The Fortune Book Club Book Review: Extreme Production
Title: Extreme Production
Author: Craig Burgess
Extreme Production isn’t just another productivity fad. It’s a lifestyle. Once you recognise that hard work alone is all that stands in the way between where you are and where you want to be, you’ll realise there is no other way to live.
Extreme Production isn’t the traditional personal development or self-help book you may be used to. In fact it’s not really a self-help book at all (as it states on the cover). It’s more like a memoir of Burgess’ experiences of consistent hard work over the span of 12 years. It just has that sort of motivational/inspirational air to it, even though it’s about the complete opposite – discipline.
Craig Burgess isn’t likely a name you’ve come across, so you may wonder why you should even care about his life lessons, but bear with me.
At heart, Extreme Production is a love letter to consistency, an ovation to discipline and an ode to hard work. Through myriad examples, Burgess proves how consistent hard work trumps well meant plans time and time again. He explains how by doing daily year-long challenges he’s seen massive improvements across his health, fitness, confidence, relationships and career, highlighting that above all else, hard work is the key to success.
The fact that Burgess is just another ‘regular Joe’, makes this message much more impactful. While we might hear the same thing being taught in other books, such as The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, the fact that it’s coming from an already well established, publicly flamboyant, multi-millionaire individual, might make you cynical. However, hearing it from a peer instead makes you listen. You end up thinking ‘this guy might actually be on to something…’.
Moreover, as a self-published author Burgess isn’t trying to fulfil someone else’s agenda – he’s not restricted by the editorial red tape. This creates more of a sense of honesty and openness that leads to a better connection between author and reader. This is evident through the many colloquialisms and occasional expletives scattered throughout.
This brutal honesty is probably another reason why the book hit home. As a longtime fan of self-help and personal development books, it’s quite easy to see things through rose-tinted glasses. As such, it was refreshing to be told the truth – motivation, inspiration, positivity etc. are good to get the ball rolling but they don’t stick around to see the job get done.
However, occasional grammar, spelling and formatting errors litter the otherwise pristine monochromatic layout and I was a bit peeved that part of the book had been taken directly from his blog. While this doesn’t affect the book’s content, this ultimately led to the book not being given a five star rating.
To conclude then, Extreme Production is an enthralling and novel perspective on the powers of consistency and hard work. Craig Burgess is comical, colloquial and convincing, in his debut anti self-help book – 4/5.
If you’d like to buy the book, you can do so here.
Since Extreme Production is about doing more consistently, take action and start doing some of these key pointers from the book:
- Create a list of things you want to do. Choose one. Start doing it.
- Think long term not short term. Think in years rather than days.
- Set a challenge for the year and stick to it. Don’t rely on motivation or inspiration, but be disciplined to see it through.
- Create a list on non-negotiable tasks that have to be completed every day no matter what.
- Find someone to keep you accountable to what you’re hoping to achieve.
- Learn to understand yourself. Understand what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. Identify whether the stuff you’re not really good at is something you want/need to improve on and then set out to do it.
- Get into the mindset of generating ideas – the best ideas only start coming after the first 200.
- Read daily.
- Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower – Ed Latimore
- Discipline Equals Freedom – Jocko Wilink
- The One Thing – Gary Keller