I've read endless books on these topics, but when I ask myself if I've discovered many new and useful techniques after so much reading, my answer is "no."
The more recent books on these topics have basically recycled the same old truths in new packages for different audience segments. So, there are time management books written for working women, conflict resolution books written for employees or bosses, and customer service books for "dummies" or "idiots" (that cover the rest of us).
Now perhaps you think I'm just being cynical or maybe I've missed a revolutionary new book. But I challenge you to show me any work that's really new and different, that's not just a popularization or restatement of the original material.
I challenge you to show me a better book on time management than Alan Lakein's classic book, How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life (1973). Everything you need to know about prioritizing your life and your projects can be found in that little book. And a book that shows women how to use Lakein's "ABC" technique or a book that tells you how to use that technique on your laptop or your phone is not any better than the original.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you might prefer a book that speaks to your particular needs as a woman or a techie, for example. But the fundamental truths of Lakein's book, such as prioritizing your projects and disciplining yourself, still hold true, no matter how they're packaged.
In my next post, I’ll continue with other examples and comment on the least taxing way to stay up to date.