Book Review: Focus – Stephen Covey

I’m not sure you can actually get this book in print. It was one of my Audible Downloads. Just due to the nature of my work and lifestyle, I find audio books a great way to keep up with the latest business literature. Fantastic on the bus, in the train, whilst driving – although the girls would disagree 🙂

“Focus” is like the “7 Habits” delivered in an 8 hour course. Stephen only cameos occasionally to drive home a point, and the rest of the course is delivered by one of the senior Franklin-Covey Trainers.

So like “7 Habits,” the points are concise, valid, and well, effective. Unlike the “7 habits,” you get the gist of the methodology in less than 8 hours.

Some things I got from the book:

You can’t manage time, You can’t slow time, You can’t avoid time. Time passes relentlessly”

“Proactively understand your diverse Roles first (husband, father, businessman, coach etc), Then plan your weekly goals for each of these, then determine tasks.”

Do this weekly on a Sunday afternoon, adjust tasks daily.”

Don’t ever plan appointments or tasks for more than 65% of a day – that’s all you get given common distractions”

Sharpen the Saw – i.e. Practice, learn, stay fit”

I think that Stephen has a Process Communication style preference, or has created that through training. Which is great, but some of us don’t take to process easily. Whilst this methodology has some great ideas and tidbits for managing yourself and your goals (remember, you can’t manage time), it needs more work for people with other preferences (e.g. Analytic, Creative, Empathetic).

I was hoping for something to help me define my focus, rather than be effective in a sea of noise. My problem wasn’t getting things done, so much as determining the right things to do in the first place. For that, this book is of no help whatsoever.

That being said, books don’t change the world, students do. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ineffective, and everything is “Urgent” if not “Important.” I.e. stressed, you’d do very well to read this book.

If you teach, assist, or consult to people in getting organised – this is a valuable resource.

Rog42’s Rating Index (RRI) ****

  1. Readability ****
  2. Novel Learning ***
  3. Influence of Change ****

Buy, Borrow, or Ignore List? “Borrow” – Better off buying “Seven Habits”

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