The Secret to Peak Productivity - Tamara Myles

The Secret to Peak Productivity - Tamara Myles

Learn how to increase your productivity and achieve your personal fulfillment.

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Do you usually leave your place unorganized? Do you get many emails and papers throughout the day and aren't sure what to do with them? Do you stop doing something and justify with "didn't have time"? Then the book "Maximum Productivity", by author Tamara Myles, was made for you.

Tamara Myles answers these and other questions and teach through simple techniques, how to manage your time better and achieve maximum productivity.

Do you want to know how? So, keep reading this PocketBook and find out how to improve your organization capability and obtain better results.

About the book "The Secret to Peak Productivity"

Tamara Myles's book "The Secret to Peak Productivity" was published in 2014. The author develops the "Maximum Productivity Pyramid" system, the model with which she teaches you how to organize the place you work in until you know what matters the most and how to get closer to your life goals.

About the author Tamara Myles

The author Tamara Schwambach Kano Myles is graduated in Communication and Advertising from Southern Illinois University in the United States.

She specializes in productivity and conducts online seminars and personal training related to this topic.

To whom is this book indicated?

The book "The Secret to Peak Productivity" is for anyone who wants to increase their organizational skills and increase productivity in their lives. Also, for anyone who wants to spend their time performing more meaningful activities or tasks more efficiently.

Main ideas of the book "The Secret to Peak Productivity":

  • To advance the levels of the Maximum Productivity Pyramid, you must first satisfy the one you are in;
  • You don't need to start the level from the ground up. Start by identifying your strengths and improvements and decide in which level to start;
  • To improve productivity, you should initially eliminate space clutter. To do this, you can apply the 3 R's of paper sorting techniques and separate the papers into: Recycle, Resort, and Retain;
  • Manage electronic files better;
  • Plan the tasks and activities you want to accomplish. Set priorities;
  • Use the 5 E's from possibility: Excite, Engage, Empower, Evolve and Explore.

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[Book Summary] The Secret to Peak Productivity - Tamara Myles

Overview: Maximum Productivity Pyramid

Tamara developed a concept called the Maximum Productivity Pyramid, in which there are five levels of productivity, which are formed as a pyramid (Figure 1). The author points out that it's not necessary to start at level 1. You must reflect on how productive you are and start at the level you want to meet until you reach Maximum Productivity.

Resultado de imagem para The Secret to Peak Productivity pyramid

Figure 1. Maximum Productivity Pyramid. "From the book The Secret to Peak Productivity, page 20".

Overview: The 5 levels of productivity

Level 1: Physical Organization

The basic level of the pyramid concerns the organization of space. Tamara emphasizes in her book, "The Secret to Peak Productivity", that having a disorganized environment, in addition to causing stress, makes a bad impression, as it's related to productivity.

Thus, the author Tamara Myles says that the first step in getting rid of clutter is to start getting rid of the largest amount of paper available and keep the important ones in an easily accessible place.

To do this, Tamara says that when you receive the papers, you must apply the 3 R's sorting (Recycle, Resolve, and Retain) technique and divide them into 3 stacks:

  1. Recycle: The papers that can be discarded;
  2. Resolve: Those you need to make decisions;
  3. Retain: Those that need to be kept, as they may be needed in the future; (e. g.: bank statements, receipts).

To organize papers that need to be kept up, you can sort them by alphabetical, chronological, numeric, by address, or by category or subject.

Level 2: Electronic Organization

The second level of the "Maximum Productivity Pyramid" is the electronic organization. In addition to physical organization, it's also important to organize electronic files.

You will know that you are experiencing an electronic desorganization issue if:

  1. Your emails exceed the email storage space provided by the company;
  2. You have difficulty deleting files and is unsure if they have been saved correctly;
  3. You spend a lot of time searching the files;
  4. You have many desktop icons;
  5. You have many stored photos and old or unread emails in your inbox.

