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Discussion Forum > Book club/discussion: Connections by Roger A. Merrill

For fans of 7 Habits... I'm going to be facilitating a discussion about a little known book by Roger A. Merrill (who co-authored 7 Habits & First Things First) entitled "Connections". If you'd like to take part, head over to the Productivity Guild and say so:
July 18, 2018 at 15:26 | Registered Commenteravrum
I have an old copy of that book. Thanks.
July 22, 2018 at 1:59 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Williams
Martin - so that’s two of us!

By far, it’s my favorite of the bunch. Would love to hear your thoughts about the book.
July 22, 2018 at 18:06 | Registered Commenteravrum
There's a copy of the book available on for £0.01 + £2.80 Delivery should anyone from the UK want to join the discussion.
July 22, 2018 at 18:16 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I purchased it for a similar price off of
July 23, 2018 at 14:23 | Registered Commenteravrum
I need to have a good look at it. I'll try to do it this week.
July 23, 2018 at 20:36 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Williams
Thank you Avrum letting us know about this book. I like the point about the difference between self-control and self-release, similar to "increase the likelihood it will happen".

I like what Mark said about goals. "ask yourself "If what I've done over this period is one hundred percent in accordance with my real goals, what would those goals have been?"
August 1, 2018 at 19:04 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Sorry, mate, but when I eventually got around to re-reading this book, I didn't like it. I hate to be a big black cloud, but there we are.

My favourite TM book, tediously, and flying in the face of this site's seminal principles, is...


There. I'm out and proud.
August 13, 2018 at 0:09 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Williams
No need to apologize, you found something that works for you.

Curious though, what specifically didn't you like about Merill's book?

I'm going to check out Lakein's work.
August 13, 2018 at 20:38 | Registered Commenteravrum
Rather than point at at a specific feature that I didn't connect with, I think it would be fairer to say that I didn't like the feel of it. And that's partly because it reminded me of Covey, which, of course, it foreshadows, and whose stuff I also dislike.

I think it's partly to do with the use of words like "vision" and "integrity". I just don't think of time management in that way. To me, it is a mechanistic thing. A purely practical matter.

If you do delve into Lakein, I suggest you re-read him several times. Despite the simple language, his book has layers, in that you find things in it that you missed earlier. At least I did. This is partly because he doesn't, it seems to me, make it clear whether he is presenting a unified system or a grab-bag of techniques. The truth is (I think) somewhere in between.

In my opinion, everything in GTD is prefigured in Lakein, though not systemised in the same way. In any case, the book is extremely good. A black book.
August 15, 2018 at 22:54 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Williams
<<I think it's partly to do with the use of words like "vision" and "integrity". I just don't think of time management in that way. To me, it is a mechanistic thing. A purely practical matter.>>

Ah - I can appreciate why that didn't work for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
August 15, 2018 at 23:15 | Registered Commenteravrum
I read both Merrill and Lakein, both with a chuckle because of the time periods. Written 1987 and 1974 receptively.

Merrill's idea about the Circle of Concern (concern, influence and focus) helps me mind my own business. The roles part did spark me to make a few phone calls.

Lakein is full of tips on staying with projects and avoiding procrastination. Similar to Mark's suggestions. The line between housewife and executive is long gone. The book is chewy and bears rereading.

They both spend lots of time on figuring out goals and schedules to do them in.

Thanks Arvum and Martin.
August 30, 2018 at 0:27 | Unregistered CommenterErin