Recommended Reading

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping

by Robert M. Sapolsky
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., LLC

Synopsis: Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers is an in-depth look at the science of stress. It explains the physiological responses that occur and how chronic stress contributes to and/or causes a myriad of both physical and mental conditions.

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Review: The information is both fascinating and disturbing as you understand how humans have evolved to handle stress less effectively than their animal counterparts. Why Zebras Don’t’… provides tremendous insight for anyone who needs to deal with people and is funnier and more engaging than you ever thought possible for a book written by a professor of biology and neurology (no offense intended). Sapolsky’s style is informative and highly entertaining – there are comments and explanations that will have you laughing out loud

What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People

by Joe Navarro
Publisher: Harper-Collins Publishers, In

Synopsis: Navarro unlocks the keys to nonverbal behavior by using real-world examples from his time as an FBI agent. The books is divided into chapters which focus on a particular part of the body. The concepts are further illustrated by photographs.

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Review: While Navarro constantly reminds the reader that mastering “people-reading” in this fashion is both an art and science that takes plenty of practice, the book does a good job of showing how it can be used and what to look for. The examples are interesting and relevant and serve to raise your awareness of this discipline.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

by Timothy Ferriss
Publisher: Crown Publishers

Synopsis: A manifesto on Ferriss’ chosen lifestyle and how to achieve it for yourself. Ferriss starts by discussing why the deferred-life plan (i.e., putting your life on hold while you work toward retirement) is no longer necessary and how you can use time and mobility to create the New Rich lifestyle.  The later part of the book explores his method for setting up a business that provides a passive-income stream while requiring very little attention.

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Review: Interesting and thought-provoking.  The 4-Hour Workweek is fun to read and does contain new approaches and perspectives on how to get more out of life.   However, Ferriss does assume that everybody shares his dislike of work (having a job is bad) and that we all want what he wants.  His discussion of time management hinges heavily on the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule (a powerful concept but hardly on new ground here) and his process for starting a successful business is rather oversimplified.

The Effective Executive

by Peter Drucker
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Synopsis: Drucker states, quite succinctly, that “this book rests on two premises:  [that] the executive’s job is to be effective; and [that] effectiveness can be learned.”  He explains that while that efficiency is the yardstick by which we measure manual tasks, effectiveness is the gauge by which we measure knowledge workers (i.e., executives) and that it is the executive’s job to learn to be effective.

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Review: Astute and concise, Drucker reminds us that it is all about getting the “right things done”.  He begins with an executive’s ability to manage himself and then moves to discussions on prioritizing, delegating and decision-making.  A timeless classic, Drucker’s observations and advise are as relevant today as the day they were written.  Just the 4-page section entitled Priorities and Posteriorities more than makes up for the price of admission.

Time Tactics of Very Successful People

by B. Eugene Griessman
Publisher:  McGraw-Hill, Inc.

Synopsis: B. Eugene Griessman took the approach of interviewing hundreds of “successful people” (e.g., Stanley Marcus, Gloria Steinem, Charles Schulz, Mary Kay Ash, Malcolm Forbes, Jr., etc.) to learn which time management secrets have contributed to their success. The book is organized in short, easy-to-read chapters which focus on a particular area.

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Review: The real-world stories and anecdotes make this an informative as well as entertaining choice. Although not designed to provide dramatic earth-shaking changes, the book contains plenty of suggestions and tactics that can be adopted, a few at a time, to noticeably increase effectiveness.

How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life

by Alan Lakein.
Publisher: Signet

Synopsis: A practical, easy-to-read guide, Lakein shows you how to, literally, get control of your time and your life. He focuses on day-to-day behaviors that help to manage to-do lists, establish priorities and deal with time wasters. He also spends some time discussing how to discover short- and long-term goals and how to work towards them.

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Review: Lakein packs a tremendous amount of information into this small 160-page paperback. This truly is a practical, easy-to-read guide filled with specific recommendations and exercises that will help you to get control. Once you read this book, you’ll know why Alan Lakein is considered to be the “father of time management”.