The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working by Tony Schwartz, Jean Gomes, Catherine McCarthy

This book offers a great approach to the different ways to consistently increase your productivity. In late 2010 I wrote an article and presented a webinar on the work of Jim Lohr and Tony Schwartz of LGE Performance Systems and their book, The Power of Full Engagement.

The Power of Full Engagement is one of my ten favorite books in that it changed my focus from capitalizing on my time to capitalizing on my energy. In other words, gaining more from quality time versus the quantity of time in relation to performance results.

Over the years I have read books written by both Jim and Tony based on my enthusiasm for their original book even though they are no longer together.

Two of Jim’s later books that I have found of interest over the years are:

The Power of Story which discusses how the stories we tell about ourselves (our self-talk) impact our performance, and

The Only Way to Win which addresses how character traits including core values are central to our internal motivation for achievement.

Tony Schwartz’s book The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working is, in my opinion, is as good as The Power of Full Engagement. Why? Because it focuses on several concepts directly applicable to us as traders such as:

Whole-Brain Thinking as discussed in Chapter 16 – Cultivating the Whole Brain. The primary take-away being how to capitalize on both hemispheres of your brain individually and collectively.

The importance of sleep in Chapter 5 – Sleep or Die. The primary take-away for me in this chapter was the authors statement, based on numerous studies was “No single behavior, we’ve come to believe, more fundamentally influences our effectiveness in waking life than sleep.” To learn more and how to manage your sleep habits, read ‘The Simplest Solution’ in Chapter 5.

Beyond night time sleep is important also and discussed in Chapter 6 – Making Waves. The primary take-away being ‘renewal or rejuvenation’ via focus intervals, naps, and periods of disconnect.

Wellness through managed physical exertion in chapter 7 – Use It or Lose It. The primary take-away being how to structure a workout program that meets the necessary requirements of physical fitness as well as an overview of the most effective types of workouts based on research.

Eating as discussed in Chapter 8 – Less is More. The primary take-away being in control of what you consume by making informed decisions versus impulsive choices.

I strongly encourage you to not only read this book but also invest your time and energy in doing the exercises and activities offered. Based on my experience in working with many traders, I believe you will gain an even greater edge in trading performance from understanding and incorporating these principles as they relate to your trading. On the other hand, if you’re not inclined to read the book, here are a couple of options:

Read Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time, a Harvard Business Review article about the results of studies done in different organizations.

Take Schwartz’s Energy Audit and read the information provided on his website, The Energy Project.

Until next time . . .