Ever wish you had a map to show you how to avoid unnecessary busywork and focus on the work you know you were meant to do?  In this jam-packed little volume, Michael Bungay Stanier gives you just such a map–fifteen of them, in fact.  His starting premise, that “busy” is not a measure of success, gives him (and you!) latitude to take time working through the maps to find your “Great Work” and make it happen.  And the maps require a fair amount of work, as they’re mostly blank with instructions on how to fill them in according to your own likes, dislikes, work habits, and ideas.   (Got a library copy?  The maps are available for free at the author’s website.)

As well as maps that help you determine your which of your many great ideas should be your Great Work and how to go about doing it, the book is stuffed with short essays on related topics like not settling for Good Work when you could be doing Great Work (73), “How to Say No When You Can’t Say No” (90), and the virtues of laziness (85).  As Stanier writes, “Lazy people are often extremely efficient, because they look for the fastest, easiest way of doing things.”

Boring tasks getting in the way of your real work?  Stanier has tips to make them go away, or at least go faster.  The combination of visually-oriented map templates and inset text  from multiple prominent business authors and bloggers makes it easy to work through the book at an individual pace, especially for those of us with short attention spa–ooh, a bunny!  (Sorry.)Most importantly, working through the book forces you to articulate your ideas and determine specific actions to take that will turn them into reality, even if these steps will upset the proverbial applecart.  After all, “[i]f everyone’s happy, then you’re not doing Great Work.”  Take the time.  Do the maps.  Find your purpose.

Do More Great Work
Michael Bungay Stanier
New York: Workman Publishing, 2010

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