Review Of "The Age Of Speed" by Vince Poscente
Review by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
In today's atmosphere of hurry, hurry, get things done, make a list, manage your time, stress, stress, stress, Vince Poscente is a soft voice of reason and calm. He helps you put the global need for speed into a philosophical, acceptable, non-threatening context so you can embrace speed without allowing it to engulf you. So that you can leverage speed to give yourself a less hurried, more fulfilling life -- at work and at home.
Hurrying is not speed. Speed is not about you trying to do more and do it faster. It is about doing things with more natural efficiency so they get done sooner and more easily. Speed is about organizing and automating and delegating and outsourcing, so you have more time for yourself and that which is important. It's about not wasting time on stuff you don't have to do or don't do well and about doing the things you do well instead.
Poscente tells us why speed is important and necessary and to be welcomed. He cautions us to remember that speed is useful and valuable, but only under some circumstances. Under other circumstances, speed can be useless or even harmful. It is necessary for us to develop judgement about when and how to use speed or slow down. So he helps us reason our way to such judgement.
The book is about both understanding the need for speed -- and the when and where of it -- and the ways of attaining speed. Not the usual emphasis on specifics of schedules, to-do lists, files, and so on. But rather attitudes, perspectives, orientations and mental strategies. The essentials of flexibility and adaptability, of thinking creatively. The real "how-to" of the book is how to develop your thinking and feeling so that you accept the need for appropriate speed and become willing to use the practical tools to achieve it. Seek out the simplest, most effective ways of achieving it. Think in terms of its ease, benefits, enjoyment. For all involved.
Everyone who has counseled others on the need to use time management and productivity tools like calendars, to-do lists, brainstorming exercises, mind-mapping, "de-cluttering," streamlining and "Occam's Razor" exercises, has heard all the objections and resistances. The folks that need them most refuse to use them. Deny that they need them. Don't have time for them. The Age of Speed helps overcome the resistances through understanding and perspective. That is something that is missing in almost all "getting stuff done" kinds of books.
A final plus for the book: In aid of overcoming resistance to reading another book on time management and productivity, Vince Poscente assists his readers' speed by writing short, concise, to-the-point chapters that are easy and quick to read. He says what is most important first and he writes short explanations, anecdotes and examples. Age of Speed is a model of writing for the reader's comfort in both comprehension and speed.
Poscente has a helpful website and a blog at http://www.vinceposcente.com/