(I reviewed this book previously on my book reviews blog, but am re-posting here as I think it might be helpful to readers)
Work the System, by Sam Carpenter, is a book with a very simple premise: it is possible to vastly improve your work and your life by concentrating on systems.
In a similar vein to Tim Ferriss, Carpenter emphasizes the gains to be made when everyday tasks are optimized and automated. He advocates writing down step-by-step instructions for any task that has to be performed regularly.
The premise is obvious, but after just one reading I have identified dozens of areas in my own life where I can apply this. The upside seems enormous.
For teachers, this would involve writing a class manual for your students that describes all the tasks they must perform. At Tohoku University, thanks to the mad organizational skills of my colleague Dan E., we already have something like this, and it makes teaching almost effortless.
Essential to entrepreneurs and small-business owners, this book should also prove useful for classroom teachers. Extremely recommended, unless you are already a happy productivity ninja with a great life 🙂