07 | Unregistered Commentermichael

Inevitably there is some overlap, but I'd say on the whole that I'm on a different tack.
August 30, 2014 at 17:33 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I have dreamt about this. Getting a summary of genius methods sounds great ! Hope you will find these methods :-) and sure I will read it at a glance !
October 13, 2014 at 22:53 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
Balance productivity with presence

"Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living — for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, "how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

December 8, 2014 at 14:59 | Unregistered Commentermichael

<< The cult of productivity...[etc] >>

"Productivity has the rather negative image of rows of people churning out large quantities of work without much imaginative input into the nature of that work."

From page 1 of my new book (current draft).
December 8, 2014 at 22:57 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
The King of Brobdingnag was in favour of productivity:

... "And, he gave it for his Opinion, that whoever could make two Ears of Corn, or two blades of Grass to grow upon a Spot of Ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of Mankind, and do more essential Service to his Country than the whole Race of Politicians put together."

But according to Gulliver, the King's opinions tended to be provincial prejudices that no Englishman would be tempted by.
December 10, 2014 at 2:29 | Unregistered CommenterChris Cooper
Not just my ideas, as you can see.
December 15, 2014 at 21:24 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark,

I'm really looking forward to hearing more from you about the contents of your work and when it will be available.

'Hope you are enjoying life :)

Best regards
January 17, 2015 at 15:56 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I'm finishing the book at the moment (it has to be in by the end of the month). At the moment it's scheduled to be published "in Summer 2015".
January 17, 2015 at 17:21 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
One for the book?

"To battle bad behaviors then, one answer is to disrupt the environment in some way. Even small changes can help — like eating the ice cream with your nondominant hand. What this does is disrupt the learned body sequence that's driving the behavior, which allows your conscious mind to come back online and reassert control."

January 19, 2015 at 19:28 | Unregistered Commentermichael
Hi Mark,

Just curious - did you indeed get to finish the book and submit it to your publisher last month?

February 19, 2015 at 12:32 | Unregistered CommenterFintan

Yes, I did. It's been with the publisher's now since the beginning of this month. No further news to report.
February 19, 2015 at 15:08 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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