Have the Best Year Ever: Read 5 Choices


The book "The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity" is a detailed study in time management. It starts from the premise that productivity is a matter of making the right decisions about what is important and what is not.

5 Choices

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I look over at the alarm clock. It reads 5:20 a.m. In a split second, it starts. I call it a thought worm and it looks something like this: What day is it? What absolutely positively has to get done today or bad things will happen? And then it starts — the list. I go from blissful sleep to “too much to do and not enough time” in less than 60 seconds.

Sound familiar? I’ll bet it does because I connect with dozens of small business owners like you and it’s the most common complaint I hear from my community.

Well, if you’re still basking in the afterglow of New Year’s resolutions or goals set for marketing and business planning, you’ll want to lean into this review because if you get this book right now — the lessons will kick in just about the time your resolutions or goals hit their first bump in the road.

If You’re a Franklin Covey Fan — Keep Reading

The book I’m talking about is “The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity” by Kory Kogan (@korykogon), Adam Merrill and Leena Rinne. And if you’re a Franklin Covey organizational system user or have ever taken the Franklin Covey organizational courses, you’ll want to snap this book up right now. Because it’s all the great stuff you learned and used with that system updated for today’s crazy busy small business owner.

All three authors are from Franklin Covey (@franklincovey). Kogon is the Global Practice Leader for Productivity. Her research and content is focused around time management, project management and communication skills. Merrill is the vice president of innovation and develops award winning products that help individuals and organizations become more productive. Rinne is a senior consultant and works with clients to increase productivity.

What this combination of expert authors brings together in “5 Choices” is a wonderful blend of productivity from every possible angle and it shows.

Productivity is a Choice

I love that the title of this book focuses on choice. The authors are very clear that overwhelm and feeling buried is a function of the choices you made. And if you can choose to be overwhelmed, you can choose to be productive.

This is why the entire structure and context of this book is around managing your choices in three areas:

  • Decision Management : Act on the important and not urgent and go for extraordinary.
  • Attention Management: Schedule the big rocks and rule your technology.
  • Energy Management: Fuel your fire.

If you’ve done any work with the Franklin Covey system, this will be a wonderful refresher. I would say that you won’t find anything new in the Decision or Energy Management sections. It’s the Attention Management section where you will get the most benefit because it really delves into how to control the overwhelm around technology in your life.

Fun to Read, Easy to Implement

Each of the three core management areas starts with a story to give you context. You’ll think the authors have been spying on you — but they haven’t. Overwhelm and the desire for productivity are a universal conversation for folks who are up to big things — like you are.

After each story, you’ll get a quick lesson and then some tips to implement this structure in your own life and business.

One thing you will absolutely love about this book is that the time, project and life management strategies can be implemented any way you like: paper system or digital. The best part is that you get to decide. You don’t have to purchase any specific system.

Be a Q2 Leader

The last section of the book focuses on how to be a Q2 Leader. The Q2 is a reference to Franklin Covey’s Time Matrix;

  • Q1: Necessity (Important and Urgent)
  • Q2: Extraordinary Productivity (Important but not Urgent)
  • Q3: Distractions (Not Important and not Urgent)
  • Q4: Waste (Not Important and not Urgent)

This entire chapter was written for business owners and managers and provides a done-for-you task list that you can use to get your whole team on the same page.

Other resources include the Franklin Covey website where you can check out some free resources to get your thoughts in order.

You Need This

Who are you kidding? If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably feeling pretty buried and overwhelmed right now. Now is the perfect time to set yourself up for success. “5 Choices” is a great book to get your new year started on the right foot.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

6 Reactions
  1. How can I purchase the book

  2. I love Franklin Covey’s books. I guess this will be another systematic approach to a general topic like productivity. It will be interesting.

  3. The biggest challenge is actually getting people to implement and change their behaviour!