Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Review #5: Five Seconds at a Time

I mentioned in my last post that I have recently joined the #sareads group through Goodreads (which, by the way is an awesome way to track readings and receive recommendations for new books). The first book for this group is Five Seconds at a Time, written by Denis Shackel (with Tara Bradacs) in 2010.

Shackel begins this book with a tragic personal experience, and how he survived almost insurmountable odds by breaking the challenge down into manageable bites, five seconds at a time. The author then continues by applying the techniques which helped him survive to a basic leadership model.
The Five Seconds at a Time Technique:
Breathe and pause to reflect on the goal, how you feel and whether you are still headed in the right direction. 
Prioritize what's most important
Break down top priorities into manageable intervals or tasks with specific timelines assigned to each
Acknowledge when tasks along the way have been accomplished and reward yourself when they have
A nice part of this book is that at the end of every section, Shackel encourages readers to 'take five seconds' with points to ponder, quotes to remember, and questions to consider.

All in all, the tools and techniques outlined in this book are simple enough for anyone to begin incorporating into their daily life. The only complaint I have is that much of the narrative is faith-based, and although I respect that faith played an enormous role in allowing the author to survive his ordeal, I'm not convinced that every element of leadership also directly linked to a reader's faith.

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