Here are articles on structure

Giving feedback: is the “sandwich” valuable, or trite and ineffective?

Conventional wisdom has it that you should sandwich negative feedback between two pieces of positive feedback. You can read about “the hamburger method” here.

Shelle Rose Charvet points out that most people already know the method. Now, when they hear positive feedback, they simply bypass it and wait fo the shoe to drop (then they ignore the final piece of positive feedback, which is obviously just there to soften the negative feedback). She advocates giving feedback in a way that avoids direct negative statements yet still accomplishes the goal, to stimulate behavior change. You can read Shelle Rose Charvet’s “The Feedback Sandwich is Out to Lunch.”

What do you think? If I were to include a “giving feedback” method in the Get-it-Done Guy book, which do you think would be best to include?

Organizing an 80,000 word book: my current process and thoughts

Writing a Get-it-Done Guy episode is easy. I have one main point and usually 2-5 quickie subpoints. The whole episode fits in my head at once and it’s easy to try out different phrasing, etc. Also, since I’m writing the script and reading it back, talking through a concept out loud works well. It gives me a nice article that will sound good when read as a podcast.

An 80,000-word book is different, though…

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What would make this book unique?

A friend asked a very good question: how will my book be different from the other productivity books on the market?

My intent is to provide tips that cover a wide range of emotionally-powerful issues that have simple, behavioral solutions that impact people’s feelings of happiness and success. To me, the point is to live a happy life, and my tips are oriented around the elements of productivity that contribute to happiness, not simply to making your boss richer.

Yet even this positioning isn’t exactly unique. Covey’s Seven Habits does life-success disguised as business productivity as well.

What I know is unique is that (a) my tips sometimes take a perspective that no one else has, and (b) my literary “voice” is a lot more fun than most of the business books out there.

Is that enough? Any thoughts on what could make this book unique, given the podcasts of mine you’ve heard?

Organization: by problem

Between the tweets, the comments here, and the e-mail I’ve received, I’m moving ahead organizing by problem. The working idea is:

  • A chapter discussing and framing the problem/opportunity of productivity.
  • A chapter introducing several high-level tools and concepts.
  • Then several chapters that take a large problem and give tips to address different aspects. For example: beating procrastination, keeping on top of e-mail, building stronger relationships at home/work, etc.

How should the book be organized?

How should the book be organized? My goals:

  1. Casual browsers should be able to pick up and find something useful.
  2. Keep people reading.
  3. Be intriguing enough that Ellen, Oprah, John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Larry King, the Today Show, etc. are fighting over who gets to interview me first.

Organize by bio

Come meet Stever. My background is a tad unusual (grew up in a traveling New Age commune). Organize the tips around my personal bio, similar to Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. People love people stories…

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