You can name the folders of your documents with keywords, author name, date, project title, etc.

In relation to emails, Tamara Myles advises:

  • Open the inbox 4 times a day for 15 minutes each to organize messages;
  • Check emails at pre-set times to save time;
  • When parsing email messages, delete unnecessary ones;
  • Create organized and effective electronic systems.

Level 3: Time Management

"Managing time includes setting goals for the most important areas of life, devoting time to what you think is critical, using intelligence not to work harder than necessary, but to achieve great results without giving up your free time." (Tamara Myles)

To better manage your time, the author says you should use the 3 P's:


The first step to manage better your time is to plan. That is, choose which activities and tasks you are going to perform in the short and long term. Allocate the time that will be spent for them and the time you will accomplish them. It is advisable to choose the time you consider to be most productive. Write them down on a paper, calendar, or electronic device (or any other tool that works best for you).


The second step for the project management is to prioritize your activities. Tamara quotes the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and shares the same idea as the author, that is, the key is not to prioritize planning, but to plan your priorities.

First, the author says that we should ask ourselves the following questions:

  • "What is the most important to me?"
  • "What should I work on first?"


The last step of time management in the book "The Secret to Peak Productivity" concerns production. Once you plan and prioritize a particular afternoon or activity, it's time to put into action. But in order to do so, barriers such as perfectionism, procrastination, interruptions, and even doing two tasks at once must be tackled at the same time, as they impair efficiency.

Level 4: Alignment between Activities and Objectives

In this part of the pyramid, the author says that in order to get yourself where you want, you must align the tasks and activities you do daily with your goals. To set goals, Tamara follows 6 steps:

  1. Commit to the goals you want to achieve;
  2. Understand why these goals are important to you;
  3. Spend your time creating your goals. For this to happen, you can find people who will help you along this path;
  4. To achieve your goals, you need to break them down into a series of tasks (for example, leaving work early to spend more time with your family). If not, the goal of achieving those goals will become stressful;
  5. Define when you will start taking action to achieve these goals;
  6. Make an assessment if your goals are coming true.

Level 5: Possibility

At the top of the pyramid Tamara Myles defines the last level as: Possibility. There is a range of possibilities, what you find the most are people asking themselves, "What do I want to do or be?" To answer this question, the author offers as a guide the five E's of possibility:

  1. Excite: Do the activity or task that gave you pleasure again;
  2. Involve: Set aside some of your time dedicated to good company;
  3. Empower: Perform activities that will give you a greater sense of power;
  4. Evolve: Spend more time on activities you enjoy performing and further develop your skills in it;
  5. Explore: Perform activities that have never been done before. That way you can develop new skills.

What do other authors say about it?

In the book "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less", author Greg Mckeown teaches you how to increase your productivity by eliminating the unimportant and focusing on what is needed. If you have multifocus, you will not focus on more than one thing you set out to do, and your productivity will decrease.

In the book "Now, Discover Your Strengths", the author makes the following suggestion: in schools and workplaces, we are encouraged to find and correct our weaknesses, always aiming to increase our productivity. If we stop to think, we should focus on the opposite, which is our strengths.

Finally, in the book "Make Time", authors Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky teach you tactics to help you optimize your time. And for that, you must follow 4 steps: Highlight, Focus, Energy and Reflection.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

In this summary, we have outlined several of the author's techniques and tips for increasing your productivity, based on the Maximum Productivity Pyramid. You can apply the one that you think best suits your needs.

"For the next week, before putting into practice any of the other tips or techniques you have learned here, I would like you to commit to not using the phrase" I didn't have time "or other related. I want you to make your decisions and use phrases like" I had more important tasks on my list "or" I have other priorities. "The goal is for you to start living in the field of managing your choices, not time." (Tamara Myles)

Did you like this summary of the book "The Secret to Peak Productivity"?

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Book 'The Secret to Peak Productivity'