September 2021
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TD Magazine

Power Your Productivity

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Work Smart Now: How to Jump Start Productivity, Empower Employees, and Achieve More
By Richard Polak
Skyhorse, 192 pp., $17.99

Productivity and delivering value have never been more important for managers or organizations than they are in today's competitive global business environment. Time management, interpersonal skills, and customer focus are a few of the most important competencies managers need to add true organizational value. Particularly with the evolution of remote work and virtual collaboration, prioritization and adaptability are crucial capabilities for managers who want to maximize their value and daily productivity. Work Smart Now offers research-backed information that enables readers to become more self-aware, human-focused, and capable of achieving more.


Polak's emphasis on "compassionate productivity" in the first chapter sets the stage for an engaging journey through the organizational fundamentals of value and achievement. He ties everything back to each person's ability to enhance their productivity. He defines elements of culture, employee engagement, and the risks of absenteeism and presenteeism, and he shares ways to balance it all for a productive work environment. The attention Polak brings to well-being makes the book personal and relatable because readers can assess their own situations against the examples and data he presents.

Polak aims to help readers optimize and wisely use time—"our second-greatest asset," as he defines—by sharing actionable insights and recommendations for improving productivity throughout the workday. The book also contains ideas about the broader workplace. The author succinctly funnels the information in a way that feels like an individualized conversation, guiding readers in ways to get more done in less time and with joy. From technological advancements that provide more data to strategies and best practices on how to not waste time, Polak outlines a complete plan that enables readers to boost their potential and maximize productivity.

Whether you are an executive looking to create a high-performing culture, a manager desiring to improve your team's deliverables, or an individual contributor wanting to provide more value or you hope to improve your daily performance, this book has valuable information that you can understand, comprehend, use, and apply.

About the Author

Mitchell Roshong, APTD, is a passionate and versatile educational leader with almost 10 years of experience in various training roles. From secondary and higher education classroom teaching to blended and self-paced adult continuing education, he has designed programs for learners of all levels. Roshong holds Associate Professional in Talent Development and Certified Professional in Management designations. His strengths include leadership and the soft skills, ethics, finance and accounting, and management. Moreover, he is a lifelong learner who remains curious and interested in upskilling to adapt to the continuously evolving business and educational landscape.

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